News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

VDOT Web Survey: Lawyers 'Road Diet' Hotter Than Justin Beiber and Kei$ha Put Together, OMGZ

7e69bcb8-9b5d-4e9d-b2c8-d04a30e5e172.jpgHey, remember that time that VDOT put Personal Injury Lawyers Road on a "road diet," creating a fun suicide turn lane and dedicated bike lanes for the legions of spandex-wearing cyclists? Yeah, that was awesome.

Earlier this year, VDOT did one of those awesome Web surveys, and the results are in! Apparently Justin Beiber is "hot," while Kei$ha (better known in Europe as Kei€ha) is "gross."

Oh, wait -- wrong poll. Apparently, 851 people responded to the Web survey, though it was probably something like 12 actual responses when they eliminated all the results from people with names like "Richard Hertz" and "Oliver Clothesoff." Anyhoo, 69 percent of respondents said that Lawyers "seems safer" after the road diet was put into place, and 74 percent thought that the project "improved" the roadway. Some 47 percent said they bicycled on Lawyers more often than before, though it's unclear how many purchased new Spandex as a result. While 69 percent of those surveyed said that car travel times didn't increase after the diet, 59 percent said speeds dropped.

That was backed up by some fancy high-tech real time traffic data collection VDOT conducted (some guy named Earl with a clipboard and a stopwatch?), which found that average speed dropped by about 1 mile per hour -- and the number of vehicles traveling at over 50 mph dropped from 13 percent to just 1 percent. Also, there were just three crashes along Lawyers during the road diet's first year, compared to an average of 15 during the each of the previous four years.

So, um, yay spandex and turn lanes. We guess this means the similar approach under consideration for Soapstone Drive will continue unfettered, with the exception of the high-speed exit ramps leading to the 7-11 so we can purchase our 72-ounce Super Big Gulps at speeds approaching Mach 1, and soon Spandex will be mandatory for all social events. Time to lay off the earth-toned Ho-Hos!


  1. I wonder who they asked. Probably not very many people who live right off Lawyers and have to deal with trying to get in and out of our neighborhoods.

    Can't say I see any MORE bicyclists...and the problem of the road narrowing to the 2 lanes with zero clearance for bikes is still a huge issue ... and the roving packs still ride in the lane, eschewing their separate but equal lane so generously provided by my tax dollars.

    Bitter? Well, not really...okay, maybe a little.

  2. I fart spandex.
    (Don't knock it. It's low in calories and high in fiber.)

  3. The site to which Restonian linked is a bicycling advocacy group. A bunch who support that gang of spandex criminals who run the glade stop sign every Tuesday at 7 pm during daylight savings.

    How about putting a chain across Glade when they show up next spring or maybe piano wire. Hudgins refuses to provide police enforcement, so I guess we're left to engage in self help.

    VDOT is not a credible source of information on the road diet. They're advocates for this stupidity. Naturally they're going to report that everyone agrees with them and ignore those who disagree just like the School Board. Big surprise.

  4. As a vocal proponent, I hereby reserve the right to do my celebratory interpretive dance of smug vindication and whatnot. Speeds maintained, excessive speed nearly eradicated, safe turn lanes dropping the accident antics 80%... what more do you want? And the bike lanes are simply ample shoulders to the road. This had very little to do with bikes, and everything to do with vehicular safety and traffic flow. And if the bikes creep into the main lanes, so be it... they'll do it more this winter as the road sand accumulates in the bike lanes.

  5. Since the cops refuse to engage in any enforcement action on Lawyers, then its open season on bicyclists straying into the Lawyers travel lanes.

    Fair warning, spendexers. Your reign of lawlessness is about to end on a front bumper of a Hummer.

  6. Not all spandex is created equal. Don't know 'em personally, but members of the advocacy group mentioned/linked here seem like the least likely culprits to be blowing past stop signs and hogging travel lanes at the expense of motorists...

    Everyone's got a responsibility to the law, but you gotta remember: while cars and bikes are vehicles that must share the roadbeds, they are two very different kinds of machine. Most cyclists know what it's like to drive a car, but only a small percentage of drivers have direct experience with road cycling. I wish non-cycling drivers were better educated to deal with the kind of potential road hazard a bicyclist represents. Do they even mention cyclists in the driver's ed curricula yet?

    And it seems to me that aggressive behavior toward cyclists, even in jest, even here, is dangerous. It's not what I want the kids to hear and learn. It's bad enough that cyclists must count the impatience and anger of motorists high among the hundreds of road hazards they must contend with every day.

    Not that I don't have a few criticisms of my own about cyclists who are arrogant, reactionary, aggressive, oblivious, or simply not competent enough to be off the sidewalk. Moot issue.

  7. So, VDOT is blissfully touting the drop in accidents during the first year (from 15 down to 3). I have a feeling that number will be higher during the 2nd year. Along the stretch of Lawyers near where I live, there have been 2 moderately severe accidents just since September. But none (that I'm aware of) in the 3 years before the road diet.

  8. Jodanyo

    Why is it a moot issue?

    With no enforcement against spandex criminals, self help is the only alternative.

    Maybe you can convince Hudgins to put up police enforcement traps at Glade and Soapstone on Tuesday evenings come Spring.

    Otherwise, it will be open season on spandex criminals.

  9. A "survey" where folks self select to participate has no legitimacy by any standard of the polling industry

  10. @Anon 5:55
    Anti-spandex vigilantism is itself a crime.

    Then it will be open season on anti-spandex vigilantes by anti-anti-spandex vigilantes.

    You see where this is going right?

  11. First they came for the spandexers...

  12. If accidents are down, how come the rubber marks and little piles of glass are the same or more? "Go slow as the slowest," doesn't seem to be working. How did they do that survey?


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