Some of Tysons’ main streets are getting a makeover this summer, and that’s going to make them more bike-friendly.
Map of the changes coming to Tysons, including how the bike network will connect with the Spring Hill, Greensboro, Tysons, and McLean Metro stations. Image from Fairfax County.
Along with getting new pavement, stretches of Tyco Road, Westbranch Drive, and Greensboro Drive are going on road diets. That means they’ll get new paint jobs that take them from being four through lanes wide to having two through lanes, a center turn lane, and bike lanes on each side.
A road diet was successful on Lawyers Road in Reston, where Virginia Department of Transportation data say car crashes are down a whopping 70%. After five years, nearby residents, people driving cars, and people on bikes are happy with the arrangement.
More than in Reston, Tysons needs to plan for people on foot. VDOT gets that, so the agency is lowering speed limits to 35 mph, which fits with Tysons’ urban design standards.
Depending on their widths, some roads in Tysons will get sharrows while others will get climbing lanes. On Westbranch Drive, there will be a buffered bike lane like those in Arlington.
VDOT’s Randy Dittberner said his agency may consider painting the bikeway bright green so it’s more visible, but it won’t happen at the start.
Dittberner also said that the new pavement markings are only going in places “where we are 100% sure it won’t do anything to traffic conditions.”
Fairfax County is taking comments until April 1st, and VDOT will begin its final planning stage after that.
Correction: The original version of this post said Westbranch Drive will have a protected bikeway rather than a buffered bike lane.