South shoulder looking toward Glebe Road (l) and toward Kirby Road (r).

FABB is asking riders who commute or bike along Chesterbrook Road between the McLean area into Arlington to Speak Up! to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to improve the Chesterbrook Road Walkway Project.

A walkway is a much-needed improvement to enhance pedestrian safety in this area and will connect to sections of walkway that have already been completed. The project under consideration will provide a continuous pedestrian facility along the south side of Chesterbrook Road from Maddux Lane to 41st Street.

The plan, however, neglects the needs of riders who use the adjacent road. In particular, it removes much of the existing shoulder on a narrow uphill portion of southbound Chesterbrook and installs additional high curbs and gutters that remove the option for riders to move to the right to allow motorists to pass safely.

Riders, of course, can and should take the full lane, but having the option to move to the shoulder, especially during high-traffic rush hours, helps reduce conflicts between road users.

More important, FABB believes that, because the Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan calls for bike lanes on Chesterbrook, the planned sidewalks should be constructed to allow the bike lanes’ eventual installation. The other new walkways installed along Chesterbrook do not appear to include any accommodation for future bike lanes.

Riders should ask FCDOT to:

  • Expand the project to include the installation of bike lanes (or, at a minimum, climbing lanes where appropriate).
  • Provide a wider shoulder.
  • In the absence of bike lanes, install “Bikes May Use Full Lane” signage.

Riders more familiar with the area may have other ideas to improve the project. Please submit your comments to FCDOT here.

Because the project appears to be in the design stage, now is the time to Speak Up! Please act today to register bicyclists’ requirements for access and safety on this important link from Dranesville District into Arlington and points south.


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