|Ravensworth Road needs repaving and has gotten worse since this photo was taken last May.|
The Virginia Department of Transportation is slated to repave several roads in Annandale, starting this summer, and is taking that opportunity to implement bike lanes.
Affected roads are Ravensworth Road, Heritage Drive, John Marr Drive, McWhorter Place, and Markham Street.
|The dotted lines indicate where repaving and bike lane projects are planned.|
The bike lanes will be created by painting markings on existing roadways in several configurations. Some of the bike lanes will be at the edge of the road, while others will be between a driving lane and parking lane. In other cases, there will be a buffer – with painted stripes – separating a bike lane from a driving lane.
Accomplishing this will require “road diets” and “lane diets,” Dittberner said. Road diets call for the number of lanes on a road to be reduced to accommodate bike lanes and a turn lane. With lane diets, the width of each driving lane is reduced.
Here’s what VDOT and FCDOT are proposing for Annandale:
Ravensworth Road between Braddock Road and Rawlins Road – Lane widths would be reduced from 16 and 17 feet to 11 feet, and there would be a five or six-foot bike lane on both sides.
Ravensworth Road between Rawlins Road and Little River Turnpike – This four-lane stretch of road would go on a “road diet,” so there would be just one travel lane in each direction and a new center turn lane.
Road diets only work on roads that have less than 20,000 vehicles a day, and Ravensworth has 14,000 to 15,000 Dittberner said.
|Buffered bike lanes proposed for Heritage Drive.|
Heritage Drive between Ravensworth Road and Rectory Lane – Driving lanes would be narrowed from 13 feet to 10 feet wide, bike lanes would be added, and street parking would be retained.
Heritage Drive between Rectory Lane and Little River Turnpike – The outside lanes in both directions would be converted to buffered bike lanes between parked cars and driving lanes.
John Marr Drive between Backlick Road and Little River Turnpike, crossing Ravensworth – A road diet would cut this road from four lanes to two lanes to accommodate a center turn lane and buffered bike lanes.
|Shared bike lanes, known as "sharrows," proposed for John Marr Drive.|
Markham Street between McWhorter Place and Little River Turnpike – A lane diet would make room for bike lanes.
The project design is expected to be completed in May, and construction should start this summer, Lind said, although some of the paving could be pushed back to summer 2017. There’s no decision on which roads will be done first; that will be up to the contractor.
Public comments on the bike lane proposal can be submitted online through April 8. Several people at the March 21 meeting who ride bikes in the area expressed support for the project.
Bike lanes were added to Annandale Road when it was repaved in 2015. Evergreen Lane was also supposed to get bike lanes last summer, but that repaving project has been delayed until this year.
There are many advantages of having fewer driving lanes and adding a center turning lane, Dittberner said: It improves traffic safety, driving speed is more consistent, and it’s safer for pedestrians. Motor vehicle crashes are reduced by 20 to 50 percent, he said. And while average speed doesn’t drop, there are fewer people driving at excessive speeds.