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View Full Version : The New Vesper Trail at Tysons



n18
01-26-2019, 10:25 AM
This new trail (https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/walk/projects/vesper-trail) is partially open, and as far as I can tell; the only thing left is painting the bridge. They finished paving it two months ago, but some fence links delayed the project. From the W&OD, it took me 12 Minutes to get to it with my road bike(My average speed was 12 MPH). I probably used it 10+ times by now. Here (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38.9013793,-77.2527614/38.9238731,-77.2457153/@38.9129452,-77.2496322,15z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e1!5m1!1e3) is the route from W&OD to the new trail that I used, and the least stressful. The residential roads north of Maple AVE are wide(4 lanes wide without markings) with few parked cars. I used the road despite not being as confident as others here in this forum, but it was midday. The sidewalks don't suffer from tree roots, so they are an option for less confident cyclists. Compared to using Maple AVE/Chain Bridge RD to get to Tysons, it's almost totally flat, except Creeek Crossing RD, but it's a Yo-Yo, and I reach 20 MPH near the top. The only hot spot to watch out for is the intersection of Church ST and East ST. Too many drivers treat Church ST as "one way", like Wilson/Clarendon in Arlington, and during Spring/Summer vegetation makes it harder to see northbound traffic on East ST, turning left into Church ST.

The easiest thing to overlook when following the route I suggested is to overlook Overlook LN, if you keep going straight, you get an uphill after the curve, so try not overlook Overlook LN. If you missed it, you can turn at the next left, which is just before the hill.

FFX_Hinterlands
01-28-2019, 07:17 AM
I've used the Ashgrove Trail before, but it involves quite a few hills if you go via the Barns at Wolf Trap. It's good to see another link into Tysons. I wonder if there's a better way linking Tysons from the West (Reston via W&OD) using the Vesper Trail?

Sunyata
01-28-2019, 07:21 AM
Ooh! This is good information to have. I am going to have to ride my bike out to Tyson's at some point in the near future to test drive some cars (that is a really odd statement...). Thanks for posting!

n18
01-28-2019, 07:41 AM
Ooh! This is good information to have. I am going to have to ride my bike out to Tyson's at some point in the near future to test drive some bicycle-carriers (that is a really odd statement...). Thanks for posting!
fify.

Steve O
02-09-2019, 02:19 PM
I rode out to Tysons Friday morning for an appointment and decided to seek out this new trail. It's great to have this connection between Tysons and the neighborhoods just south. Kudos for that.

But I just do not understand why, why, why Fairfax County put in these ridiculous bollards. I know I've beaten this horse before, but they are contrary to FHWA guidance, present several hazards 24/7/365 while maybe--just maybe--preventing 1 car a year from entering the trail. FHWA has determined that the hazard they present far outweighs any safety enhancement they provide. What does FFX County know that FHWA does not?

They are frickin steel and must have cost thousands to install. What a waste, for no discernable purpose.

Here's the south end of the trail at Vesper street in the neighborhood
19370

Here's the north end at Route 7
19371

Here's the same location looking down the trail from Route 7 (note all the extra ones they put around the giant power pole: to protect the pole from being knocked over by bike riders, I guess)
19372

Here's the bridge in the middle, with bonus bollards in case the ones at the end don't work, I guess.
19373

And if you need to get on the trail with your vehicle, you can just drive around them.
19374

huskerdont
02-11-2019, 08:51 AM
I am generally anti-bollard, but I have to admit that the pics of the north end of 7 make that trail, without the bollard, look like it would be an enticing alternative for a Tyson's driver with below-average driving skills or ethics. A nice, beautiful, traffic-free lane of their own...

Steve O
02-11-2019, 09:45 AM
I am generally anti-bollard, but I have to admit that the pics of the north end of 7 make that trail, without the bollard, look like it would be an enticing alternative for a Tyson's driver with below-average driving skills or ethics. A nice, beautiful, traffic-free lane of their own...

Except that there is a curb there, not a curb cut.

FHWA Guidance states:
1 - Bollards should never be used as default treatment
2 - Should only be considered after other efforts have been tried and failed (signage, surface paint, etc.)
3 - There is a history of encroachment.

Fail. Fail. Fail.

mstone
02-11-2019, 10:17 AM
And, there are treatments to block vehicle access that are safer than a bollard right in the middle of the path. But they're more effort than defaulting to dropping a bollard in.

huskerdont
02-11-2019, 10:24 AM
Except that there is a curb there, not a curb cut.

FHWA Guidance states:
1 - Bollards should never be used as default treatment
2 - Should only be considered after other efforts have been tried and failed (signage, surface paint, etc.)
3 - There is a history of encroachment.

Fail. Fail. Fail.

I never said you were wrong, mind.

No curb cut at a trail intersection = brilliant.

huskerdont
02-11-2019, 10:25 AM
And, there are treatments to block vehicle access that are safer than a bollard right in the middle of the path. But they're more effort than defaulting to dropping a bollard in.

Something orange might be nice, perhaps a cone.

Steve O
02-11-2019, 10:57 AM
No curb cut at a trail intersection = brilliant.

Actually, the curb cut would be right onto Route 7 and not at a light, so truthfully, taking the sidewalk there is the best option, IMO. The curb cut and crosswalk are slightly to the left if you look closely at the photo.
In fact, a sign there at the end of the trail directing cyclists left or right (rather than straight onto 7) would serve both purposes: keeping riders from getting killed and deterring drivers from driving over the curb onto the trail.

LhasaCM
02-11-2019, 11:01 AM
I never said you were wrong, mind.

No curb cut at a trail intersection = brilliant.

Yep. Given where it looks like the trail intersects Rte. 7 - the lack of a curb cut makes total sense. I would expect most trail users would either stay on the sidewalk on Rte. 7 or mosey on over west the little bit to Spring Hill Rd. and ride there (or merge onto Rte. 7 there when the light favors them). I wonder if an obstruction (small fence/barrier) at the curb would've made more sense - to prevent cyclists/trail users from merging with Rte. 7 too quickly when exiting the trail?

(So basically - what Steve said while I was typing a response.)

Steve O
02-11-2019, 11:08 AM
And, there are treatments to block vehicle access that are safer than a bollard right in the middle of the path. But they're more effort than defaulting to dropping a bollard in.

Agreed (e.g., new W&OD crossings near the Vienna Community Center). However, we don't even know if we need to block vehicles. Signs may be sufficient. After all, that's what is generally used to keep vehicles from going in places they don't belong (1-way streets, exits instead of entrances, etc.). Not 100% effective, but almost always good enough. Let's try signs first. And surface paint. If they work, then no need for any other treatment. Cheaper, safer.
We don't put telephone poles (with painted yellow diamonds around them) in the middle of streets for good reason. Why is there this insistence on putting obstacles in the middle of trails?

SolarBikeCar
02-11-2019, 11:32 AM
Here's my vote for the next Tyson's project: Fix it so the nice bridge over the toll road doesn't end at a really poorly implemented trail around the hotel to Spring Hill road. This path is unusable as it is extremely narrow (5' total) lined with closely arranged bollards, a ghetto of trash, tree sized weeds, and obstacles from construction workers. Could they at least leave space at either end to allow exit and entrance from the path so we can ride the street instead of the gutter on this short section?

huskerdont
02-11-2019, 12:22 PM
Agreed (e.g., new W&OD crossings near the Vienna Community Center). However, we don't even know if we need to block vehicles. Signs may be sufficient. After all, that's what is generally used to keep vehicles from going in places they don't belong (1-way streets, exits instead of entrances, etc.). Not 100% effective, but almost always good enough. Let's try signs first. And surface paint. If they work, then no need for any other treatment. Cheaper, safer.
We don't put telephone poles (with painted yellow diamonds around them) in the middle of streets for good reason. Why is there this insistence on putting obstacles in the middle of trails?

Just for the record, I completely agree with this. I've known folks who have run into bollards. A person can avoid a bollard, but thousands of people can't.

scoot
02-11-2019, 01:03 PM
A curb cut would be very useful for anyone trying to access the trail from the roadway, especially those riding across from the far side of Spring Hill Road. If motorist confusion is a problem, perhaps a design like this one (https://goo.gl/maps/dnfrenNZsFU2) could be implemented, instead of a bollard?

(In fact, the historical StreetView shows that Patrick Henry used to have a bollard here. Perhaps there is hope for the future.)

mstone
02-11-2019, 01:52 PM
Agreed (e.g., new W&OD crossings near the Vienna Community Center). However, we don't even know if we need to block vehicles. Signs may be sufficient. After all, that's what is generally used to keep vehicles from going in places they don't belong (1-way streets, exits instead of entrances, etc.). Not 100% effective, but almost always good enough. Let's try signs first. And surface paint. If they work, then no need for any other treatment. Cheaper, safer.
We don't put telephone poles (with painted yellow diamonds around them) in the middle of streets for good reason. Why is there this insistence on putting obstacles in the middle of trails?

As an example, for several of these cases, instead of having a no-imagination right angle intersection, why not have a large chamfered approach to the trail with a landscape feature (flowers, whatever) separating the sidewalk and trail into 3 paths arranged in a triangle. Makes it obvious to cyclists that they need to turn, makes it obvious to drivers that they shouldn't run over the flowers, makes things look a little nicer, doesn't require people to process signs, and doesn't require a post in the middle of the trail.

n18
04-26-2019, 08:02 AM
Ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday last week. Here (https://www.facebook.com/FFXTransportation/posts/2245512479096333) are some photos on Facebook. I see that they didn't paint the bridge.

Also, I have updated the route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38.9013793,-77.2527614/38.9238731,-77.2457153/@38.9129452,-77.2496322,15z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e1!5m1!1e3) in the OP (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?14149-The-New-Vesper-Trail-at-Tysons&p=186531#post186531) to one that skips Maple AVE altogether, and shaves 30 Seconds, by changing the part to the south of Maple AVE to use Echols ST and East ST instead. Echols ST is bumpy, but is short.

For those who don't know the area, there is a daily traffic jam for 1.5+ Miles in the afternoon going west, average speed is 7 MPH, and it takes 12 Minutes just to through it. It seems that it ends around Lawyers RD, leading to Reston to the north, or I-66W to the south. If more Vienna residents bike, it would improve the traffic in the area.

pmf
05-06-2019, 01:50 PM
If more Vienna residents bike, it would improve the traffic in the area.

I've lived in Vienna for 23 years. Seen it go from a sleepy town to a congested town full of wealthy people inching down Route 123 in their over priced cars. I don't think it's the population of Vienna per se -- I think it's the explosion of the Tysons area. Most of the problem is from people going to and from Tysons to their jobs, but I think they are just passing through. I live off Lawyers road and its a challenge most mornings to turn right with all the traffic coming from Reston. Traffic has gone from bad to worse. Even on the weekends it's terrible. And now they're tearing down a hotel and restaurant on the corner of Nutley and 123 to build some huge mixed use condo development. Its all we need. Same with the Marco Polo lot. And up at the metro. There will be 500 more cars buzzing around in a few years. I can't wait.

scoot
05-06-2019, 02:50 PM
And now they're tearing down a hotel and restaurant on the corner of Nutley and 123 to build some huge mixed use condo development. Its all we need. Same with the Marco Polo lot. And up at the metro. There will be 500 more cars buzzing around in a few years. I can't wait.

People have to live somewhere. Better to provide high-density mixed-use development in locations that could be served by high-quality transit than to further expand the car-dependent sprawl somewhere in Chantilly or Loudoun County.

n18
05-06-2019, 04:24 PM
People have to live somewhere. Better to provide high-density mixed-use development in locations that could be served by high-quality transit than to further expand the car-dependent sprawl somewhere in Chantilly or Loudoun County.
I see this website posted on many lawns http://SaveMaple.org/ Many in the town like low-rise, low density buildings.