How do you bike from Tysons to Reston? One person took to Twitter to ask that very question on Friday (Sept. 20).
While most of the tweets said the Washington and Old Dominion Trail is the way to go to, several people shared different routes for getting to the trail.
One person recommended that cyclists head from Leesburg Pike (Route 7) to Gallows Road down to the W&OD Trail. The trail follows Piney Branch Stream from Vienna to Difficult Run River, before heading north to Plaza America and Reston Town Center in Reston.
For cyclists who don’t want to head that far south, another person recommended a route behind Walmart (1500 B Cornerside Blvd) by the Spring Hill Metro station that connects to the W&OD Trail.
Another person suggested the new Vesper Trail, which runs through the Old Courthouse Spring Branch Stream Valley Park as another way to get to the W&OD Trail.
Get to Route 7 and Gallows and take Gallows down all the way to the W&OD trail; most of Gallows will have an unprotected bike lane, which definitely helps. You then take the trail all the way to downtown Reston. Not sure if I would do a CaBi for this ride, but to each his own.
— Jofi Joseph, CPA (@Jofi_Joseph_99) September 20, 2019
Darn — I had adjusted that map to match my preferred commute but when I shared it, it defaulted back to google’s recommended bike route. The google way is flatter, has many more turns, and uses the brand new short Vesper Trail. I suppose on a CaBi, the flatness would be helpful.
— J.T. E (@jtedc) September 21, 2019
@bikeshare Springhill #wmata station 👉 Vesper Trail 👉 Pine Valley Dr 👉 Fairway Dr 👉 Creek Crossing 👉 Glyndon Park 👉 Ayr Hill and 👏👏 your a block from the @WODTrail where it crosses Church St in Vienna. All relatively quiet neighborhood streets.
— Chris French (@chrislfrench) September 20, 2019
Tysons has some changes underway aiming to make the area more bikeable and walkable.
The Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project plans to add paths between Reston and Tysons. Meanwhile in Tysons, the Jones Branch Connector is slated to open this fall, connecting the Tysons East and North Central neighborhoods.
For cyclists looking to rent bikes, Capital Bikeshare has brought more than a dozen bike-share docks to Tysons.
Construction on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail in the City of Falls Church is almost over.
The W&OD Trail closed at Grove Avenue and N. West Street starting Aug. 19 and is expected to open back up on Friday, Sept. 6, according to a tweet.
The closure brings a series of changes including the temporary rerouting of paths, paving paths that were previously gravel, widening paths, burying utilities, creating safer crossings and eventually realigning the path with the new Founders Row development, Mike DePue, a W&OD Trail spokesperson, said.
DePue said the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is also in the design process to install dual paths that will ease congestion.
“The goal of dual surface trails is to separate bike traffic from pedestrian traffic to improve user safety and enjoyment of the trail,” he said.
Work continues on the temporary trail detour in Falls Church… pic.twitter.com/j5OprfwiRe
— The W&OD Trail (@WODTrail) August 28, 2019
Photo via The W&OD Trail/Twitter
Vienna police arrested a 33-year-old resident in connection with several recent incidents of indecent exposure along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.
After an investigation, police charged Enoc Isaac Vasquez with four counts of obscene sexual display — a charge similar to the Indecent Exposure statute, police said.
Police in a press release that the charges are connected to reports of a man exposing himself along the trail on Aug. 2 and then last week on Monday (Aug. 12), Tuesday (Aug. 13) and Thursday (Aug. 15).
Vasquez was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where he was released on a $1,000 secured bond, police said.
More from the press release:
Patrol Officers received a tip from citizens which led CIS detectives to the 200 block of Park Terrace Court in Vienna.
Detectives began surveillance in the area and eventually identified a person of interest. After interviewing numerous witnesses and obtaining corroborating statements from the suspect, police detectives obtained arrest warrants to charge Vasquez…
The Vienna Police Department would like to acknowledge the citizens and witnesses who came forward to provide information about these cases and to thank residents for their patience during this investigation.
Anyone who has additional information can contact MPO Juan Vazquez at 703-255-7845 or [email protected]
Photo via Vienna Police Department
The Vienna Police Department may soon crack the three indecent exposure cases reported last week along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.
Deputy Chief of Police Dan Janickey told the Vienna Town Council last night (Monday) that the police have “promising leads” for the three separate incidents with “what appears to be the same individual.”
A woman told the police that she saw a man masturbating in the woods between Park Street and Branch Road SE shortly before 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 12. The next day (Tuesday), another report from a woman said a man was masturbating in the woods near Park Street and Dominion Road SE.
Two days later on Thursday (Aug. 15), a woman told police that “she was walking near the W&OD Trail when a man came out from a wooded area and approached her with his pants down, exposing himself to her” around 7:30 a.m. near Park Terrace Court SE, according to a police report.
Janickey said that surveillance and patrols have increased along the trail and that the police department expects to close the case in the next couple of days.
Photo via Facebook
The Vienna Police Department is investigating three indecent exposure incidents reported this week along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.
A woman told the police that she saw a man masturbating in the woods between Park Street and Branch Road SE while she was running on the bike trail shortly before 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 12.
The next day (Tuesday), the police department received another report from a woman about a man masturbating in the woods — this time near Park Street and Dominion Road SE.
Police said they searched both areas but were unable to find the man.
Then yesterday (Thursday), a woman told police that “she was walking near the W&OD Trail when a man came out from a wooded area and approached her with his pants down, exposing himself to her,” according to the police report.
That incident occurred around 7:30 a.m. near Park Terrace Court SE.
“The woman stated the man began to follow her until a trash truck approached and he left the area,” police said.
The police department is also investigating a report of a man masturbating by Wildwood Park from earlier this month.
A woman told police that the incident took place shortly after 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 2, by Alma Street SE and Delano Drive SE.
Photo via Facebook
A new tavern coming to Vienna will cater to beer lovers and W&OD Railroad Regional Park visitors.
Construction on the upcoming Bear Branch Tavern, owned by Chris Lefbom and Adam Lubar, began last week after city officials gave the green light on June 20. The faculty will serve a full restaurant menu, cocktails and more than 20 draft beers, Lefbom said.
Located at 133 E. Maple Avenue, the tavern will offer a large variety of amenities for patrons including two bars, a patio, indoor and outdoor fire pits, an oyster bar, frozen drink machines, bike racks as well as water coolers for people along the nearby W&OD trail.
“We took over an old bank so we decided to keep the framed drive-thru area and turn it into a three season-enclosed porch area with operable windows,” co-owner Chris Lefbom said.
The owners hope to open the tavern for operation in February 2020. Lefbom said that they will have “a little more clarity on the menu” once they hire a chef, which they are still in the interview process for.
“Adam and I have lived in Northern Virginia since we were toddlers and have always loved the small-town feel of Vienna,” Lefbom said. “We feel the area could use the addition of a neighborhood tavern and we love being next to the W&OD trail in the heart of Vienna.”
Image via Google Maps, second image via Vienna Planning Commission
(Updated at 4 p.m. 8/6/19) A driver has been arrested after police say he struck and killed a woman who was walking with a child in the West Falls Church area Saturday afternoon.
The victim was identified by police Sunday (Aug. 4) as 60-year-old Betty Ana Bernstein-Zabza of Falls Church. Police said Bernstein-Zabza died as a result of injuries from the crash, which happened shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Shreve Road and Hickory Street.
“Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit have preliminarily determined that [Bernstein-Zabza] was walking with a juvenile northbound on a pedestrian pathway adjacent to Shreve Road,” police said. “They entered a crosswalk that connected the pathway to a sidewalk when they were hit by a stolen 2013 Nissan Titan pickup truck.”
While police said that couldn’t unable to provide any information about the identity of the child, WUSA9 reported that the child was Zabza’s son.
The crash scene was near the busy W&OD Trail.
Police arrested the vehicle’s driver — 46-year-old Sterling resident David Alan Francis.
“Detectives believe [Francis] lost control of the truck causing it to exit the roadway and hit Bernstein-Zabza and the juvenile,” police said.
More from FCPD:
Bernstein-Zabza was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased.
The juvenile was treated for minor injuries. Francis ran from the scene but was arrested a short time later. He was not injured.
Both speed and drugs appear to be factors. Francis was charged with one count of felony hit and run. He was taken to the Adult Detention Center where he is being held without bond. Additional charges are anticipated.
Detectives believe Francis may have been involved in additional criminal events yesterday in both Fairfax County and adjoining jurisdictions.
Since 2009, Francis has faced 30 charges including many traffic-related ones like driving under a revoked or suspended license, operating an insured vehicle, speeding and improper driving, according to court records.
An FCPD spokesperson told Tysons Reporter that police preliminarily believe that within the hour prior to the fatal pedestrian crash, Francis was involved in the following incidents:
- hit and run crash with injury at Route 50/Pleasant Valley Rd around 2:15 p.m.
- hit and run property damage crash in the 7600 block of Virginia Lane
- subsequent hit and run property damage crash in the 7600 block of Virginia Lane
- Falls Church City incident
- subsequent Falls Church City incident
- fatal pedestrian crash dispatched at 2:47 p.m.
Police ask that anyone with information contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477).
Image via Google Maps, photo via FCPD
Currently, e-bikes are not allowed on Fairfax trails, but that could be changing soon.
NOVA Parks regulations currently group motor-assisted bicycles in with motor vehicles, and they are only permitted where motor vehicles are allowed. The regulation was originally intended to regulate the use of mopeds and does not fully address e-bikes.
As a result, NOVA Parks is recommending a change in Fairfax County’s regulation to allow legal use of e-bikes where other pedal-powered bicycles are permitted.
The new regulations add a specific section — fittingly section “E”– governing e-bikes:
Electric power-assisted bicycles (e-bikes) equipped with pedals that allow propulsion by human power are considered bicycles and non-motorized vehicles for the purpose of these regulations, and are allowed in the same places that traditional, pedal-powered only bicycles are allowed.
Under federal law, e-bikes are broken up into distinct classes, but in Virginia, e-bikes are regulated by power with a maximum allowed speed of 25 miles per hour. In Fairfax, the new regulations would limit e-bikes to those with 750 watts of power or less and limit speed to under 20 miles per hour. E-bikes would be allowed anywhere pedal bikes are.
Like pedal bikes, guidelines say e-bikers should yield to pedestrians and equestrians.
A study by NOVA Parks found that e-bike users exhibit nearly identical behavior as regular bike users, with lower than standard bike speeds and a similar crash rate.
Allowing e-bikes in Fairfax can be a contentious topic, with safety concerns about the size and speed of the vehicles. Large vehicles fitting under the nebulous “e-bike” categorization have been spotted speeding along the trail.
But Alexis Glenn, a board member of the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) and an e-bike rider, said it’s practically impossible for most bikes to go more than 10 or 15 mph and are often passed by other pedal-powered bikes on the trail.
“Safety on trails will always, always be an education and culture issue, not an equipment issue,” said Glenn. “The weight of e-bikes actually makes it take longer for a rider to get them up to or maintain high speeds. And, if an e-bike user is somehow able to buzz down a trail at 20 mph without encountering a curve, bump, or other users to slow her down, then the battery will drain fast, rendering the e-bike to just a bike.
“My inclinations aside, yes, speeds are a valid concern and NOVA Parks are working on regulations regarding this,” Glenn continued. “I’ll say it again, speed is a user education issue, not an equipment issue. When a driver speeds recklessly we don’t cite the make and model of his vehicle as the culprit, it’s his bad behavior.”
Glenn said FABB supports the proposed policy change as part of promoting greater use of bicycles for recreation and transportation.
Judy Pedersen, public information officer for Fairfax County Park Authority, said the Park Boards are likely to make a decision on the regulation in the spring.
But in the meantime, Pedersen asked e-bikers to obey current park rules and keep off the trails.
“Until the new regulation is approved by both Boards riding e-bikes on trails would be a violation of park regulations,” said Pedersen. “Current park regulations define any vehicle with a motor (gas or electric) as a motor vehicle, therefore excluding their use on park trails.”
Launch Day for Tysons Reporter — Today is the official launch date for the website you’re reading, Tysons Reporter. Find out more about us here. Have a news tip? Email [email protected] As we do on our sister sites, we’ll be starting most mornings with our “Morning Notes” — links to interesting articles and social media posts around Tysons, McLean and Vienna.
New Dining Options Coming to Tysons — “More dining options are coming to Tysons Corner with the arrival of a new Tex Mex restaurant called Rango’s and a trio of Hawaiian-inspired Pokeworks locations starting next month.” [Eater]
Theater Chain Mulling Tysons Galleria Lease — “Experiential movie theater chain iPic Theaters could soon open its second D.C.-area location at the Tysons Galleria mall.” [Bisnow]
Driver Drives Down W&OD Trail — “A motorist was traveling northbound on Park Street, S.E., on Sept. 18 at 11:54 a.m. and was intending to turn into the parking lot at the Vienna Community Center when the driver mistakenly turned onto the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail instead, Vienna police said.” [InsideNova]
Road Closures Near Vienna Community Center — “The Town of Vienna has announced road closures near the community center for repair work during the day this week.” [Patch]
McLean 5K Scheduled Next Month — “The McLean 5K is set for Saturday, Oct. 6, at 8 a.m. This is the tenth time the event has been held in McLean.” [McLean Connection]
Madison HS Teams Awarded Plaques in Vienna — “The Madison High School Women’s Swim and Dive team, Men’s Swim and Dive team, Girls Soccer team, and Softball team were recognized for both their successes in competition and the classroom. Each 2018 team was awarded a plaque by Mayor DiRocco for their accomplishments.” [Twitter]