A child has been hospitalized with serious injuries after he was hit by a sedan while riding his bicycle on Idylwood Road, police say.
“Officers are on scene of a serious crash involving a cyclist at Idylwood Rd and Greenbrier Way in Dunn Loring,” the Fairfax County Police Department said in a tweet at 1:04 p.m. “A juvenile male was taken to the hospital in serious condition.”
Police and medics with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department were dispatched to the scene of a crash “involving a child” around 12:05 p.m., according to scanner traffic on Open MHz. The boy was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital.
An FCPD spokesperson confirmed that the child was the cyclist.
“One vehicle was involved (which was a sedan),” the FCPD told FFXnow by email.
As of 3 p.m., Idylwood Road remains closed between Greenbrier Way and Gallows Road, according to police.
Idylwood Rd between Greenbrier Way & Gallows Rd will remain closed as officers investigate. #FCPD
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) September 16, 2023
The annual Tour de Mount Vernon will return to the area on Saturday, Oct 21.
Beginning at 8 a.m., the eighth annual community bicycling event encourages riders to take in the closed George Washington Memorial Parkway alongside views of the Potomac River.
The event is organized by Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck. While more information on the exact route remains to be released, it will include a mix of paved roads, paved trails and some challenging sections. Two options — a long ride of 40 miles and a short ride of 20 miles — will be offered.
Early registration is open until Sept. 1, with tickets costing $30 per rider. A ticket includes event socks, a day pass to George Washington’s estate, one free day pass to Woodland and Pope-Leighey House and a $5 donation to the Fairfax Alliance for Better Cycling (FABB).
Registration from Sept. 2 through Oct. 21 rises to $35 per ride. All of the above perks apply, except there’s no guarantee that the socks will still be available.
Fairfax County is seeking volunteers for the event. While teens between the ages of 15 and 17 are welcome, they must be accompanied by an adult. Helmets and a liability waiver are also required.
The eighth annual Tour de Mount Vernon is dedicated to Dave Evans, a father, husband, softball coach, and United Community and Good Shepherd Housing treasurer and board member who inspired the event. He was also the owner and operator of the award-winning business La Prima Catering.
Earlier this year, the county dedicated a ball field to Evans at Walt Whitman Middle School in Hybla Valley.
Tysons has seen some promising developments in its transportation network in recent years, but many obstacles remain to achieving Fairfax County’s vision of a truly accessible downtown, a market study released earlier this month suggests.
Commissioned by the Tysons Community Alliance, the 2023 Tysons Market Study characterizes the 2,100-acre urban center as “somewhat walkable” — meaning at least some errands can be accomplished on foot — based on its official average Walk Score of 57.
Calculated based on population density, the distance to amenities, block lengths and other factors, the walk score ticked up from the 54 that Tysons got in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The area is more walkable than Reston, which has a score of 40, but it falls short of more urban areas in the region, including Crystal City in Arlington (71) and downtown D.C. (98), according to the study.
The most walkable properties are in central Tysons, particularly around the Greensboro Metro station, which is also where multifamily housing has concentrated, TCA CEO Katie Cristol notes.
“That increase in the walk score is a real validation…of how environmentally sustainable, how much better in terms of quality of life the new residential development has been in Tysons,” Cristol said. “It is in the right places, it is in places that are walkable, so more Tysonians live [in places] walkable to Metro and other amenities and can easily reach the necessities of their lives on foot than could before.”
However, properties east of Route 123 — where most for-sale and single-family units are located — tend to be more car-dependent, per the study. Based on 2021 Census data, the percentage of car-free households in Tysons has jumped up to 5.1% — an over 50% increase from 2019 — but 47% of households still own two vehicles.
In addition, the TCA identified 4.6 miles of missing sidewalks, and most of the 24 miles of sidewalk that do exist are just 4 feet wide, which “is not ideal for a growing area seeking to promote walking,” the study says.
The improved Walk Score was also tempered by a lowered Bike Score, which dipped from 49 in 2020 to 43 this year. Categorized as “somewhat bikeable” with “minimal” infrastructure, Tysons trails Reston, which stayed flat at 54 over that time frame. Read More
More Capital Bikeshare options are coming soon to Reston Town Center.
A 12-dock station will be installed at Reston Town Square Park tomorrow (Aug. 8), marking the ninth Capital Bikeshare station around Reston Town Center.
Reston Town Center Association Executive Director Robert Goudie said the installation of the stations fulfills the policy objective of minimizing vehicular traffic.
“Increasing Bikeshare availability complements our longstanding commitment to supporting a strong pedestrian environment, the recent addition of private and secure bike-parking facilities, and the launch of our linkRTC shuttle service, recently recognized by the Washington Area Council of Governments as a region-leading best practice on how to integrate Metro into a vibrant transit station area like RTC,” Goudie said.
The location was on Capital Bikeshare’s list as a potential location for some time, according to Zach DesJardins, Capital Bikeshare program manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT).
“Town Square Park is the heart of the densest area in Reston and our data shows that Bikeshare use is highest in those types of mixed-use neighborhoods,” DesJardins said. “Finding a way to make a Bikeshare station work at that location, especially with the arrival of Metro, has been a priority, and we greatly appreciate RTCA’s assistance and cooperation in this effort.”
In a statement, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn described the location as “terrific.”
Enhancing multi-modal transportation opportunities is a significant focus of the work we have been doing on the new comprehensive plan for Reston, especially in our transit station areas. Locating this station in the heart of a dense, mixed-use (residential-office-retail) environment, and with easy access to rail, where there is also another Bikeshare station, is a terrific addition, and I’m grateful to the Reston Town Center Association for helping to make this happen.
Capital Bikeshare has more than 50 locations in Merrifield, Reston and Tysons. Dozens of additional stations are planned in the area. Across the D.C. area, the service has more than 700 stations across seven jurisdictions.
A single trip is five cents for a classic bicycle ride and 15 cents for an e-bike. A 24-hour pass is $8 a day. Annual memberships cost around $8 per month for unlimited 45-minute rides on a classic bike.
More than two dozen local businesses were honored last month for their commitment to “green commuting.”
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn honored the 29 businesses for taking part in this year’s Bike to Work Day employer challenge, which rewarded companies that encouraged their employees to commute via bicycle.
Alcorn said the new Silver Line stations from Reston to Ashburn mean more employees than ever have the option for cycling to and from a bus or train stop.
“Employers who encourage a healthy and green commute, and employees who enjoy our scenic trails on the way to work all contribute to Fairfax County’s sustainability efforts and quality of life,” Alcorn said.
The challenge by the Dulles Area Transport Association (DATA) recognizes local medium and large companies with five or more employees for participating in Bike to Work Day. DATA is a nonprofit public-private partnership between businesses, government, and the community in the greater Dulles area.
The July 28 ceremony also recognized participating small businesses with two or more employees.
A list of this year’s participants is below.
Fairfax County’s vision for a redevelopment of the Pan Am Shopping Center in Merrifield will likely include an emphasis on pedestrian and bicycle connections.
At a virtual community meeting on May 22, the county’s Department of Planning and Development offered a preview of its proposed comprehensive plan amendment to allow multifamily housing at the 25-acre retail center (3089 Nutley Street SW).
Among the draft recommendations, which are being finalized for a staff report expected on June 7, is a provision that the new development blocks be designed to facilitate pedestrian and bicycle access and minimize conflicts between different modes of travel.
In addition to keeping an existing path to the Providence Hall Apartments to the south, county staff have suggested adding a “north-south pedestrian connection” between Route 29 and the three residential buildings proposed by Pan Am owner Federal Realty.
The county is also contemplating recommendations for a shared-use path on the east side of Nutley Street and new or upgraded bus shelters on Nutley and Route 29.
“One of the things that we are trying to do as part of this plan amendment…is to really create a sense of place at the Pan Am Shopping Center, so that you can have the type of environment where people are being encouraged to walk there and bike there, not just drive there,” county plan development chief Graham Owen said.
The shared-use path will likely be separate from the street, he added after a community member raised concerns about bicycle lanes taking away space from cars on Nutley.
The redevelopment’s potential impact on traffic has been at the forefront of many residents’ minds. An analysis by county transportation staff found that the proposed overhaul would generate 803 more vehicle trips per day than the existing shopping center.
That would be 4,271 fewer trips than what’s possible under the current comprehensive plan, but community members in the meeting lamented that Nutley already has congestion and accessibility issues.
“Coming on Nutley from the [I-66] bridge side, the county needs to improve that. With that new crossroads, it is dangerous,” resident Francis Forgione said. “There’s no lights, and cars don’t stop entering and exiting the freeway…The county needs to somehow make it safe so you can approach from all directions, not just one direction.” Read More
The first segment of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s planned shared-use trail along I-66 has been completed.
State and Fairfax County officials will celebrate the milestone today (Wednesday) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by an inaugural bicycle ride or walk on the finished section, which starts east of the Vienna Metro station and extends to Cedar Lane near Merrifield.
The segment includes a tunnel under Nutley Street, one of several below-grade crossings planned for the 11-mile, mostly 10-foot-wide trail being built from Gallows Road in Dunn Loring to Route 29 in Centreville.
More portions are expected to be finished later this month, including a crossing at an I-66 entry ramp at the Nutley Street interchange and a segment from Blake Lane to Route 123 in Oakton.
“The 66 Parallel Trail and new bike and pedestrian access across the I-66 bridges supports VDOT’s commitment to providing multimodal travel options to ‘move more people — not just vehicles,'” VDOT said in a statement to FFXnow.
VDOT’s private partner I-66 Express Mobility Partners (I-66 EMP) and construction contractor FAM Construction built the 66 Parallel Trail — a name chosen by a Fairfax County survey — as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project, which added 22 miles to the I-66 Express Lanes.
Including sidewalks being added on bridge crossings over I-66, the project will deliver 18 miles of new pedestrian and bicycle facilities, according to VDOT.
“The new 66 Trail will significantly improve east-west connectivity for people walking and biking in the corridor that does not exist today,” said former FABB President Sonya Breehey, who’s now the Northern Virginia advocacy manager for the Coalition for Smarter Growth. “The trail opens up the opportunity to walk, bike, roll to the Metro, schools, parks, restaurants, retail, and other places throughout the corridor.”
The design process for the trail was contentious, as cycling advocates pushed to keep it outside the I-66 soundwalls. However, adjacent homeowners objected to giving up part of their backyards, fearing a loss of privacy and green space.
The final design placed approximately three miles directly next to the highway, while about eight miles will be behind a noise barrier or have no noise barrier.
Breehey calls the trail’s placement inside the soundwalls an “unfortunate compromise,” but VDOT mitigated some concerns by elevating some portions above the highway and putting others behind a 50-inch concrete barrier. Read More
A major project to improve the accessibility of Van Buren Street in Herndon is officially complete.
Known as a “complete streets project” in transportation jargon, the project widened Van Buren Street along a one-half mile stretch from Old Spring Street to Herndon Parkway.
Complete streets is an approach to designing streets that supports safety and access for all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
In addition to widening travel lanes to 11 feet, the project added curb-and-gutter and bicycle lanes in each direction. Other upgrades include the addition of 5-foot-wide sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic signals at Alabama Drive. Overhead utility poles were also relocated and stormwater management facilities upgraded.
Construction on the project started in the spring of 2022.
At a Herndon Town Council meeting late last month, Town Manager Bill Ashton II said the project was substantially complete.
“We have had the contractors out there making some corrections to some elements that we found were deficient to the design,” Ashton said.
He also noted that the project has been in the works for years.
“This is a project that has probably been ten years plus in the making,” he said.
It’s repaving and restriping season once again, with public meetings coming later this month on proposed projects that would add bicycle lanes and improve crosswalks.
April marks the beginning of an annual process that ends in November with hundreds of miles of roadway being repaved and restriped by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
In Fairfax County, more than 1,700 miles of roadway are expected to be repaved this year. The work often leads to new bike lanes, shoulders, crosswalks, signage, and street markings.
The program is “an opportunity to increase driver, bicyclist and pedestrian safety with road and crosswalk improvements while minimizing the financial investment in restriping work,” the Fairfax County Department of Transportation says on its website.
The first virtual public meeting hosted by VDOT and FCDOT will come on April 17 at 7 p.m. and cover proposals in the Hunter Mill and Providence districts.
One plan would add bicycle lanes on Glade Drive between Sunrise Valley Drive and Reston Parkway in Reston by narrowing the driver travel lanes.
In addition, upgrades are proposed at Monroe Street and Monroe Manor Drive in Herndon. This could include “marked crosswalks, high-visibility crosswalks and/or crosswalk signage,” the county says.
After a proposal for Ellenwood Drive was discussed at a separate meeting in February, the Providence District could get more bicycle lanes at four spots in the Merrifield and Annandale area:
- Executive Park Avenue between the Red Cross building and Prosperity Avenue
- Gatehouse Road between Telestar Court to Gallows Road and, potentially, Gallows Road to Williams Drive
- Williams Drive between Eskridge Road and Arlington Blvd and potentially between Arlington Blvd and Pennell Street
- Willow Oaks Corporate Drive between Williams Drive and Gallows Road
The lanes would be added by narrowing travel lanes or “repurposing underutilized parking lanes.”
Upgrades are also being considered for the intersection of Willow Oaks Corporate Drive and Professional Center Access Road in Merrifield. This could include marked crosswalks, high-visibility crosswalks, and additional signage.
Comments on projects in both districts will be accepted through the close of business on May 1.
Most of the proposed projects in those districts would also add bike lanes and improve crosswalks.
While all repaving and restriping work is set to begin soon and conclude by November, exact work dates for each project will be available “approximately ten days prior to work beginning.”
If the repaving requires parking to be limited, signs will be posted at least three business days in advance. Parked cars, basketball hoops, and garbage cans may need to be moved to accommodate the work.
In general, work hours will be limited to “outside of rush hours” with crews typically on-site in neighborhood streets on weekdays between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, on interstates and some primary roads, work might happen overnight to limit the impact.
Residents should expect construction vehicles in their neighborhood during the project, and the county is asking motorists to “be alert to temporary traffic patterns.”
Aware of a growing need for more variety in its housing options, the Town of Vienna is taking a harder look at its standards for multifamily residential development.
Changes currently under consideration include the introduction of minimum parking requirements for bicycles, according to draft regulations for apartments, townhouses, and other residences allowed in a new residential multi-unit (RMU) zone.
The Vienna Town Council will discuss the draft at a conference session tonight (Monday).
As part of a general overhaul of the zoning code, the town’s first in over 50 years, staff have proposed requiring multi-unit residential developments to provide three bicycle racks or six spaces for every 2.5 dwelling units to serve residents. Three racks will also be needed for every 50 units to accommodate visitors.
The suggested bicycle parking standards are based on requirements used by Falls Church City, according to the draft.
The revised code will also establish standards for parking lot landscaping and screening, outdoor lighting standards and loading areas, though loading spaces won’t be required for townhouses, duplexes and cottage courts.
For other multifamily developments, the draft would require one loading space per 50 units, with each space measuring at least 25 feet long and 15 feet wide. Right now, Vienna doesn’t dictate a specific number of spaces for different land uses, and the size varies based on the size of the building.
The need for updated multifamily residential regulations became clear last year during discussions about the proposed conversion of the Vienna Courts offices into duplex condominiums. The project’s eventual approval in December came after weeks of the developers, the town council and residents haggling over parking and open space to reduce its lot coverage.
Vienna’s zoning code overhaul — known as Code Create Vienna — has been underway since July 2020. Amendments giving residents more flexibility for outdoor decks were approved last June, but public hearings on the overall draft code aren’t anticipated until this fall.