Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fairfax County Parkway meeting tonight

Fairfax Co Parkway Trail
A meeting on the future of the Fairfax County Parkway is being hosted by Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity tonight. The meeting starts at 7pm at Robinson Secondary School, 5035 Sideburn Road Fairfax, VA. 22032.

It's important that any new bridges along the Parkway accommodate cyclists with direct, safe routes. The bridge at Eldon St. in Herndon is an example of providing a bare minimum accommodation. Cyclists must cross an exit ramp, 4 lanes of traffic, and an entrance ramp. Ideally cyclists shouldn't be forced to cross the intersection at grade; the bike/ped facility should be part of the bridge.

The current Parkway trail needs to be fixed. There are several dangerous crossings of entrance/exit ramps at Sunset Hills Rd, the Dulles Toll Road, Route 50, and others. Cyclists should be able to safely use the paved shoulders in the future. We've heard there's a proposal to add rumble strips to the shoulders which would be a disaster for any cyclists hoping to ride there.

It goes without saying that the Parkway trail needs to be repaved. FABB recently assisted VDOT, which just completed a study that assessed the condition of the trail.


Good news: VDOT staff at the 10/23 meeting indicated that the shared use path's maintenance issues are being assessed. Bad news: the FFX county parkway's reclassification as a primary road does not necessarily gain funding for the shared use path. It is reasonable to expect that this facility will get worse before it gets better. It's also likely that this road will become more interstate-like in the next few decades, with added lanes, cloverleaf exits/entrances, express lanes, etc.

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