The Virginia Department of Transportation has confirmed that Annandale Road will be repaved this summer, Mason Supervisor Penny Gross told the audience at a public meeting on bicycle lanes March 25 at George Mason Regional Library. Repaving and bicycle lanes are also planned for Evergreen Lane, but that project has not yet been confirmed by VDOT.
Repaving projects provide a good opportunity for the county to designate bicycle lanes in accordance with the county’s Bicycle Master Plan approved by the Board of Supervisors last fall.
|A diagram of Evergreen Lane showing bike lanes in both directions.|
Adam Lind, a bicycle planner in the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said Evergreen Lane in Annandale is fairly wide, about 70 feet, so the best approach is to put it on a “lane diet.” The lanes for vehicles would be narrowed to make room for bike lanes next to the edge of the road in both directions. The bike lanes would be five or six feet wide.
Narrower lanes have the additional effect of reducing speeding, Lind said.
On Annandale Road, the bike lines would extend for about four miles between Gallows Road and Arlington Boulevard. Annandale Road is narrower than Evergreen, so a lane diet won’t work there. There are also two short sections that are a lot narrower – at Walnut Manor Way and Beechview Drive – where the road is only 45 or 46 feet wide.
FCDOT and VDOT are considering various option for those “pinch points,” including making all the lanes narrower than the standard width, making the bike lanes just four feet wide, and creating a “climbing lane” in one direction. The design should be completed in April.
Some of the issues raised by the cyclists at the meeting include the need to maintain the bike lanes so they’re not covered in gravel and dirt and the need to educate vehicle drivers to pay attention to bicycle safety.
VDOT determines which roads get paved based on a measurement of road quality. Ravensworth Road isn’t on the repaving list, even though one person at the meeting said the road is so bad, his house shakes every time someone drives over a pothole.
Roads should be repaved every five to seven years, said a VDOT official, but lack of funding means some roads don’t get repaved for 15 or 20 years. He said potholes reduce speeding, calling them “inverse speed humps.” The VDOT website has an online form for reporting potholes.