Tysons, VA

Beyer Rebukes Trump’s “Naked Authoritarianism” — “U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, who represents the 8th District of Virginia that includes the City of Falls Church, issued a sharp rebuke of President Trump’s actions and words on Monday.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Bike Buddies — “The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB)  has established a bike-adviser program to encourage people to try bicycling during the shutdown of Silver Line and Orange Line Metro stations over the summer.” [Inside NoVa]

Crime Time — “Homicides spiked 9.5 percent in Virginia last year, while motor-vehicle thefts, burglaries and drug arrests declined, according to Virginia State Police statistics released May 29.” [Inside NoVa]

More Options for Outdoor Seating — “Vienna Town Council adopted a temporary emergency ordinance [Monday night] that allows Town of Vienna businesses to take advantage of outdoor commercial activities that currently are permitted under Phase One of the Forward Virginia business reopening plan.” [Town of Vienna]

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation

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A portion of Tysons Blvd will close later this week to give cyclists and pedestrians more room for outdoor activity.

Fairfax County announced today that one northbound lane of Tysons Blvd between International and Westbranch drives will temporarily close on Friday (May 29) at 5 p.m. How long the closure will last will depend on the county’s reopening guidelines, the county said.

“Even though there is a sidewalk along this stretch of road, this temporary closure will provide people a safer option, and more space for outdoor recreation while maintaining social distancing practices during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the county.

People who live in the area will be able to access nearby amenities, including the Capital Bikeshare stations and a park at the corner of Westbranch Drive and Tysons Blvd.

Partial or full road closures are growing during the pandemic, WAMU reported.

Map via Fairfax County

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With sunnier and warmer days ahead, a portion of Tysons Blvd is poised to become a space for cyclists and pedestrians looking for more room to social distance.

Robin Geiger, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Transportation Department (FCDOT), mentioned the plans during a town hall with county officials yesterday.

“We’re going to close a portion of Tysons Blvd to allow for safer biking and pedestrian access for exercise, to increase social distancing, so people can get around Tysons,” Geiger said.

The upcoming closure is part of a pilot project with Tysons Partnership, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, Geiger said. While Geiger did not say when the partial road closure is expected or which portion will be closed, she said that FCDOT will announce more information soon.

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik praised the project, saying that “it does take quite a bit of coordination” for the county and VDOT to work on road projects.

“I’m just thrilled,” Palchik said.

Closing roads to give cyclists and pedestrians more space during the pandemic has been gaining traction around the U.S., WAMU reported.

“I know bikes are being sold quite a bit these days,” Palchik said, adding that “we take this opportunity to improve our bikeability and walkability.”

Image via Google Maps

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The annual Tour de Tysons has been put on hold indefinitely, the event’s organizers told Tysons Reporter.

Typically, the race is held in early March, but organizers never announced dates for 2020 — leaving fans and past participants confused.

Tysons Reporter reached out to the National Capital Velo Club, who is in charge of planning the race, to find out what happened and was told that the race will be suspended indefinitely due to safety concerns for participants.

A spokesperson noted the rapid development in Tysons and the recent increase in traffic.

“As weekend traffic in that part of Tysons has increased, we decided that seeking road closures for a full day wasn’t a tenable solution,” the spokesperson told Tysons Reporter.

At last year’s fifth annual competition, cyclists raced down Westpark Drive before turning onto Jones Branch Drive and then Westbranch Drive.

Several days ago, a Tour de Tysons Facebook page admin posted a short message about the news:

Unfortunately, due to safety concerns, NCVC will not be able to host the Tour de Tysons at its most recent location and will not promote it in 2020. Should a nearby venue become available in the future, we will consider reinstating it on the MABRA road calendar.

Going forward, the NCVC spokesperson said that they’d be interested in hosting the event again, given the right conditions.

“We’re looking for new locations in the region for future editions of the race that will have less of an impact on neighbors and ensure participant safety,” the group said.

Photo via Tour de Tysons/Facebook

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In the spring, Vienna and Herndon want locals to take part in a biking and walking event featuring raffle tickets for prizes.

Caboose to Caboose,” which will take place early May, aims to encourage people to shop, dine and explore their town and the other one. The towns want people to go from caboose to caboose — Vienna’s is at 234 Dominion Road, while Herndon’s is at 777 Lynn Street.

The total roundtrip distance is 16.6 miles, and people who don’t want to make the whole trip can stop halfway if they want, the flyer says.

Google estimates that the bike ride one-way takes 50 minutes, while walking would take roughly three hours on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.

The towns’ parks and recreation departments came up with the idea during a meeting in October, Amy-Jo Hendrix, who works in Vienna’s parks and recreation department, told Tysons Reporter.

Participating restaurants and businesses in both towns will give out raffle tickets during the event. Brandy Wyatt, another employee in Vienna’s parks and recreation department, said that all of the raffle tickets will be mixed together.

“There are a variety of things that are on the raffle,” Wyatt said, adding that people can expect the prizes to include store gift cards and sports tickets.

The first 200 registered participants will receive a t-shirt representing their town — blue for Vienna and red for Herndon, according to the website. The town that gets the most people to register for the event will win the “Mayors Cup.”

“I want to win!” Mayor Laurie DiRocco enthusiastically told attendees at the Vienna Business Association’s event last week.

Admission is $10 for people ages 15 or under and $18 for people ages 16 and older. People interested in participating can contact Vienna’s parks and recreation department at 703-255-6360.

The event will take place rain or shine on Saturday, May 2, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Photo via Lisa Emrich/Facebook

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Starting next week, pedestrians and cyclists along the Washington and Old Dominion will need to take detours from near Idylwood Park.

The Virginia Department of Transportation recently announced that the part of the trail that runs along the south side of the park will be closed starting Monday (Feb. 24) for utility work connected to the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.

People can expect the portion of the trail between Virginia Lane and the trail bridge over I-495 to be closed for about one week, according to VDOT.

Different detours will be in place, according to VDOT:

  • Pedestrians: detour through Idylwood Park during the park’s operating hours using footpaths and the parking lot
  • Cyclists: on-road detour to Virginia Lane and Nottingham Drive using W&OD Trail access at the end of Nottingham Drive

VDOT noted that the work is dependent on the weather.

The I-66 project is working to add new Express Lanes, change bus service and transit routes, add new pedestrian trails and improve interchanges. The part of the project outside of the Beltway is slated to finish in December 2022.

Map via VDOT

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Conte’s Bike Shop is moving into Falls Plaza in the City of Falls Church.

A sign indicates that the new store will occupy a 3,767-square-foot space in the shopping center.

Conte’s has a store nearby at 7121 Leesburg Pike, Suite 101. A sign along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail points cyclists and pedestrians to the Leesburg Pike store.

Conte’s offers bikes, gear, car racks, lighting, maintenance and other things for bicycles. People can find stores in Florida, Virginia and D.C.

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Vienna police said a kid is now without his bicycle after it was swiped.

A kid reported that someone stole the bicycle he locked in a pallet in the parking lot outside CrossFit (434 Block Mill Street NE), police said.

The incident happened between 4-5 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 11).

If anyone is missing a key, a woman turned in a key she found in the parking lot in the 100 block of Maple Avenue on Tuesday.

Photo via Facebook

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Sign Up for DC Bike Ride Today!

DC Bike Ride will be back on May 16, with 20 miles of car-free roads, monumental views, great music and delicious snacks along the course. Every year, the Ride attracts thousands of riders in a lifetime cycling adventure through the nation’s capital.

With a course designed for all ages and riding abilities, DC Bike Ride became the biggest celebration of cycling in D.C. by offering a unique experience to its participants. Besides a course full of D.C.’s famous landmarks and rest stops with local music and food, the Ride offers photo stations along the way, and a finish festival to keep the party going.

As a recreational event, DC Bike Ride is meant for everyone. And if you don’t have a bike or don’t want to transport yours to the start line, the Rent & Ride program offers convenience at an affordable price.

DC Bike Ride is also committed to positively impact the local community by supporting local nonprofits initiatives and creating the Sponsor-A-Rider Program for participants who can’t afford the registration fee.

Are you ready to enjoy life on two wheels? REGISTER NOW!

Event Information:

Date: May 16, 8 a.m.
Location: West Potomac Park (121 West Basin Drive SW | Washington, D.C.)
Website: dcbikeride.com

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved changes to improve road safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

At the board’s Tuesday meeting, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn and Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk jointly unveiled a proposal to initiate a review of the county’s Department of Transportation’s ActiveFairfax planning process.

ActiveFairfax is a transportation plan that includes a Bicycle Master Plan and Countywide Trails Plan Update for the county.

“Sixteen pedestrian fatalities in our county in 2019 is too many,” Alcorn said. “Most of our built environment is still designed for moving vehicles, which creates obvious conflicts and we need to evolve toward safer walking and cycling.”

More from the board matter:

The commitment of Fairfax County to address this is clear, including more than $300 million in funding approved for stand-alone bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects over the past decade.

Most of these projects have been implemented, while some are still in progress. It should be noted that the $300 million in funding doesn’t include bike and pedestrian projects that are being implemented as part of larger roadway projects, or in VDOT’s repaving schedule…

Due to the General Assembly reallocating funding for Metro’s State of Good Repair Initiative, the Board deferred a number of bike and pedestrian projects last year. And we all have examples of more bike and pedestrian projects to be done, if more funding were available.

Fortunately, the General Assembly is looking at options for increasing transportation funding, but currently they don’t go far enough.

Alcorn and Lusk want the county’s departments and the Virginia Department of Transportation to coordinate their efforts and also want FCDOT to review the following:

  • working timeline for the ActiveFairfax Plan
  • external communications strategy for the planning process
  • evaluation of the current approach for funding pedestrian improvements
  • examination of how tech can improve pedestrian and bicycle safety ahead of ActiveFairfax
  • whether the county can achieve measurable safety goals like Vision Zero

Lusk called recent pedestrian-involved fatalities and injuries along county roads a “public safety crisis.”

The Board of Supervisors will continue the discussion about the ActiveFairfax Plan at the transportation and public safety committee meetings, according to a press release.

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