main banner

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sidewalk project planned for Sleepy Hollow Road

Sleepy Hollow Road at Aspen Lane.
The Fairfax County Transportation Department is planning a major sidewalk project for Sleepy Hollow Road.

There will be a community meeting on the project April 23, 7:30 p.m., at the Mason Government Center.

The new pedestrian facilities will include the following:
  • A 3,900-foot concrete sidewalk along the west side of Sleepy Hollow Road between Marlo Drive and Aspen Lane.
  • A 500-foot concrete sidewalk along the east side of Sleepy Hollow Road north of Valley Brook Drive.
  • Several pedestrian crossing points on Sleepy Hollow Road will be upgraded, including those at Bay Tree Lane, Dearborn Drive, Kennedy Lane, Kerns Road, and Castle Place.
  • Infrastructure improvements related to the project include curbs and gutters, curb ramps, driveway entrances, retaining walls, drainage improvements, and sign modifications.
Comments can be submitted by May 11 online, by calling FCDOT at 703-877-5600, or writing to FCDOT at 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax VA 22033.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine the amount of destruction this sidewalk construction will cause. I feel bad for the homeowners whose properties will be affected.

Anonymous said...

I feel worse for the pedestrians who currently need to walk in the street.

Anonymous said...

Lived here for 18 years, I've seen maybe a dozen people walking down Sleepy Hollow Hill

Anonymous said...

Pedestrians have been walking along the parking lanes on either side of the road for decades without difficulty. I just finished driving pretty much the entire length of Sleepy Hollow. What I saw were many well established shrubs and trees that have to be ripped out to build sidewalks that few will use. In addition, substantial amounts of dirt will have to be removed from the sloped areas. In short, this will be a disproportionately large, expensive and destructive undertaking yielding minimal benefits. - Sparky

Anonymous said...

Who shovels the snow?

Anonymous said...

Well... walking along Sleepy Hollow 20, 15, 10, or even 5 years ago is not the same as today... seemingly every other driver is looking at a smart phone versus the road... this poses an imminent and real danger to any pedestrian. A sidewalk certainly adds a level of safety to pedestrians and at the very lease a curb and a few extra feet of separation. The shrubs will grow back...

Anonymous said...

My research fails to disclose any county ordinance or state law requiring a property owner to clear snow from a sidewalk. - Sparky

Anonymous said...

They'll be mulch if they're on that portion of the property owner's land to which the county can assert
an easement. The county can also assert a temporary easement on additional property it may require to build the sidewalks. The county is supposed to restore the latter property to its previous state, but I'd expect that won't literally be possible. - Sparky

Unknown said...

I'm new to Sleepy Hollow Manor, own a home, and also try to be active by running and walking. This sidewalk is needed and I applaud it.

Anonymous said...

I live in Lake Barcroft and I’m thrilled to see the county working to make Sleepy Hollow more pedestrian friendly. To the people commenting above who say they never see people walking on Sleepy Hollow that is because it can be treacherous. I hope Fairfax will continue to work on making walking and riding bikes easier and safer for residents. It creates a healthier community.

Ahkenaten Kor said...

Any repairs to sidewalks should be applauded, as not enough cities consider it a priority. My town has many torn-up unwalkable sidewalks, especially in the winter.

Unknown said...

I cant wait for anything that helps all the children/families who walk or ride bikes from the neighborhood over to SHRA and SHBR. NO VEHICLES stop for people in the Dearborn /Sleepy Hollow crosswalk. There is a sign, and two stripes, but no cross hatch. I have stood with my bike for several minutes waving, pointing to the sign and still NO VEHICLES STOP. We shouldnt wait for an accident to make this safer. BTW, install a light! Or enforce the speed limit. I wait up to 5 min for a chance to take a Left onto Sleepy Hollow from Dearborn, and usually another car will sneak up on my right to make right hand turn obstructing the view, so any opportunity is missed. Overall, this intersection has terrible safety flaws.

Concerned Mom about Crosswalk to SHBR, SHRA said...

The "crosswalk" on Sleepy Hollow by SHBR/SHRA is a safety hazard which is horrible. The crosswalk needs better identification (crosshatches?), the speed needs to be enforced (try making a left turn off Dearborn! It's not so much the traffic, but you cant get in when they go 45 mph), and consideration of a traffic light would be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I've lived here for 30 yrs and have seen maybe 5 people on the street... As a kid I used to walk and ride my bike.to SHBR no issue. It's going to destroy the quaint feeling :(

Anonymous said...

... It's a sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/projects/sleepy-hollow-walkway

Check out this website. In particular, Board 1 contains a major revision to the SHBR/SHRA crossing. - Sparky

Unknown said...

Nobody walks on that road, no reason to. Spend the money in downtown Annandale where just about every intersection is unsafe for pedestrians.

Adam Goldberg said...

Oh my god people, it’s a sidewalk, not a border wall.

Anonymous said...

Next it will be a border wall around Lake Barcroft and Sleepy Hollow to keep all the immigrants out. And for sure the NIMBYs would not be complaining.

Jeffrey Longo said...

This project has been long in the making, and last March 28th 2017 when FCDOT hosted a session on it, the plans were much more convoluted... at multiple points along the route they had the sidewalk switching sides and people had to use a crosswalk. It just didn't make sense - for one block the west side and on another block they'd be on the east side. This year it looks like they got the plans to condense so that most of the sidewalk is on the west side. From a pedestrian perspective, it makes a lot more sense with the plans as they are now.

Of all of the things that I expected to be controversial, sidewalks was not one.

Concerned said...

I've never seen pedestrians on Sleepy Hollow. I believe a side walk is desperately needed on Holmes Run Rd. I see walkers, dog walkers and an elderly bicyclist frequently. Holmes Run Rd. is dangerous for them.

Anonymous said...

No way, right now I can go 60MPH in my Mercedes AMG with all of this construction it would slow me down considerably and I'd still go 60 when it was finished. I'm anorthopaedic surgeon and the roads should be calibrated to accommodate those of my stature.

Anonymous said...

The parking lane - mentioned above on 4/12/18 - is too often used as a passing lane for vehicle drivers too impatient to wait behind someone making a left turn from Sleepy Hollow Rd onto a side street. This illegal move puts pedestrians in danger of being hit. If the sidewalk helps to reduce or eliminate that danger, I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the reason you've never seen people walking on Sleepy Hollow is because it's too dangerous to do so without a sidewalk...?

Anonymous said...

Would it make sense to simply paint a dedicated bike/pedestrian lane on all of Sleepy Hollow Road that runners/walkers could use? They already have a bike lane at one end near the Columbia Pike intersection. The road is wide enough and it would be considerably less expensive than a sidewalk. If pedestrian activity increases after the painted lanes, then maybe it's time for a sidewalk? And save the actual sidewalk for the neighborhoods like on Holmes Run Road?

Anonymous said...

You are a surgeon? How many patients have you killed. What an idiot thing to boast about dude!

Anonymous said...

It is not just a sidewalk. that would be 3 ft. No, the County wants to take 15-17 feet of property-owner frontage, change driveways, and tear up Sleepy Hollow rd for at least a year, with associated traffic and utility disruptions. no thanks!

Jeffrey Longo said...

In what world is a sidewalk only 3 ft wide? The sidewalk is projected to be a standard 7 ft wide sidewalk, which is largely within the existing right of way the county already has. Yes, they will then need an affitional temporary easment to accomodate the construction, which accounts for your 15-17 number, but its temporary.

Anonymous said...

And the number of people that have been hit while in the parking lane while impatient drivers use it to pass on Sleepy Hollow is how many? While I have only lived in the area for 16 years, I count 0.

Anonymous said...

Encouraging more and putting pedestrians closer to traffic on a commuter road is only going to increase the likelihood of a fatality or bad accident. Fixing current identified perceived issues like speeding, inadvisable passing and crosswalk safety can and should be addressed...but those are different from tearing up the front yards of many folks, spending a substantial amount of money the county doesn't have and creating a year-long traffic nightmare for providing minimal benefit.

Anonymous said...

Please Noooooooo....mixing peds and bikes in the same actual lanes as cars on a commuter road has been and continues to be one of the most godawful ideas ever thought of.

Anonymous said...

"Year-long traffic nightmare?" Leaving aside the "nightmare" part, where is this "year-long" thing come from? I've been to the pages linked in the article--is there some other secret information page I need to know about?

(Also: I'm unclear on how building a sidewalk will put pedestrians closer to traffic. As far as I know, the current alternative is actually in.the.street.)

Anonymous said...

So I got the year long thing from the other comments on this site. I can see it taking that long if they have to redo utilities and restore parts of the yards to "as they were". Why leave aside the "nightmare"? It will be - for traffic and for the people who live there who will "temporarily" lose 15-17 of their front yards. The current alternatives are to select a safer route altogether via the myriad other routes or walk along the curb. Encouraging more people walk along it, cross it and use it as a pedestrian puts more people closer to traffic (hope that clears it up for you). Not every road is conducive to pedestrians (aka the beltway). Granted, this is not the beltway. But it is a busy commuter road.

Anonymous said...

I watched some of the videos of last night's meeting. As usual it seemed like naysayers and NIMBYERs. I feel so sorry for county employees. There are many studies out there on the benefits of more walkable communities. People don't walk on SHES because it is treacherous (I can't believe someone called it "quaint"). I hope the county will stick with their plan or perhaps do something like they did on Elmdale Road near Pinecrest.
https://www.fastcompany.com/3062989/50-reasons-why-everyone-should-want-more-walkable-streets

Anonymous said...

The comment said "year-long nightmare." I said leave aside "nightmare" because that's a value judgment, in order to focus on the "year-long" claim, which has been continually repeated...but only here, in a neighborhood blog's comment section. A claim which you defend on conjecture ("I can see it taking..."), but for which no one can provide a citation in the planning documents.

Likewise, I understood the words in your suggestion that pedestrians will be closer to traffic if there's a sidewalk. I just thought it was a stupid observation; if there's a sidewalk, people won't have to walk "along the curb." If you find a single transportation planning professional who says "yeah, building sidewalks puts pedestrians more at risk" than walking in the street, you'll find them in the same ratio as climate scientists who say climate change is not man-made.

Your other suggestion is that pedestrians should take other routes to get where they're going is equally laughable: what alternate routes replace Sleepy Hollow Road, even for pedestrians? Especially ones that won't substantially increase the length of the trip?

You note that it is a "busy commuter road." It's certainly not the bucolic suburban lane it was 40 years ago...and that is exactly why adding sidewalks would be important.

Jeffrey Longo said...

It was definitely a contentious meeting. Some folks pressed the county personnel for responses to what were clearly statements, which was borderline uncivil, but kudos to the FCDOT staff for the way they handled the session.

I certainly can sympathize with the folks who are directly impacted, especially those that could be facing retaining wall construction. I heard a lot of anger last night, but I do think many there were working off of old, inaccurate, or incomplete information.

For instance, the bulk of the project was moved so that it is taking up the west side parking lane (leaving the east side intact). That means the county will be barely touching those folks' yards - only requiring a temporary easement. It also means that the amount of paved surface - at least along that section - is likely to decrease, not increase. Yet folks kept lamenting on how the project was adding so much concrete and would be so impactful to their yards... I seriously wonder if anyone was actually listening to what the project planners were saying or if they were just there to vent based off of inaccurate - or outdated - details they had gotten via social media, word of mouth, etc?

Now, certainly FCDOT needs to do a better job of communicating some of the specifics. They had posted the boards on their website, but those didn't do a good job of showing other changes that were made from 2017 which their powerpoint did which many just saw that night. It would have been good to see that ahead of time. They also said they had been reaching out, but I don't think anyone in the room had been reached by FCDOT, but rather they heard about it via social media, this blog, or perhaps Penny's newsletter. FCDOT must do better with their communication.

Anyways, one thing that was clear is that the public comment period is open. If you oppose the project, make that known via public comment. If you support the project, make that known via public comment. If you have constructive criticism, please also make that known via public comment. Especially regarding the last bit - The project evolved quite a bit from last year to this year based on constructive criticism given by the public last year, so the county has shown up to this point that they are really trying to incorporate feedback. You can provide feedback using the feedback form on their website: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/projects/sleepy-hollow-walkway

Anonymous said...

"I wait up to 5 min for a chance to take a Left onto Sleepy Hollow from Dearborn, and usually another car will sneak up on my right to make right hand turn obstructing the view, so any opportunity is missed."

No sidewalk will cure bad driving.

Anonymous said...

Listen. I really like cheeseburgers. I live on a street off of Sleepy Hollow. I believe the new sidewalks are going to help me get to Red Robin, Wendy's, and Dogfish Head more quickly. I like to eat cheeseburgers at these places. It pleases me - do you like it. They are tasty and juicy, some are cooked very well. Have you ever tried it with some hot peppers on top? The sidewalks will help get us there, take care.

Jeffrey Longo said...

I nominate this comment as one of the "best of Annandale blog" for 2018.

Post a Comment