Friday, January 29, 2016
VDOT contractors blocking cleared trails in Reston - Update: NBC4 coverage in SpringfieldToday while walking to the Wiehe-Reston East Metro station I noticed a VDOT contractor dumping snow on the Wiehle Ave trail leading to the station. The same crew had just blocked a previously cleared trail on Sunrise Valley Dr leading to the Wiehle trail. Reston Association crews have been out clearing most of the 50 miles of Reston trails only to have VDOT crews block them.
Reston Association has budgeted funds to maintain their trails, including having a fleet of snow plows. Fairfax County needs to figure out how to make areas around Metro stations and schools safe for their residents.
The first photo shows the once cleared trail on Sunrise Valley Dr.
The next photo shows the front loader dumping huge piles of snow on the Wiehle Ave trail.
At the entrance to the Wiehle Station at Reston Station Blvd and Wiehle Ave, the Wiehle trail is blocked and I saw two pedestrians walking in the road in the short time I was there.
The Lake Thoreau trail along Sunrise Valley Dr was cleared by Reston Association crews earlier this week. Today the VDOT crews blocked it, which has happened multiple times in the past.
The Lake Thoreau trail near South Lakes Village Center blocked by snow from the road. This trail was passable earlier. I was forced into busy South Lakes Dr to get around the pile.
Update 30 Jan: The same situation occurred in West Springfield as reported by NBC4 in their story Plow Crew Dumped Snow Onto Cleared Sidewalk in VA. After a resident notified NBC4 about the problem, VDOT crews were out to clear the sidewalk. That was Greeley Blvd that is a two lane road. The snow being cleared was for on-road parking. VDOT must have lots of money to clearing free on-road parking; maybe that money should be used for major transportation trails.
It seems like this would be a good time to examine maps and designate "approved snow piling" locations, especially around the transit areas. Then VDOT would have to teach the contractors where they are, and that they must use them. Of course, this is called 'planning ahead' and if an agency never thinks a 'historic' snow fall will occur, it would be seen as a waste of time.