Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reston Master Plan Study

Fairfax County has begun the process of updating the Reston Master Plan. A task force is reviewing changes needed to the current plan now that the Silver Line is fully funded and three new Reston Metro stations (Wiehle Avenue, Reston Parkway, and Herndon-Monroe) scheduled to be completed in mid-2013.

Bicycle access to the new stations is critical to reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, and to promote active lifestyles. Most people who currently use the Reston East Park and Ride lot, on the site of the planned Wiehle Ave station, live nearby and could easily get there by bike. Reston's reputation as a bicycle-friendly place is due to the presence of the W&OD Trail and an extensive paved trail system. However, direct, on-road bicycle access to major destinations is poor. There are no on-road bicycle facilities on major roads such as Reston Parkway, Baron Cameron Ave, Wiehle Ave, Sunrise Valley Dr, Sunset Hills Rd.

A series of community meetings will be held to define the future of Reston. These meetings are a good opportunity to speak out in favor of better bicycle access. The next community meeting will be on January 26 on Guiding Planning Principles for Reston, at Langston Hughes Middle School at 7:00 p.m.


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Monday, July 6, 2009

Pro-bike editorial in Reston Connection

John Lovaas, Assistant to the Publisher at the Connection Newspapers, writes in recent column that: "It's time to stop ignoring the single most cost-efficient improvements that would make a major difference in reducing vehicular traffic and congestion, making bicycling an integral part of transportation infrastructure. Here's how."
Right now traveling by bicycle in Reston is hazardous and few try it, other than using the RA trails, which don't serve well for commuting to work or shopping. Adding bike lanes at main road edges or designating paths alongside for shared use are much cheaper than more car lanes and effective in reducing cars on our roads.

To start, signed bike routes should be designated where wide curb lanes already exist on the following: North Shore, Village Road, Center Harbor, Bennington Woods, Colts Neck (south of Glade), Soapstone (south of Glade), Lake Newport, Twin Branches, Glade and Steeplechase. Just some paint and a few signs. Major thoroughfares would require adding wide bike lanes and signage — but would carry a lot of cyclists: North/South-Reston Parkway, Wiehle, Town Center Parkway, Hunter Mill; East/West-Baron Cameron, New Dominion, Sunset Hills, Sunrise Valley, South Lakes and Lawyers. Other streets in Town Center are OK as is for bikes because speeds are slow.

For a very low cost, Reston could make bicycling a significant part of our transportation picture and make a big dent in the number of cars on the road.
While we don't agree that cycling in Reston is particularly hazardous, we completely agree that signed bike routes and bike lanes would encourage many more people to ride bikes in Reston. There are currently no on-road bike routes or bike lanes in Reston, although that will soon change with the planned bike lanes on Lawyers Road.

Fairfax County staff plan to revise the Reston Master Plan. It's a great time to plan for a comprehensive bicycle network in Reston. For more information visit the Reston Master Plan Special Study website. To recommend better bike facilities in Reston, submit your suggestion to the planning team.

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