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So.... If VDOT is building the wall on people's land, then I get the whole idea of the people not wanting a trail in their land. But if VDOT is taking the land from them (eminent domain), then really the people don't have much recourse if the trail is on the other side.

Frankly, VDOT should say "don't want the trail bc it's on your property? Then you don't get the wall either.

I've been riding a bike on small streets and have particles and stuff hit me when going 5mph!

Now imagine a TRUCK at 65 kicking a rock my way.

There is a long history in my part of Ward 3 about people not even wanting a sidewalk along a public street. So yes, there are plenty of people who don't want to see "strangers."

It strikes me that there have to be just as many people who live along this stretch that would want to have direct access to a bike trail, rather than have it on the other side of the wall. Sure, having a property along I-66 is value destroying, but at least one enhancement to value would be access to a trail.

This belongs in the Onion.

Thanks for this report. I agree with fongfong. VDOT needs to remind people that bike trails raise property values.

" At community meetings, residents said they fear a trail will bring crime, such as break-ins, to their neighborhoods."

At community meetings people ought to actually be prepared to give examples when stating things like this.

Crime on trails happens but usually its because there is crime in the neighborhood already.

But it doesn't matter because people have irrational ideas about their property as if they're hermits in the Maine backwoods rather than living in the largest county in the region. These people are the same ones to write notes asking people not to park in front of their house even though parking is allowed there and the homeowner themselves have driveways and garages.

I would actually like a bike trail adjacent to my back yard, but I can understand why people would not. If they bought a house with a private backyard, of course they might want to keep it that way. I have little patience for opposition to removing parking, road diets, etc. But this is different. The glass (or plastic) partition that goes part of the way on the Wilson bridge trail does a pretty good job of making the trail usable.
Isn't something like that, or higher, a pretty good compromise.

The article linked to talks about debris, absence of shade, and air pollution - there is also water thrown up from the roadway during rain. I have been splashed with the equivalent of several buckets of filthy water from the 14th street bridge deck more than once; it isn't the sort of experience that encourages riding.

Sometimes, the "excellent" is the enemy of the "okay." I'd much rather all the money being poured into I-66 go into bike paths. But, that won't happen and it likely won't happen that VDOT goes against the homeowners' wishes. The trail on the Wilson bridge is not bad, especially in the sections with the transparent barrier. Maybe cyclists should be fighting to ensure there is such a barrier on the I-66 path. Also, since this is only five miles of a 22 mile trail, it might open up access to quiet side roads so you could avoid that section.


Maybe. But that isn't being offered. I'd be surprised if a plastic partition/trail/wall would be cheaper than a wall/trail/privacy fence. And with a good privacy fence it's hard to argue that the trail is in your backyard.

VDOT is perfectly content to go against the homeowner's wishes when it comes to expanding I-66, so I don't see that as a valid argument. But to be clear, a Wilson Bridge-style transparent barrier isn't being offered. I think if cyclists are going to fight, they should fight for the best possible option which is wall/trail/privacy fence. The question is why landowners would oppose that and why VDOT would give into it.

As for "quiet side roads" which do you have in mind. Remember that every mile reduces the utility for transportational cyclists by 33%.

There's no way to have a private backyard without a fence in any of the neighborhoods we're talking about.

I'd like to see the area that the neighbors are up in arms against.....from what I saw on google maps, there isn't much space to put a path there.
And the green will be gone
Is this the area that is being discussed?

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