Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Paul's Ride For Life Date: Saturday April 27, 2013 Time: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm (GMT+00:00) Notes: Sat., April 27, 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Ride a 10-, 20-, or 50-mile course along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, between Reston and Purcellville, for the fifth annual Paul's Ride for Life, a WABA event partnership. Registration starts at 7 a.m. at Reston Town Center. Registration proceeds and donations will go to the Wasington Regional Transplant Community.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Now that spring weather is finally here, many people are taking to the W&OD Trail on foot and bicycle. With more than two million users traveling along the trail annually, there are several chances for accidents. In August, a cyclist traveling along the trail through the City of Falls Church was injured when he collided with a car where the trail and Great Falls Street intersect. Falls Church City Police Officer James Brooks said the cyclist didn’t stop at the intersection and was determined to be at fault. The cyclist wasn’t severely injured and Brooks hopes no one cycling along the trail ever is. “If I’m here for an hour or so, I can give out four to five tickets to cyclists for failing to stop at the intersections,” Brooks said. Brooks is one of the city’s four certified bicycle officers. The group patrols around the Eden Center and throughout the city including along the portion of the W&OD Trail that goes through Falls Church. According to Falls Church City law, a cyclist can be given a $25 ticket for biking with headphone earplugs in both ears, speeding or not wearing a helmet if you are 14-years-old or younger, among other violations. Under state law, cyclists can be fined for not stopping at a stop sign intersecting with a road. There are no official records of accidents along the trail. Dozens of cyclists zipped along the W&OD Trail in Falls Church Wednesday, most of them stopping where the trail intersects with Grove Avenue. One cyclist continued through the intersection without stopping and would have continued on her journey if not for Brooks stopping her to give her a warning. “The reason we ask them to stop is for safety,” Brooks said. “There is some confusion because they don’t realize they need to come to a complete stop.” Karl Mohle, park manager for the W&OD Trail – which is owned and operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority – said there are about 75 people in the volunteer trail patrol – all from the Friends of the W&OD Trail – that are out daily enforcing rules and helping with minor bicycle repairs. These days, Mohle said the trail is filled with people out enjoying the weather. He said people should be courteous of others and traffic laws while using the trail. “Try to go easy, a lot of people are in a rush,” Mohle said. “People want to go out after being cooped up all winter.” For City of Falls Church laws for cyclists, click here. For statewide laws for cyclists, click here. Related Topics: City of Falls Church Police Department, W&OD Trail, W&OD Trail patrol, and northern virginia regional park authority
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
From VDOT: (Photos by Bob Evens, Trail Patorller) In case you were not aware, I wanted to let you know that today we turned on the RRFB (rectangular rapid-flashing beacon) at Belmont Ridge Rd. and the W&OD Trail. Attached is a photo of the device in operation. It is our first RRFB in Loudoun County. The RRFB is designed to flash in a quick alternating pattern when trail users press a button. The project includes flashers at the crosswalk and about 500 feet in advance in both directions, so drivers get plenty of advance warning when a trail user is present. This week we will start a fairly intensive round of field data collection, helping us understand how motorists and trail users react to the new device. The data collection will occur a few additional times during the next year to see what changes occur over time. We will also be able to compare the results with similar data collected after the zig-zag markings were installed in 2009. Following are a few points we want trail users and drivers to know: For trail users: · Trail users need to press the pushbutton to activate the flashing lights. Cyclists usually can press the buttons without dismounting, and they are within convenient reach of pedestrians as well. Studies from other areas have shown that drivers yield to trail users as much as four times as often when lights flash only "on demand". · Trail users should continue to wait for a safe gap in traffic before proceeding across the road. The flashing lights do not guarantee that motorists will stop. For drivers: · When the lights are flashing, drivers can be sure a trail user is nearby, and they should be prepared to yield or encounter stopped vehicles as they approach the crosswalk. Not all trail users will press the button to activate the flashers, so motorists should continue to be alert as they approach the crossing even when the lights are not flashing. Randy Dittberner, P.E., PTOE · Regional Traffic Engineer · Virginia Department of Transportation · Northern Region · 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22030 · 703-259-2353 · firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, April 8, 2013
According to the "W&OD FLYER" In the coming weeks there will be a couple of projects along the trail, which are as follows: The section of trail from approximately Crestview Drive in the Town of Herndon to Private Drive in Reston is tentatively scheduled to be repaved. Exact locations are to be determined but the work is slated to start later this spring. Repaving of Oak Street in Falls Church is scheduled to begin the week of April 15th. Please note that the road (not the trail in this section) is to be repaved. The work is anticipated to take about one week from start to finish. Please exercise caution at these project locations once they begin. If you have any questions contact the trail office at (703) 729-0596.