Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 03/19/2010

Virginia's other snow routes

By editors

By Bruce Wright

Regarding the March 17 Metro article “At Fairfax ‘snow summit,’ a blizzard of complaints”:

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) did a commendable job clearing streets in Fairfax County after February’s record-breaking snowstorms. While it’s unrealistic to think that VDOT could also clear all sidewalks and trails within its right of way, it could avoid making matters worse for pedestrians and bicyclists.

VDOT’s presentation before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors did not mention the need to accommodate non-motorized users of the transportation system or the consequences of clearing only the roads. Without clear passage after last month’s snowstorms, pedestrians were forced into the road. Many were injured and one was killed, possibly as a result of having nowhere else to walk.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently issued policy recommendations to states, urging that “walking and bicycling be considered as equals with other transportation modes.” He added, “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”

If VDOT would recognize the problem, there are measures it could take: telling plow operators not to dump snow and ice on sidewalks and trails, especially at curb ramps, and once streets are clear, opening up priority non-motorized routes. Most of these routes are in the VDOT right of way, and people who use them are all customers of VDOT, even when it snows.

The writer is chairman of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling.

By editors  | March 19, 2010; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax County, HotTopic, transportation, weather  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: How Rockville Pike got the way it is
Next: The downside of drilling

No comments have been posted to this entry.

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company