News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pro Tip: A Shortcut to Vienna You Shouldn't Take

Trail of horror.jpg

The Washington Post was kind enough to map out the path taken by a McLean woman who inexplicably drove on the W&OD Trail from Reston to Vienna on Saturday night, seriously injuring a cyclist and scaring the beejeezus out of several others.
[The driver] did not explain why she apparently drove at a high rate of speed, possibly for miles, on the trail, which is often crowded with walkers and bicyclists, police said. She appeared disoriented at the time of her arrest, they said.

“She said she was coming from Mexico,” said Gary Lose, a Vienna police spokesman.

[The driver] is in custody on charges of felony hit-and-run and driving while intoxicated, pending a bond hearing set for Tuesday. The bicyclist, a 65-year-old Vienna man, remained hospitalized Monday with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

[The driver] is thought to have driven onto the trail in the Reston area, but the exact spot is not known, police said. They said she headed east on a section of trail that is paved and about 10 feet wide. At least five people reported close calls with the car before the bicyclist was struck near the Vienna border, police said.
With at-grade crossings, high-speed cyclists, and the occasional horse (WTF?), the W&OD was dangerous enough before it became a cut-through for (allegedly) intoxicated drivers. Fortunately, the Post helpfully annotated its map to make sure no one else gets any ideas:

Problem solved.

Update: The driver of the car was granted bond this afternoon. Also, these sort of shenanigans are apparently more common than you'd think.


  1. . . . Just another reason for W&OD trail "grade-separated crossings" (aka "bridges or tunnels") at every street along the route--especially in Reston!

  2. Some years ago there was a game of vehicular tag played on Reston bike trails. Small cars and your stray motorcycle. Perhaps [The driver] was attempting to recapture her flaming youth?

    1. Just a couple of years ago, I recall seeing a mid-70's, battered blue Pontiac Bonneville ( a real bomber!) navigating the Reston walking paths down by Glade and the Nature Center! The driver and his companions seemed to be having a grand time...

  3. Doing 55 down a bike trail with a flat tire on your way home from "Mexico" doesn't sound like a drunk to me. I hope they're running toxicology tests on her blood.

  4. What would it cost to put up metal posts that allow people and bikes to pass, but no cars. You can have one them removable but locked for service trucks.

    1. You could also offer mandatory vehicular avoidance and aggressive pedestrian defense training with adaptive response techniques to area residents, as well as entropy inoculations to protect the concerned citizenry against the unexpected and unlikely yet feared and reviled.

      Perhaps a few drills in involuntary dismounts off a bicycle followed by a quick duck-and-roll would address the problem of FAT Virginians, also.

  5. Those metal posts, also known as bollards (not the fanciful bollards which so delight Restonian), are very dangerous to cyclists. Better to recognize this as the aberration it is.