Friday, August 20, 2010

Oak Street bridge open with new bike lanes

As we mentioned yesterday, the Idylwood bridge over the Beltway is now closed. Most cyclists avoid this bridge because it's narrow and carries lots of traffic. An alternative for cyclists is the Oak Street bridge (map). It was closed for a year but is now open and as you can see from the photo, has a paved shoulder for cyclists. You can also see employees putting on the finishing touches to the bridge.

You can almost see that the bike lanes disappear at the end of the bridge, but Oak Street usually carries little traffic and is very bikeable. Cyclists coming from the W&OD Trail often use this bridge to avoid riding on Gallows Rd from the trail. While the bridge is now used as an alternative to Idylwood, traffic should drop off when Idylwood bridge construction is completed in February 2011.

Getting bike accommodations on HOT lanes bridges was a major goal of FABB. We worked with the county, VDOT, and the private contractor to encourage them to include bike facilities shown on the county Trails Plan. While not ideal in some places, there will be bike facilities on most of these new bridges. The next challenge will be to connect the new facilities on the bridges to bike routes on both sides of the Beltway.

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