Debate on experimental safety measures on Va. road

WASHINGTON – The zigzag white lines on Belmont Ridge Road in Ashburn are supposed to warn drivers of the popular W&OD bike crossing.

But not everyone is sure the traffic experiment has worked.

“It’s difficult for bikes and pedestrians to get across the street here,” says Randy Dittberner, a Virginia Department of Transportation traffic engineer. “It has pretty limited sight distance on approach. Plus it has really high speeds and it has a lot of truck traffic.”

However, Dittberner also says drivers are slowing down and yielding more. A VDOT study, conducted by the department’s research arm, affirms his statement.

Loudoun County officials have called a meeting next week with the agency to consider other ways of keeping cars and bicycles from colliding.

“I think it’s a little premature to talk about specifics, but we’re happy to meet with the park authority and see if there’s ways we can make it better,” Dittberner says.

To hear on-the-ground reaction, listen to the audio version of this story, attached on the right.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. Follow Neal and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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