Sunday, June 3, 2012

New bike lanes on Gallows Road

Bike lanes on Gallows Road north of the W&OD Trail
There are now bike lanes on Gallows Road from the W&OD trail into Tysons. The project has been in the planning stages for many years and is now mostly complete. Bike lanes now extend from just north of the I-66 bridge at the Dunn Loring Metro station to Tysons near Madrillon Road.

It was disappointing to see that the bike lanes end before Old Courthouse Road. Ideally they should be extended beyond Route 7 into the heart of Tysons but that wasn't part of the project. However, we had understood that the lanes would reach Old Courthouse Road so we'll check with the county to find out if there are plans in the near future to extend the lanes.

The speed limit on Gallows is 35 mph but motorists appeared to be driving much faster when we were there this morning. The bike lanes appear to be 4 feet wide not including the gutter pan. We'd prefer they were 5 feet wide given the high speeds on the road. One huge advantage of the bike lanes is that during rush hour, when traffic is backed up, cyclists can easily pass stopped traffic in the bike lanes.

Bike lanes end before Old Courthouse Rd in the distance
This is a big step forward for the county. The bike lanes are a visible sign to motorists that cyclists belong on the road. Thanks to the county for finding the funding for the project and to VDOT for adding to the bike lanes in Fairfax. We look forward to the appearance of more bike lanes, especially in the Tysons area as it redevelops with the arrival of Metro.

In fact, the lanes on Old Courthouse Road are very wide and there is a wide center turn lane. It would be very easy and relatively inexpensive to restripe the road to add bike lanes, at least from Gallows Rd to Route 123.

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