Monday, April 15, 2013

Oak Street road diet being striped this week

VDOT is implementing another road diet project in Fairfax County this week that will create new bike lanes on Oak Street in the Dunn Loring area. Many westbound cyclists use Oak Street when riding to Tysons from the W&OD Trail (see county bike route map on the right). It's a relatively quiet neighborhood street that was discovered by many motorists when the Idylwood Rd bridge over the Beltway was under construction and Oak St was on the detour route.

The very successful road diet projects in Reston on Lawyers Rd and Soapstone Dr have proven to help reduce crashes and lower vehicle speeds. Kudos to VDOT for implementing another road diet project. From the VDOT press release:


Eliminating lanes is a gain for motorists and bicyclists

Dunn Loring, Va.─A section of Oak Street in the Dunn Loring area of Fairfax County is going on a “road diet,” losing two of its four thru lanes to reduce excessive speeding and make the road safer for motorists and bicyclists alike. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will re-mark the pavement on or about April 15 as part of a previously planned paving project.

“We are making smarter use of the wide pavement on Oak Street,” said VDOT traffic engineer Randy Dittberner. “By taking away the second travel lane in each direction, we make room for left-turn lanes, dedicated bike lanes, and on-street parking. All these features will help eliminate the most extreme speeders and improve safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.”

The project begins east of Gallows Road where Oak Street is 40 to 48 feet wide and two lanes in each direction, which is much more capacity than needed to handle 3,000 vehicles a day. The pavement freed up by removing one lane in each direction will instead be used for new left-turn lanes, designated parking on the south side of Oak, and bike lanes in each direction.

Residents have been concerned about traffic conditions and speeds on Oak Street for some time. With the support of residents and local officials, designed a road diet and was able to incorporate it into a paving project

About two-thirds of drivers on Oak Street exceed the 30 mph speed limit, and nearly 15 percent of vehicles travel over 40 mph. One of the benefits of road diets is a reduction in the fastest speeds.

This is VDOT’s third road diet project in northern Virginia. Diets on Lawyers Road and Soapstone Road in Reston have resulted in fewer crashes and reduced speeds.

Update 4/17/2013: Here is a photo of Oak street ready to be restriped with bike lanes.

Photo: Justin Antos

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