Thursday, February 19, 2009

Progress on Gallows Road bike lanes

At last night's FABB meeting representatives from VDOT and Fairfax Co DOT discussed plans for bike lanes on Gallows Road. The road is currently used by many bicyclists traveling between the Merrifield/Dunn Loring Metro Station area, the W&OD Trail, and Tysons Corner.

The project will be done in two phases. Phase I is planned for September 2009 and will be done in conjunction with re-striping of the section of road between Stenhouse Place (just north of the Dunn Loring Metro Station) and Idylwood Road (just north of the W&OD Trail). The second phase, between Idylwood Road and Old Courthouse Road in Tysons, will require several changes to the road and will take much longer, from April 2009 to April 2011.

The sections of these two phases are shown above (green is Phase I, orange is Phase II) and on this map of the proposed bike lanes. In some sections where there is not enough road width, the bike lanes will become wide curb lanes with Share the Road signs. We hope that by the time Phase II is built that shared lane markings, or sharrows, will be approved for use.

This project has been in the works for a long time. Money was available for several years and the county and VDOT have finally been able to work out solutions to the many problems involved. We're excited about the progress and look forward to riding on the first section this Fall.

As with most bike projects, it's not perfect. We would prefer that the entire section be either bike lanes or wide curb lanes, not both. Also, just south of the project across the I-66 bridge is the Dunn Loring Metro Station. The bridge is too narrow for a bike facility and there are no plans to widen the bridge in the near future. There is a paved multiuse trail on the west side.

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This is actually an incredibly useful change. At the moment, this station is probably the most convenient for me to get to from home (at least until the Metro extension opens up).

Even the 1st phase will let people get from the WO&D to Dunn Loring.

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