Friday, February 13, 2009

Bike lanes proposed on Lawyers Road in Reston

VDOT is proposing to restripe a section of Lawyers Rd in Reston from 4 to 3 lanes with 5-foot bike lanes between Fox Mill Rd and Myrtle Lane, about 2 miles in length.

There are several destinations for local cyclists located just to the west such as the Reston South Park and Ride Lot, Fox Mill Shopping Center, and a new 10-foot asphalt trail along Reston Parkway/Lawyers Rd to the south. The few short sections of unconnected, crumbling paved trail along the road are not useable for bicycling. The proposed bike lanes would allow residents living in the area to finally have a bike facility on the road.

To the east is a narrow, two-lane section of Lawyers Road that is not part of this project but is used currently by many cyclists from the Reston Bicycle Club on their Tuesday night rides.

According to the bike lanes flier handed out at the Hunter Mill Transportation Advisory Committee meeting, several vehicles have been rear-ended on Lawyers while stopped in the left lane waiting to turn left; through traffic may not expect to encounter stopped traffic in a through lane. Also, 15 preventable crashes have occurred on this section of Lawyers in the year time period 2005-2007.

VDOT and the Hunter Mill District office plan to hold a public meeting on the proposed bike lanes on Wednesday, March 4, 7-9 PM at Langston Hughes Middle School (map). Cyclists are encouraged to attend the meeting and support the proposed bike lanes.
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I have ridden in that general area, and I must say that it isn't on my list of favorites - mainly because of the safety issue. While just this stretch won't be enough to get me anywhere I might want to go, I guess the hope is that in the future there will be some other change that will connect this to something else.
I agree that this isn't an ideal project, but when VDOT proposed to install bike lanes in an area without good bike access, it would be counterproductive to tell them not to do it. It would also be incentive to continue the project on both ends. The Reston Bike Club often rides in this area, to Birdfoot Lane and Twin Branches Road. There's also talk about putting bike lanes on sections of Soapstone Lane. Before too long you've got some connected bike routes.
I'm sorry I missed this discussion. I was cycling in California for my vacation. In any event, I use lawyers road for training all the way through to Vienna on a regular basis during spring/summer/fall. It is a little scary in the two lane section but it's the only reasonable way to get to Vienna without using the bike trail, which shouldn't be used for fast training. I agree with both Jack and Bruce's comments. Thanks so much for advocating for the bike lanes.

Christine Wehlburg

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