Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Loudoun police at Belmont Ridge/W&OD intersection

Loudoun County police will announce their Street Smart campaign at a press conference tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14 at 11 a.m. at Belmont Ridge and the W&OD Trail. Through Nov. 25 they will be ticketing bicyclists who "don't follow area traffic safety laws." From their press release:
LCSO Joins Regional Law Enforcement, Community Leaders & Advocates to Remind Motorists, Pedestrians and Cyclists to Share the Road

Loudoun County, VA- Loudoun County Sheriff Michael L. Chapman, county leaders, and community advocates will join together tomorrow to announce the Street Smart pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign. Sheriff Chapman will be reminding motorists to obey traffic safety laws whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist or driver.

To curb pedestrian or cyclist injuries and fatalities in the region, Street Smart will kick off its fall safety campaign on Wednesday morning at the intersection of Belmont Ridge Road (Route 659) and the W&OD Trail in Ashburn, VA. Residents will be reminded to remain alert, share the road and obey traffic laws.

As part of the campaign, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement in the Metropolitan region will be out in force through November 25, ticketing motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists who don’t follow area traffic safety laws.

The press conference will be held Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at 11AM at the intersection of Belmont Ridge Road (Route 659) and the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.
Any cyclists who receive a ticket at this or other W&OD intersections should find out what Virginia code was used for the offense. If it's "§ 46.2-821. Vehicles before entering certain highways shall stop or yield right-of-way," at least one judge has dismissed a ticket where that code was cited because the trail is not a highway.

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Interesting dialog on this intersection at the last MWCOG Bike/Ped Adv Comm meeting. It's basically a "suburban highway" even though it has two lanes and VDOT is unwilling to lower the speed limit. LCSO is resistant to a lower speed limit there. But everyone recoginizes that it's very dangerous for Peds and Bikes. They're planning some minor improvements until funding can be found for a grade separated intersection (aka bridge).

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