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Thread: Virginia governor issues stay-at-home order

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    Sunday/Monday the W&OD in Vienna was busy with walkers and cyclists, almost to the same level in this time of the year.
    I peeked my head out on the W&OD a week or two ago and just decided "nope" given how crowded it was.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    The problem with closing some of the parks is it crowds the ones that stay open - e.g. everyone that can no longer hike on the Bull Run trail because they can't use the parking lot are crowding other trails. It's much better to discourage the dangerous behaviors such as soccer and basketball matches or large picnics, vice closing the parks wholesale. In places that are highly desirable such as the Tidal Basin, shutting down parking lots makes sense to limit the crowds, but most all NOVA Parks aren't anywhere near that busy.
    What they really want is for people to just use parks that they can easily walk or bike to. If people are going somewhere that the need to drive and it's going to a whole day trip, then you run into a bunch of other problems like the fact that there are no bathrooms, etc. Also, in practice, a lot of parks have had the problem that most of the park is empty but a couple of popular spots are tremendously overcrowded. Yeah, it's been possible to just avoid the crowded parts, but a lot of clueless people are messing things up for everyone else.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    The problem with closing some of the parks is it crowds the ones that stay open - e.g. everyone that can no longer hike on the Bull Run trail because they can't use the parking lot are crowding other trails. It's much better to discourage the dangerous behaviors such as soccer and basketball matches or large picnics, vice closing the parks wholesale. In places that are highly desirable such as the Tidal Basin, shutting down parking lots makes sense to limit the crowds, but most all NOVA Parks aren't anywhere near that busy.
    In most of NOVA there are stream valley trails and neighborhood trails all over the place which are basically empty. Yeah, they're not as exciting as the regional parks, but they're a better option these days than driving across the region. And for those whose neighborhoods back up to Lake Fairfax or somesuch, they just luck out. Except that they're still stuck with all the knuckleheads who can't take a hint and are parking up and down the road because they can't possibly go somewhere other than a regional park. (I saw this Sunday on 123, a good half mile of parking on the shoulder to access Burke Lake. )
    Last edited by mstone; 03-31-2020 at 01:47 PM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    In most of NOVA there are stream valley trails and neighborhood trails all over the place which are basically empty. Yeah, they're not as exciting as the regional parks, but they're a better option these days than driving across the region. And for those whose neighborhoods back up to Lake Fairfax or somesuch, they just luck out. Except that they're still stuck with all the knuckleheads who can't take a hint and are parking up and down the road because they can't possibly go somewhere other than a regional park. (I saw this Sunday on 123, a good half mile of parking on the shoulder to access Burke Lake. )
    The problem is that large swaths of NOVA are not easily accessible to parks except by going on a major highway (e.g. 29, 123, 50, etc.). They have no choice but to drive to parks to go walking, biking, hiking, etc. Advising them to ride on those roads either involves riding on a sidewalk or a poorly maintained sidepath. I'd rather they just keep the parks open and break up any group gatherings.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    The problem is that large swaths of NOVA are not easily accessible to parks except by going on a major highway (e.g. 29, 123, 50, etc.). They have no choice but to drive to parks to go walking, biking, hiking, etc. Advising them to ride on those roads either involves riding on a sidewalk or a poorly maintained sidepath. I'd rather they just keep the parks open and break up any group gatherings.
    Which swaths? IME it's the very rare area which has no neighborhood walking or biking at all. It's a pandemic, yeah, people might have to make some adjustments and settle for something less than they want or go in a boring loop instead of doing something epic.

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  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Which swaths? IME it's the very rare area which has no neighborhood walking or biking at all. It's a pandemic, yeah, people might have to make some adjustments and settle for something less than they want or go in a boring loop instead of doing something epic.
    In Fairfax County much of Annandale, Springfield, and Mclean are largely un-bikeable and have limited areas to pleasantly walk outside their immediate neighborhood, unless you enjoy walking/biking on a 4ft sidewalk next to a high speed road. Prince William and Stafford County are almost entirely un-bikable and un-walkable. Reston, Herndon, Vienna, and parts of Loudoun County are manageable, but nowhere near as accessible as much of Arlington and Alexandria (City of)

  8. #17
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    FAQ from the Virginia governor's office on outdoor recreation.

    Outdoor Recreation

    Can I still exercise? Take my family to the park for fresh air? Take a walk around the block?

    Yes, as long as you are maintaining a safe social distance of six feet from people who are not a part of your household. Gyms, fitness centers, indoor recreation centers and indoor sports facilities must close.

    Does this order affect hiking? State Parks?

    No, you may still go outside so long as you practice social distancing of six feet. Virginia State Parks have closed visitor centers, but trails and outdoor spaces are still open. For information on Virginia State Parks, please see here.
    Last edited by ginacico; 04-01-2020 at 07:21 AM.

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    In Fairfax County much of Annandale, Springfield, and Mclean are largely un-bikeable ...
    Yes, but with much less vehicular traffic on roads now, many roads that weren’t, are now more bicycle friendly.

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  11. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    In Fairfax County much of Annandale, Springfield, and Mclean are largely un-bikeable and have limited areas to pleasantly walk outside their immediate neighborhood, unless you enjoy walking/biking on a 4ft sidewalk next to a high speed road. Prince William and Stafford County are almost entirely un-bikable and un-walkable. Reston, Herndon, Vienna, and parts of Loudoun County are manageable, but nowhere near as accessible as much of Arlington and Alexandria (City of)
    I rode all over NoVA in the hunt for parks during FS2020. While I found that McLean was the worst in terms of on-road riding (or sidepaths), I didn't have any issues with riding on the roads in any of the areas mentioned above (not including Prince William or Stafford as they're off my radar). I'd have even fewer issues now that there's been such a decrease in traffic!

    Yes, I do realize I'm probably an outlier and not the most accurate representation of your target demographic (folks who don't ride daily -- or even monthly -- on a usual basis), but it's not that difficult to string together neighborhoods in NoVA in order to avoid riding on main roads (where many of them have side paths anyway so that riding on the road isn't even required). Sure, it might take a while to get where they're going, but it can definitely be done with some foresight and planning.

    As an aside, my son and a few of his friends, who aren't cyclists by any stretch of the imagination, rode from Fair Lakes to Alexandria and back the other day. They had *no* problems getting there or back. (The problems happened the next day when they paid for their youthful exuberance lol.)
    Last edited by matteblack; 04-01-2020 at 08:36 AM.

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  13. #20
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    Perhaps I have a higher tolerance for risk, but there's never been a better time to ride on the road in Northern Virginia. Every day is like Sunday morning...early Sunday morning. I've been riding places during "evening rush" that I would tend to avoid during normal times.

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