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Old 05-21-2012, 08:30 AM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,754,441 times
Reputation: 2177
Default bike ride, Annandale to Dunn Loring

Interesting.

Went hummer to Marshall, Trammel, Aston, crossed Gallows (on foot) to the elementary school, than around to Hemlock and Holly Berry to the trail through the park (Berkely or Holmes Run Stream, Im not sure where one ends and one begins). on the trail all the way to Fairview office park. Made a wrong turn and looped the southern end of the office park, then took the correct way north to Lee Highway. Across on the sidepath on the N side of Lee Highway. Google maps suggested back roads through developments on east side of gallows linked up, but they were wrong, and I ended up on the sidewalk on east side of gallows for a very short way (from the bus stop in front of the TH community to the parking lot in front of the apts. Then crossed Gallows (on foot) and to the metro station.

1. all these hills really impede my time, though they are probably good for my cardio workout
2. Making wrong turns really impedes my time too - and this time I even took directions with me (but I had left some ambiguities in them). Some signage might make sense - at least from the park to Fairview, to point the way to Dunn Loring and Tysons.
3. The park trail was at least paved, but rather bumpy, tree roots, narrow. I can see why "serious" cyclists are not so quick to take park trails over roads, but I don't care for the road options around there so much
4. Fairview park drive offers a choice of a light traveled (on weekends) road, and a decent (if hilly) side path. It does feel like you've entered some alternate universe, with all the huge buildings, which look so much alike its hard to tell where you are, and few people. Now THIS would have been a great area for an urban village (it is striking that there is almost no retail there at all, at least none visible). Whatever is lost for "walkable urbanism" its a pretty decent place to bike, at least on weekends.
5. Lee highway is not good for street riding. The new side path over the beltway (N side of lee) looks great, but is unfinished. It did NOT say it was closed, so I took it. I was tempted to take the unfinished (and closed to traffic) road lanes, but figured I might get in trouble, and might arouse driver hatred of cyclists, so I didn't.
6. Once Gallows & Lee intersection is done, there should be better alts for getting from Lee to the metro I guess.
7. One day I would like to take this route all the way to Tysons - IIUC there are newly striped bike lanes on Gallows from Cedar to W&OD to Old Court.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:43 PM
 
19,178 posts, read 19,436,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
7. One day I would like to take this route all the way to Tysons - IIUC there are newly striped bike lanes on Gallows from Cedar to W&OD to Old Court.
No...at least not yet. There is currently a northbound bikelane on Gallows Road from Cottage Street (south of the W&OD) up to Madron Lane (nowhere near Old Courthouse). There is a southbound bikelane from just south of Idylwood Road (just north of the W&OD) down to Cottage Street. That's it. But much of this entire stretch of Gallows is in the process of being repaved, and perhaps when that's done, it will all be restriped to narrow the traffic lanes by enough to permit more bike lanes. I myself would not possess anywhere near the degree of derring-do that would be required to pedal along in those bikelanes. The traffic on Gallows through that stretch is often heavy and aggressive. There are already perfectly good and much safer sidepaths available on which it would be unlikely to encounter heavy or aggressive pedestrian traffic. Those sidepaths would be my choice every time.

As for the hills, they come with the territory. You could always try suggesting to local governments that they pass a new tax levy to fund the construction of numerous cuts and tunnels for the convenience of cyclists who don't like hills. Maybe start a petition to that end and see what sort of feedback you get.

The area you chose to cycle into is of course the site of the current Mill Creek construction project, the current Halstead construction project, the current EYA construction project, and VDOT's current construction work on both the 495 HOT lanes and the expansion and redesign of the Merrifield town center intersection. There is very little over that stretch that is not all torn up at the present time.

The residents of Fairview Park are meanwhile not necessarily interested in "walkable urbanism". Walks around the lake, maybe. Walks up to 2941 for an excellent evening meal amidst the waterfalls, perhaps. They otherwise seem to like things as they are -- a quiet and nearly bucolic island of relative sanity in the midst of all that hustle and bustle. There doesn't seem any real reason to deprive them of their simple pleasures.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:12 PM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,754,441 times
Reputation: 2177
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
No...at least not yet. There is currently a northbound bikelane on Gallows Road from Cottage Street (south of the W&OD) up to Madron Lane (nowhere near Old Courthouse). There is a southbound bikelane from just south of Idylwood Road (just north of the W&OD) down to Cottage Street. That's it. But much of this entire stretch of Gallows is in the process of being repaved, and perhaps when that's done, it will all be restriped to narrow the traffic lanes by enough to permit more bike lanes. .
I saw something about it on the FABB forum, I guess about the striping being underway. I guess its not complete yet.

Quote:
I myself would not possess anywhere near the degree of derring-do that would be required to pedal along in those bikelanes. The traffic on Gallows through that stretch is often heavy and aggressive. There are already perfectly good and much safer sidepaths available on which it would be unlikely to encounter heavy or aggressive pedestrian traffic. Those sidepaths would be my choice every time. .
I'll have to check them out - sidepaths that are too narrow or poorly designed for cycling can be problematic - but I don't know those in particular.

Quote:
As for the hills, they come with the territory. You could always try suggesting to local governments that they pass a new tax levy to fund the construction of numerous cuts and tunnels for the convenience of cyclists who don't like hills. Maybe start a petition to that end and see what sort of feedback you get. .
I would hardly expect that. If I was given 100 million to spend on bike improvements for FFX I suspect I could come up with a better list (and I suspect FABB and FFX county already have). It was more of a kvetch about biking around here (at least at my current level of fitness). The easier way to avoid the hills is to avoid that route - I myself do not need to get that way regularly - and I suspect the much easier W&OD will be a more important route for bike commuters to Tysons than that route from Annandale.



Quote:
The residents of Fairview Park are meanwhile not necessarily interested in "walkable urbanism". Walks around the lake, maybe. Walks up to 2941 for an excellent evening meal amidst the waterfalls, perhaps. They otherwise seem to like things as they are -- a quiet and nearly bucolic island of relative sanity in the midst of all that hustle and bustle. There doesn't seem any real reason to deprive them of their simple pleasures .
I didn't mean to imply that current stuff should be torn down. The economics are not anywhere close to there for that. I was just reflecting on what was built earlier, versus what I suspect we would build today - in the category of "missed opportunities". Though as for bucolic - most of where I cycled was the entirely commercial southern loop - no one lives there - its all office buildings and a hotel. Which could easily have been built with more street centered design, and with retail, and with some residential, without necessarily become "hustle and bustle" particularly.

Last edited by brooklynborndad; 05-21-2012 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:24 PM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,754,441 times
Reputation: 2177
to summarize

the only thing I would lobby FFX cty for as a result of my ride is improved signage. In particular there should a cyclists sign at the entrance to the park (though they may be reluctant to send people down the staircase from Holly Berry - I may need to find an easier entrance) and signs within the park, and then signs along Fairview directing people toward Lee Highway, Dunn Loring, and Tyson's.


I need to think a bit more (and probably get involved with FABB) before expressing any thoughts about places for adding "sharrows" markers in the Annandale area.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:07 PM
 
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You can get bike commuting advice, and cycling maps, from this organization
WABA and also here http://www.mapmyride.com
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:43 PM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,754,441 times
Reputation: 2177
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
No...at least not yet. There is currently a northbound bikelane on Gallows Road from Cottage Street (south of the W&OD) up to Madron Lane (nowhere near Old Courthouse). There is a southbound bikelane from just south of Idylwood Road (just north of the W&OD) down to Cottage Street. That's it. But much of this entire stretch of Gallows is in the process of being repaved, and perhaps when that's done, it will all be restriped to narrow the traffic lanes by enough to permit more bike lanes. I myself would not possess anywhere near the degree of derring-do that would be required to pedal along in those bikelanes. The traffic on Gallows through that stretch is often heavy and aggressive. There are already perfectly good and much safer sidepaths available on which it would be unlikely to encounter heavy or aggressive pedestrian traffic. Those sidepaths would be my choice every time.
I rode up Gallows to the W&OD today. The sidepaths are not perfectly good. In particular the northbound one on the east side is just a sidewalk - narrow, not smoothly paved, impacted by vegetation, and with several driveways (driveways are a particular hazard for sidewalk riders, especially fast ones) I chose the bike lane as soon as I got north of Cottage - I did not have any problem with the traffic.

South bound, on the west side, the trail is better - more of a multi use path, smoother and wider. On the other hand there were walkers and runners, and there were driveways. I am not a fast cyclist (yet) so I did use the sidepath going south. However for faster cyclists even the southbound path would not be a good choice. That we now have bike lanes there is definitely an improvement to the bike friendlieness of this part of Gallows Road - which itself is an important bike route - connecting Dunn Loring with the W&OD, and with Tysons.

BTW I did the ride today with a copy of the very good official Fairfax County Bike map, which helped a great deal.

Oh. and the sidepath on the new bridge that takes 29 over the beltway is now open (though the entire side path beyond the bridge is not complete)

Last edited by brooklynborndad; 08-05-2012 at 04:01 PM..
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:52 PM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,754,441 times
Reputation: 2177
This will clarify the role of the bike lanes, their relationship to the sidepaths, and the different classes of users each is aimed at.

Gallows Road Bike Lanes*- Fairfax County, Virginia
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