Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fairfax Co Parkway trail closed at Toll Road

Today we were riding south on the Fairfax County Parkway trail. Just before the Dulles Toll Road westbound ramp on the Parkway this sign announced that "CROSSWALK CLOSED." VDOT was paving the exit ramp and the trail was impassable. We were able to ride across the grass to get to the ramp and then made our way across to continue on the trail.

There was a VDOT truck parked next to the repaving operation. The person inside the truck said that everything would be OK in another day or so. I let him know that everything wasn't OK today and that VDOT should not close a trail without providing a detour, as we outlined in an earlier post on the closing of the Parkway trail south of Route 50.

Then the VDOT person said that there was supposed to be a flag person guiding bicyclists around the construction. We later heard from another cyclists who has been by the site earlier in the day, that the trail was closed then. That cyclist has contacted the VDOT bike/ped coordinator and the Hunter Mill District Office. We plan to do the same. If you use this trail, please contact VDOT and the HM office.

The Parkway trail is a major commuter route for cyclists. It's inexcusable that VDOT feels they can completely close the trail, with no prior warning, no warning signs far enough in advance to be useful to cyclists and pedestrians, and no detour. VDOT can talk about accommodating cyclists all they want, but until they provide adequate access through construction sites, that talk means little. Cycling is a viable transportation option that needs to be treated like other options, and until VDOT embraces that philosophy, we'll continue to have to fight this type of injustice.

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