Plans for repaving and bicycle lanes were outlined at a community meeting March 13 in the Mason Government Center.
|A buffered bicycle lane. [National Association of City Transportation Officials]|
Bicycle lanes will also be added to Industrial Road in the Edsall Road industrial park in Springfield. There will be one bicycling lane westbound and a “sharrow” in the other direction.
A buffered bike lane is a lane set aside for bicyclists with pavement markings forming a barrier with the traffic lane. A protected bike lane has some sort of physical barrier, such as flexi-posts.
When a roadway is two narrow for bike lanes, FCDOT puts up pavement markings indicating a shared lane, or “sharrow,” warning drivers they are sharing the space with bicyclists.
Gallows and Industrial are two of the many dozen roads – ranging from heavily traveled corridors like Braddock Road to small neighborhood streets – on VDOT’s repaving schedule for 2018. See the full list here.
The repaving will start in March or April depending on the weather and will conclude by November.
When selecting roads for repaving, VDOT considers pavement conditions, using a camera attached to the bottom of a van, as well as traffic volume, economies of scale, and feedback from maintenance crews, said Allison Richter, transportation and land use director for VDOT’s Northern Virginia District.
VDOT prefers repaving a whole neighborhood rather than piecemeal projects across a broader area, and it includes projects in all supervisory districts.
Before the paving starts, no-parking signs and door hangers will be put on affected streets. The paving is usually done from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. If people leave a car on the street, the police will try to find the owner, but if they can’t, they will tow it. They won’t give tickets, though.
When VDOT updates its repaving map, you’ll be able to click on a road to see the contact information for the project manager.
The VDOT budget for road maintenance has risen in recent years, allowing more repaving to be done annually, although the agency is still in catch-up mode, Richter said. In 2013, the NOVA District received just $58 million for road maintenance; by FY2018, funding climbed to nearly $141 million.
While widening a road to add bike lanes is costly, the cost of adding striping to an existing road is relatively insignificant, Wells said.
Striping has additional benefits, as well as expanding the bicycling network, he noted. When a roadway is narrowed, drivers tend to reduce their speed. Also, parking is delineated better, and the sight line is improved for people pulling out of a driveway.
According to Wells, FCDOT is moving away from focusing on the “Type A cyclist” who is strong, fearless, and comfortable riding with traffic, to the less less-confident cyclist who prefers buffered or protected bike lanes and avoids main roads.
Click here for more information on VDOT road projects and traffic conditions. Submit complaints about potholes or other road issues here.