The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is currently working on plans to widen Spring Street between Herndon Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286) that include a new cycle track. This is good news, and Herndon deserves praise for its continued efforts to expand bike infrastructure. But, FABB encourages local riders to let Herndon transportation planners know that the project requires a minor change to reach its stated objectives.
As proposed, the cycle track will consist of an eight-foot-wide separated bicycle path that runs from the W&OD Trail past the Spring Street intersection to Hyatt House. The bicycle path will connect with Sugarland Run Regional Trail and will support the Fairbrook Park redevelopment and other development around the future Herndon Metro station.
We believe that the eight-foot-wide path is at least two feet too narrow. Such small lanes can make for uncomfortably close approaches and passing. The National Association of City Transportation Officials recommends lanes of five-foot width or ten-foot total and suggests seven-foot wide lanes on uphill stretches to allow for easier passing.
We apparently missed the VDOT meetings on the project back in March 2018 and regret that we weren’t able to provide this input then. Still, we believe that it is not too late for an adjustment on what appears to be destined to become a busy bicycle thoroughfare and an important link in an active transportation network.
Please contact the town planners or your elected officials to tell them that the Spring Street cycle track needs to be at least ten-foot-wide. You can send your comments or questions if you have them to: [email protected] or call 703-787-7380.