Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fairfax Co Trail Snow Removal and Lighting Pilot Projects

Fairfax County is proposing to begin clearing snow on selected trails leading to Metro stations. In October Fairfax County's pedestrian program manager gave a presentation on Trail Snow Removal and Lighting to the Board of Supervisor's Transportation Committee (the slide says July but the presentation was given in October).  Since the Tyson Metro stations will have no permanent vehicle parking, access to the stations by pedestrians and bicyclists is critical, including after snow storms.

Reston Association clears snow on their trails
Three proposed trails in Tysons that provide access to the Spring Hill and McLean Metro stations are included in the pilot project: Ashgrove and Vesper Trail (Spring Hill) and Scotts Run (McLean).  Two trails leading to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station are also included: Metro to Barry Rd and Barry Road to Crestleigh Way.

See the presentation given to the Board of Supervisors on snow removal and lighting of trails.

It's not clear how much snow must accumulate before the trails will be cleared. There's a reference to the W&OD Trail, stating that that trail is cleared when 6 inches have accumulated which is not what we've heard. We think it's more like 2-3 inches. Even with that little snow, if temperatures are below freezing and people walk on the snow, trails are very difficult to navigate by bike. We think the amount of accumulation before clearing should depend on future conditions; if cold weather is predicted for a long period of time, then even small amounts of snow should be cleared.

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