News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Road Rules: Soapstone sidewalks could kill two soapy birds with one stone

People who live along Soapstone Drive in South Reston have long complained about the parked trucks, RVs, campers, boats and whatnot on both sides of the road, prompting talk of new parking regulations. They've also wanted a safe place to walk. Now, someone has come up with, as they say in the movies, A Plan: killing two birds with one stone.

"PUT A CURB along the side and build a sidewalk where everyone is parking," said Vicky Hamilton, an area resident for 21 years.
That's so crazy... it just might work.
Hamilton’s suggestion was met with approval from several other residents attending an informational meeting on the walkway project on Wednesday night, Nov. 5. "If the design is appropriate, the problem could take care of itself," said Sloan Wiesen, area resident and Realtor. Building the walkway on the road’s right-of-way would take away the unwanted parking along the side of the road while preserving the trees planted beyond the area. Designing the walkway in the right-of-way, said Wiesen, would also help the county avoid having to go through a land acquisition process. "Keep the trees and get rid of the cars," said Wiesen.
Unless you live in North Reston, anyway. But the county has taken a Google Earth photo of the neighborhood (click to enlarge) and added little dotted lines along both sides of Soapstone to show what a sidewalk might look like. They're also talking about putting a mugger-ific pedestrian tunnel under Soapstone, so as to keep free and unfettered pedestrian access to the 7-11. Sweet!

So why are people so up in arms over the parking along Soapstone?
Hamilton said she has seen people engage in strange, and at times, illegal activity on the side of Soapstone, including a man who sets up a shop to fix cars in the area.
What could be wrong with that? Sounds like a recipe for hilarity to us:

Update: Based on one commenter's request and our desire not to be confused with a discussion board or pro-school advocacy group, we've added this:


  1. That pedestrian tunnel already exists. I jog through it often. And it's not at all mugger-riffic. The one further up Soapstone by South Lakes HS where those darn truants hang out is worse.

  2. The people who own homes on either side of Soapstone need the parking for their friends and relatives when they visit as there is not enough parking on Ivy Bush, Underoak or within Shadowood.

    Sure restrict the commercial vehicle parking and provide a sidewalk from Shadowood to a safe cross walk at the 7-11 but the parking is vital to the people who live off of Soapstone.

  3. Is there a reason you chose a picture of a black junk man? Are you unintentionally playing a "Willie Horton" here?

    I know it's from Sanford & Son, but really! There was a junk guy on Green Acres. The truck Buddie Ebsen drove on the Beverly Hillbillies would have communicated the message.

    Did you really have to go with Sanford?

  4. Sanford & Son has a slightly better theme song than Green Acres or the Beverly Hillbillies. Anytime one can incorporate a Sanford and Son reference is fine in my book.

  5. I was driving on Soapstone last week during a particulary foggy afternoon. There was a road cone literally in the middle of the lane. I suppose it was to protect the large dump truck parked along the side of the road. Problem was, you couldn't see the road cone until your car was right on top of it. Luckily there were no other cars or pedestrains in the lane I had to dive into.

    And no, I wasn't speeding. It was rainy, foggy and I was on "deer and pedestrain alert".

    I ammused me that whoever put that there was thinking "Safety First".

  6. @Anonymous:

    Willie Horton? Really? Race-baiting isn't what we're about on this site -- we'll leave that to various pro-school advocacy groups and commenters. In the interest of equal time, we've added another video to the post; enjoy.

  7. Thanks so much for the fair and balanced snarkiness.

    We are ever so grateful for the second video.


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