News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Reston Road Rules: New-Fangled "Side Walks" Still Coming to Soapstone, Plus a Hilarious Mix-Up on the Lawyers Road Cyclorama

concrete sidewalk.pngHey, remember that time they were going to put some of those new-fangled "side walks" on Soapstone Drive? Yeah, that was awesome. Well, after scheduling two meetings to discuss this far-fetched engineering marvel with dumbfounded residents in the fall, a "feasibility study" was completed in March. It presumably included photos of people in other cities walking on these "side walks," to prove that as crazy as they sound, they just might work!

No, that would just be silly. Instead, the report identified four options for these new-fangled "side walks."

• Concept 1 Plan and Section 5-foot wide concrete sidewalk, curb and gutter on EAST side of Soapstone Drive from Glade Drive to South Lakes Drive. 64 parking spaces removed from the EAST side but preserved on the WEST side. New drainage systems required.

• Concept 2 Plan and Section 5-foot wide concrete sidewalk with curb and gutter along WEST side of Soapstone Drive from Glade Drive to South Lakes Drive. 109 parking spaces would be removed on the WEST side but preserved on the EAST side. New drainage systems required.

• Concept 3 Plan and Section 5-foot wide concrete sidewalk on BOTH sides of Soapstone Drive in the NORTH section only. On EAST side, walkway would be placed from the trail south of shopping center to South Lakes Drive. On WEST side, walkway would be placed from the trail south of the daycare center to South Lakes Drive. Parking would remain on WEST side.

• Concept 4 Plan and Section 5-foot wide sidewalk on EAST side of trail south of the shopping center to existing 4-foot wide sidewalk at intersection of South Lakes Drive. This would be low- cost option by re-using existing sidewalk and not constructing proposed sidewalk for entire length from Glade Drive to South Lakes - Does not meet CMAQ criteria.
County staff and consultants are keen on Concept 1, but another community meeting is scheduled for the fall. No word on whether they will use that time to reassure nervous residents that stepping on a crack won't, in fact, break your mother's back.

Lest the lumbering pace of this project make you cynical about the slow-moving nature of local government, here's a story to warm your heart. With the conversion of Lawyers Road into an anorexic, bike-friendly velodrome slated to begin on Aug. 2, you'll be happy to know that Fairfax County has prepared for the imminent restriping of the road by... well, restriping it. Here's a shocking first-hand account from our favorite correspondent, The Peasant from Less Sought-After South Reston:
Just three weeks before its grand repaving and restriping of Lawyers Road, VDOT repainted all the lane markings on Lawyers Road from Reston Parkway to Hunter Mill Road. I definitely know that some of this was done this past Monday, July 13, because the new lane markings were not there when I went to work in the early morning but had materialized by late that afternoon. Being a conscientious journalist, even if contributing to a filthy Web-blog, I then drove that entire stretch of Lawyers Road to be certain. I could understand if this repainting were done, say, six months before the repaving, but three weeks? Anyway, maybe this tidbit is worth mentioning as another fine example of our taxpayer dollars at work in a state with a significant budgetary shortfall.
You know what they say: Practice makes perfect.


  1. I think there were "side-walks" in Back To The Future II when Marty McFly travelled to 2015. Reston is so cutting edge and futuristic! Hoverboard lanes should be added to Personal Injury Lawyers Road too, while we're at it!

  2. The March meeting re the Soapstone sidewalk demonstrated that the residents in the adjacent neighborhoods weren't interested in eliminating the parellel parking in order to get a sidewalk.

    That meeting also showed that the County staff had not done the necessary research work to justify any of the proposals to eliminate the parking spaces.

  3. "the residents in the adjacent neighborhoods" = Shadowood

  4. Currently a sidewalk is being installed on Soapstone south of Glade on the West side. A big chunk for 5 ft sidewalk and berm out of the homeowner's yard. Does the county pay the homeowner when they take property for a sidewalk and berm?

  5. Another brilliant delivery from our "tax em to death" hypocrites Cathy Hudgins, Kathleen Driscoll ("save the flag, but don't dare exercise the rights for which it stands") McKee and Robyn Smyers...

    The county is broke
    The state is broke
    the roads are falling apart and pot-holed, third-world quality everywhere in NoVA and we get this?

    You go girls!

  6. Trust me, Shadowood, more than anyone, wants to get rid of the Tobacco Row eyesore that is parking on Soapstone. That's why we support ONLY the plan that gets rid of all parking there and puts sidewalks on both sides.

    Hudgins promised, but failed to deliver, (imagine that!) curbs, gutters and streetlights on Soapstone in 2005. Then she said there was "9-11 money" available to pay for it --- but failed to deliver. Then she said there was "congestion mitigation" money to pay for it -- and still A FAILURE TO DELIVER.

    Enough with the studies -- GET WHAT YOU PROMISED DONE!

    --A Resident (of Shadowood).

  7. Oh my favorite and dearest Supervisor Hudgings. She's so warmly in touch with her constituents that she has not delivered on any of her promises (other than keeping her low-income voters happy with more section 8 vouchers, dumping them to the communities in the area and make the owners of these communities pay for the property damage her lovely group of supporters have caused).

    The South Lakes and Soapstone intersection is a mess and we know that there have been more than 3 accidents where pedestrians have been injured. Why not make improvements there? Where are the light poles she promised in 2004? Why not install a much better traffic signal? Why not get rid of that ghetto commercial property where the Domino's Pizza and 7-11 is?

    Say what you mean, mean what you say Cathy Hudgings. Hopefully we'll get rid of you in the next election.

  8. I get it. Put in the sidewalks so later they can be torn up to put in sewer. It would be too logical to put in sewer first. And what's with all this streambed refurbishment when parts of Reston don't have sewer?


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