Letter to RA Board

Dear Board of Directors,

I’m writing in regards to the dredging of Lake Thoreau and the decision by RA staff to close the Lake  Thoreau trail and not provide a detour. If you are not aware, the Lake Thoreau trail is one of the more popular trails in Reston. The trail, signed as “The Red Loop Trail,” extends for 2.1 miles around the lake. I live in Old Westbury cluster and use the trail on an almost daily basis to either walk or bike to South Lakes Village Center or to circumnavigate the lake. When school was in session the high school and middle school kids, who walk to the village center every day, bypassed the closed trail signs because they were not given an alternative and had few other options.
The trail was closed at the southern end of the lake where dredging equipment is stored and dump trucks occasionally haul away dredged material. While I realize there is not a good location for this activity, I believe there is/was a better option than completely closing the trail and not providing a detour. In fact, the trail is not closed because every time I pass that section of the trail I see people using it. The Trail Closed signs have been trampled multiple times because people have no reasonable alternative. For the past approximately 2 weeks there has been no activity at the site and yet the trail still remains “closed.”
Tonight, as in years past, residents in the area will bypass the closed trail signs to gather on the trail at the dam to watch fireworks. That section of the trail is basically a narrow park where people gather to fish, watch the sunset, and otherwise congregate.
I understand liability concerns of allowing people to pass through the site, but the current implementation is not working. I’m sure I and others would be glad to work with RA to figure out a solution. I assume that since the dredging work is delayed the trail will remain closed much longer than anticipated. It’s not too late to come up with an alternative to “closing” the trail.