By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleAugust 12, 2011
The installation will soon have designated bicycle lanes on Gunston and Belvoir roads.
Construction crews are installing lanes that will connect to a variety of areas surrounding post. Lanes on Gunston Road will extend all the way to John J. Kingman Road and Belvoir Road’s lanes will extend to U.S. Route 1.
The majority of the 3-foot wide lanes will be completed by September.
“We’d like to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes,” said Chris Landgraf, Directorate of Public Works, master planner.
There will also be designated lanes on 9th Street and Mount Vernon Road.
Landgraf said the lanes will provide cyclists safer means of traveling around post. He also said they will provide riding connections between post and the various lanes and trails surrounding the installation.
Gunston Road’s lanes will connect to Kingman Road’s multi-purpose trail. From there, cyclists can choose their path of direction. Landgraf suggested one option could be connecting to Telegraph Road, which has paved lanes and multi-purpose trails.
Belvoir Road’s lanes will allow cyclists to travel through Pence Gate and onto U.S. Route 1, which Landgraf said, will likely be widened to include bicyle lanes and multi-purpose trails during future development.
Landgraf said the lanes on post will provide safety for cyclists and hopes they provide an alternate option for commuting to work.
“The hope is that anyone living within 10 miles of the installation, if they wanted to, could ride to work and would have the ability to connect to a road that has bike lanes in it or to an existing, paved, multi-purpose trail,” Landgraf said.
As someone who commutes twice a week via bicycle, Landgraf recognizes the importance of having designated lanes and trails on and off post.
He said they both provide a better sense of safety against car traffic.
“In the bike lane, I don’t feel as though I have a problem, because I have 3 feet of my own space and I can ride towards the right edge of that,” Landgraf said.
He estimated his 8-mile commute takes about 40 minutes to complete. The travel allows him to relax, think and save money on gas and other car-related expenses.
When the new lanes are finished, he hopes to bike more and encourages personnel with the capability to do so, as well.
Installing bike lanes is part of the garrison’s initiative to provide more transportation options on and off post.
Landgraf said DPW plans on adding more lanes and multi-purpose trails in the future.
He encourages cyclists to exercise safe-riding practices once the lanes are complete. He recommends cyclists wear a helmet, have reflectors on their bike and clothing. He also said to ride toward the edge of the curb on paved lanes and he suggested to not ride side-by-side on paved lanes.