Friday, October 19, 2012

W&OD bridge over Wiehle Ave funded

Crash at W&OD Trail/Wiehle Ave
The W&OD Trail crossing at Wiehle Ave is one of the most dangerous on the trail. The majority of crashes occur when eastbound cyclists cross the southbound lanes. What has happened multiple times is that straight-through traffic is stopped for the red light at Sunset Hills Rd but the left turn arrow turns green. Cyclists proceed into the crosswalk not realizing that fast moving motorists may be trying to catch the green light. Our blog entry about a crash at that site prompted numerous comments about similar crashes or near misses at that location.

We're pleased to report that $2.3 million has been allocated to build an overpass at that location. It was funded as part of improvements identified in the Reston Metro Access Group study, in which we participated several years ago.

There is a relatively low-hanging power line directly above this location which could complicate the project. A tunnel would be another option but would likely cost more than $2.3 million.

In the interim, $46,000 was allocated for installing a raised median and additional signage there. This is a relatively low cost measure that would help slow motorist at the crosswalk, especially those using the left turn lane.

Thanks to the Board of Supervisors for funding this project.

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Would it be possible to install a signal that coordinates with the one at the intersection?
Having a traffic signal at that intersection has been discussed, but getting it timed so that trail users can cross safely and traffic doesn't stack up on Wiehle Ave. I think it can be done but others don't agree.

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