Trail Waiver 18536-WTL-001-1:
Thomas Edison High School
Franconia Road at South Van Dorn Street

  Article Prepared By Robert Michie
Trails and Sidewalks Committee, Lee District
Last Reviewed: 30 June 2008
Version 1.1


The subject area is a Fairfax County Public School high school located on the southeast quadrant of Franconia Road and South Van Dorn Street   A renovation of the school building triggered the trail requirement.

The applicant is required to provide a major paved trail (eight or ten feet wide) and a five-foot wide on-road bike lane along Franconia Road and South Van Dorn Street.  In addition, FCPS must provide a five-foot wide minor paved trail along Castlewellan Drive.

Applicant's Request: defer the trail construction because the proposed improvements to the High School are minor in comparison to the trail requirement.

[ Thomas Edison High School ]

Figure 1: Map of Subject Area


Figure 1 shows Edison High School in the middle of the map. Castlewellan Drive is the road just south (below) Edison High School. South Van Dorn Street is on the school's left. Franconia Road is just north (above) the school. A major intersection is shown at the upper left corner of the school's property. This intersection was the subject of a report in 2006.

Field Check  30 June 2008

The photographs show the existing sidewalk area around the school.

[ S Van Dorn Street at Castlewellan Drive ]

South Van Dorn Street, looking north to the intersection with Castlewellan Drive. The trail is seven feet four inches wide, just a little under the standard eight foot width.

[ Franconia Road looking east at S Van Dorn Street ]

Franconia Road looking east from the intersection at South Van Dorn Street. The sidewalk on the left side of the picture is four feet wide, This sidewalk traverses the entire Franconia Road frontage of Thomas Edison High School.

The trail/sidewalk requirement for Castlewellian Drive is already met. The existing trail meets the requirement for a minor paved trail. It is five feet nine inches wide, and it traverses the entire southern boundary of the school.

The sidewalks on the western and northern edge of the Thomas Edison property are only five feet and four feet wide. As travelers move north from Kingstowne, the sidewalk narrows from almost eight feet wide to five feet wide. Once the traveler crosses South Van Dorn Street, the trail to the Metro Station becomes eight feet wide again. If the traveler turns east at Franconia Road, then the trail narrows to four feet.

The Franconia Road - South Van Dorn Street intersection is described in detail in a 2006 report. The upper left corner of the Edison High School property is the key because that is where the pedestrian crossing signal is located that will get travelers across this busy intersection.


  1. Deny the request to defer trail construction because there are no obstructions preventing the widening of the walking path.
  2. If the Plan does not require any frontage improvements to Edison High School, defer the on-road bike lane requirement. Otherwise, deny the request for deferral of the on-road bike lanes, too.




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