Monday, June 4, 2012

Bicycles May Use Full Lane signs and Sharrows

Bicycle May Use Full Lane sign on Beulah Rd
Tonight we rode to the Transforming Tysons Open House to check out the latest information on bicycle projects in Tysons. The meeting was held at Westbriar Elementary School off Old Courthouse Road on the outskirts of Tysons. The route we used from Reston included the W&OD Trail to Clarks Crossing Road to Beulah Road. This section of Beulah is about 1/4 mile but it's a narrow, busy commuter route and there is just a very narrow paved shoulder.

The road now has a sign that tells motorists that Bicycles May Use Full Lane. The biggest problem encountered on this stretch is harassment by motorists. Now they know that we belong on the road and I'm hoping they show a bit more patience. This is a busy bike commuter route leading into Tysons and the signs are a welcome addition.

From Beulah Rd we continued to Trap Road, Gelding Lane, Bois Ave, Montmorency Dr to a trail that connects to Palm Springs Dr to Hidgon Dr to Pine Valley Dr. These are all quiet neighborhoods streets and it was a very pleasant ride in the cool 70 degree weather.

Getting ready for sharrows on Old Courthouse Rd
We arrived early so we could check out another location nearby where signage is needed. Old Courthouse Rd has bike lanes for a short stretch that end at the Vienna line. Where they are needed most is further east where the road narrows and is uphill, in front of Freedom Hill Park. We've mentioned the need for sharrows (shared lane markings) on this section in the past. They were included in a list of candidates for either sharrows or Bicycles May Use Full Lane signs.

As you can see from the photo on the left looking east toward Freedom Hill Park, VDOT has marked the spot where sharrows will soon be installed. There are plans to add paved shoulders to the road in the near future.

We've also heard there are Bicycles May Use Full Lane signs on Idylwood Rd, another road we've suggested needs the signage. We've already heard that someone has requested that sharrows also be used. The traffic and cyclist harassment is so bad on that section that we agree that both the Bicycles May Use Full Land and sharrows are needed.

Good things are happening in Fairfax. New bike lanes on Gallows Road into Tysons, and sharrows and Bicycles May Use Full Lane signs appearing in several places around the county. With the completion of the bike plan, this might be the start of a new chapter for bicyclists in Fairfax.

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