The Reston Street Light Demonstration Project was supposed to evaluate the use of metal halide lighting in north Reston over a 5 year period. If successful the lighting was to be extended to other portions of Reston. The trial appears to have been successful but no action was taken to provide lighting at major intersections in the remainder of Reston.
Typical demonstration lighting site.
The demonstration lighting has had impact. Numerous residents were seen in the area walking after dark both with and without dogs. Either of 2 conclusions can be reached from this observation:
1. People enjoy walking after dark when adequate lighting is present.
2. People may be out walking after dark but who can tell when they can't be seen.
Dog walkers have a unique problem when there are no streetlights. Dogs have to be walked and lack of lighting does not remove this need. Dogs in general do not have a problem seeing in the dark. However, this places the dog and not the human in control and this can lead to some unpleasant experiences.
There appears to be strong public support for lighting. Cathy Hudgins is the Fairfax County Supervisor responsible for Reston and may take action if enough citizens make their wishes known. Her office telephone is 703-478-0283. Also, letters to the editor of the local papers would be very useful.
Following is a map of the major streets in Reston. The lighted streets are marked in red at the points where lighting is provided. The entire street is marked in red where all intersections with the street are lit.
It is impossible to guess which streets are lit and which are not without visiting the locations. Factors such as age of the street, traffic volume, commercial or residential do not apply. For instance, the intersection of Lawyers Road and Birdfoot Lane which has been in existence for over 100 years has no lights. Sunrise Valley Drive which carries a tremendous volume of business traffic is missing lights at many intersections. Cleaning crews at the many office buildings have to cross the road in the dark to catch their buses. They also wait in the dark at bus stops.
There are no streetlights at schools except for Aldrin which is in the lighting demonstration area. The school system has wisely placed lights in the school parking lots.
In conclusion, street lighting choices appear to be based on chance rather than sound judgement. Fairfax County needs to take action to base lighting on sound safety principles rather than happenstance.
Please note that Cathy Hudgins has only been in office for a short time and has not been a party to the current lighting situation. Hopefully, with your support she will take action to get street lighting in Reston in the county budget. This will take time as many other locations in the county are already on the waiting list for lights.
This site will try to monitor any published activities concerning streetlights. There is action taking place on the issue with supervisor Kathy Hudgins and Kathy Ichter, chief of highway operations division for the Fairfax County Department actively participating.
(No progress to report since October 2000.)
Should you have corrections to the streetlighting map, wish additional vital streets to be added to the map, or have comments regarding streetlights you may click on the following link: