Thursday, August 28, 2014

New bike access through Ft Belvoir is now open

After September 11, 2001, Woodlawn Road through Ft. Belvoir, from Route 1 to Telegraph Road, was closed. Woodlawn Road was part of U.S. Bike Route 1 through Northern Virginia. Cyclists were forced to find an alternative route, which ended up being a dangerous, long stretch of Route 1. The new road, Jeff Todd Way/Mulligan Road, is a much needed alternative to Woodlawn Road.

Del. Scott Surovell recently filmed a bike ride on the road just before it was opened. It was my understanding that the outside lanes would be 14 feet wide but it's difficult to tell from the video. There is a wide shared use path on the west/south side of the road that was expected to be completed by the time the road opened on August 25.

For more information on the road see the Federal Highway Administration site and the VDOT site.

The new road connects to Telegraph Road that is being widened and will include bike facilities, either bike lanes or a multi-use trail. We were contacted by a cyclist who once tried to ride a long, 75-mile loop "from Herndon, down the W & OD to the Custis, along Mt. Vernon Trail to Mt. Vernon, then attempted to 'link' over to West Ox and the Parkway Trail back up to Herndon." He was not able to find a bike-friendly connection over to West Ox Road.

When the Telegraph Road widening is completed, the long loop he mentioned should work. A cyclist could ride from Mt Vernon Trail along Mt Vernon Memorial Hwy to Jeff Todd Way at Route 1, north to Telegraph Rd, west to Beulah Rd where there are bike lanes leading north to a trail parallel to Franconia Springfield Pkwy where they could head west to the ped/bike crossing of I-95 and continue west to the Fairfax Co Parkway.

The Fairfax County bike map now needs to be updated to include the new road and trail.

Here is Del. Surovell's video of his bike ride.

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