<1b>By Mike Salmon
"It is extremely dangerous for pedestrians, elderly, children, seniors, people with disabilities, really anybody that tries to walk because you are sharing the road with cars," said Newington resident Greg Lyon who was behind a petition passed around recently that showed a majority of residents along this street support the sidewalk.
Others commented on the Nextdoor neighborhood link. "I see people walking up and down the sides of the road all the time and it's super dangerous if someone decides to speed," said Chelsea Bolanos who lives on Newington Road. Julia Ebron's mailbox has been hit twice. "I hold my breath everytime I come out of my driveway," she wrote.
Sandy England has lived off Newington Road for 15 years and sees people speeding all the time. "We not only need sidewalks, we need speed bumps like they have in other parts of the county," she wrote.
A traffic count by the Virginia Department of Transportation in 2020 showed that 5,000 cars a day use this road, mainly as a cut-through to I-95 and 400 trucks a day use it too, despite the “no trucks” designation of the road.
Lyon brought this up with Supervisor Dan Storck (D-Mount Vernon) two years ago and spoke out at one of the Board of Supervisors meetings as well. "Adding a sidewalk or safe path would align with the principles of Fairfax County's ‘Safe Streets for All’ Recommendations," he told the board. "There's widespread community support for a sidewalk," he added.
Storck supports the idea but noted that funding is an issue, as it is with many of the transportation improvements that are needed in the county. “Securing funding will likely remain our biggest challenge due to the limited dollars and the high number of needs,” wrote Storck in responding to Lyon, dated July 21, 2023. “To be sure, this community petition and the support from residents along Newington Road will be strongly considered as part of the Active Transportation Prioritization process, and I will make sure that this community input is included as part of the public engagement process,” Storck’s letter stated. “While funds are limited, a decision is being made in the next three months for a new funding round for smaller spot projects to improve pedestrian and bike safety. A larger funding round is anticipated next year,” he added.