About a dozen bikers and walkers from the Hunter Mill district helped to pinpoint possible trails that will become a yellow brick road for locals hoping to visit D.C. or head to Dulles Airport.Concern for pedestrian and cyclist accessibility to the Silver Line Metrorail stations coming to Herndon fueled a public workshop at McNair Elementary on April 7.Herndon residents living in the Dranesville district previously met at Herndon Middle School on March 26.“We need to make some investments in the bicycle and pedestrian areas right now,” said Kris Morley-Nikfar, Fairfax County Department of Transportation planner and Herndon Metrorail Station Access Management Study project manager.The proposal maps presented ways for cyclists to access the Herndon Metro Station or the Innovation Center Metro Station within three miles and pedestrians access within one mile. However, Fairfax County wants to improve the trails via upgraded crosswalks, improved and extended trails and road diets.“We’re building them for people dressed in business clothes or dressed in casual clothes,” said team lead David Whyte.The residents broke into two groups to present their concerns and complements with the project’s current proposal. Many were concerned about trail lighting and roadside safely.Sarah Snyder, Herndon, would use the trails for cycling. She wanted to see a ramp over the Dulles Toll Road so she could reach the metrorail station by bike.“I don’t want to take my life in my hands at point 24,” she said, referring to the numbers on the map.She was also concerned about cyclist safety on Sunrise Valley Drive on their way to work.The other group, Group 1, also felt Sunrise Valley Drive was an important area for accessibility due to the high-density housing areas nearby.Extended joint bike and pedestrian trails were suggested to be added closer to the metro stations.After FCDOT looks at the suggestions from the public hearing and the online survey, the findings will be presented at a hearing at an undetermined date in June. Morley-Nikfar told the residents to inform other concerned residents about the survey and to keep an eye on the website for date of the next meeting.“Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors,” he said. “The more participation we get, the better it will be.”For more information on the project, visit http://www.hmsams.com/.To complete the survey, visit http://www.hmsams.com/survey.html by mid-April.
— Reena Singh