The Reston 'Smokeout'?

There is a grassroots movement to get Reston Association to ban smoking on the bike paths.

Thursday, Nov. 17 is the American Cancer Society's 36th Annual Great American Smokeout, a day to encourage cigarette smokers to kick the habit.

In Reston, one man is on a campaign to get to ban smoking on the bike paths.

RA already prohibits smoking on its properties such as pools, lakes and playgrounds. However, Reston resident Gary Nobles wants the paths smoke-free as well.

"One way that Reston Association can help to protect all of our fellow RA Members from the serious health dangers resulting from involuntary public exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke is to pass a “100% Smoke-Free / Tobacco-Free” policy on all of our shared outdoor RA Common Areas," Nobles said in one of many recent emails to RA board members.

"In addition, the successful passage of this proposed legislation would also help to protect the health and safety of our shared RA Common Area natural environments by greatly reducing the amount of littered cigarette butts [an EPA recognized toxic waste], as well as a potential fire hazard in these natural areas."

Nobles is encouraging residents to sign an online petition on the subject. Click here to access the petition.

Reston Association President Kathleen Driscoll McKee says there are several reasons the board remains unconvinced that this is a pressing issue.

"We are not convinced that we have the staffing ability on all 55 miles of pathways to enforce this," Driscoll McKee said. "We have agreed that none of us have registered a significant amount of infractions. From time to time, sure, people smoke, but I once counted and saw no one. At this point, I just don't think it is serious enough."

HarleyGirl November 17, 2011 at 01:42 PM
According the the RA website, there are "1,300 acres of open space...55 miles of paved pathways and natural surface trails...(m)ore than 700 acres of forest, 50 meadows and 4 wetlands...4 lakes, 3 ponds and 20 miles of streams...15 community pools...48 community (tennis) courts...ballfields and multipurpose courts... playgrounds, garden plots, picnic facilities and community buildings." This is quite an undertaking by the "100% Smoke-Free/Tobacco-Free" folks!
Dorothea November 17, 2011 at 02:06 PM
If this is approved, then I'm going to follow up with a petition to ban gum chewing on RA land (after all, where do they discard those flavorless wads?) loud talking or laughter (noise pollution) especially at RA pools -- I'm sure I'll think up some more. Just be glad those smokers are getting some exercise, encourage them to dispose of their snuffed butts properly (so that critters don't eat them), and leave it at that.
Jonathan Erickson November 17, 2011 at 02:25 PM
thank you where can i sign that petition at. about as much sense. gary have you reached the ocean yet? continue to the deep end!
Karen Goff November 17, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Jonathan - I deleted your previous comment because it violated our terms of service. Please keep comments focused on the issue at hand and not personal attacks on someone for their viewpoint.
Jonathan Erickson November 17, 2011 at 05:35 PM
i though it was a personal suggestion that conveyed my thought about his so-called ban.
Orlina November 17, 2011 at 05:42 PM
As Bowser points out, the RA's/FFX Co's inability to police 55 acres of pathway would make a smoking ban impossible to enforce. I'm sure all of us would love to see less garbage (i.e. broken bottles, beer cans, paper/plastic bags, discarded shopping carts) on the paths in general, but it's unrealistic for us to expect that legislation will correct this problem. Just an observation: I live in Tall Oaks, and since the 7-11, Burger King and the grocery stores all closed, there's been a substantial decrease in the amount of garbage on the path that runs behind Bentana West up to the 2nd North Shore. There are some pluses to Tall Oaks having such a high vacancy rate!
Parkerevents November 18, 2011 at 01:53 PM
Today's news: "The RA Board of Directors voted... to set annual assessments at $565 per residence in 2012, a jump of almost 5 percent from dues of $540 this year." This doesn't include the future costs to the community of signage and installation marking the trails, or enforcement. Is the problem so large that we are willing to increase our costs? Also, doesn't it seem odd that in this petition there are so many "celebrities" that have signed?
mc bam November 19, 2011 at 05:10 PM
Um, exactly what problem does this solve? Why is it that some people don't see that they are really just trying to put ever increasing restrictions on people who aren't like them? This movement makes me sad and a little embarrassed for those who can't look in the mirror and reign themselves in when it comes to telling others what they can and can't do. I am not a smoker, but these "mini-movements" make me really angry at what I would call busybodies and bossypantses.
HarleyGirl November 19, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Only 130 have signed the petition, so it doesn't appear to be a pressing issue for the other 50,000 residents of Reston! Why do Mr. Nobles and his petition keep getting so much press attention?
Karen Goff November 19, 2011 at 11:43 PM
This is the first we have written about it
Jonathan Erickson November 19, 2011 at 11:44 PM
Let me just say it has nothing to do with being politically correct. Hasn't the pendulum swung to far? Give smokers their own space and let the non-smokers stay away. Moral police here are blocking smokers rights. Wait while I get my Beech-nut so I can spit in his eye!!!
Dorothea November 20, 2011 at 06:38 PM
what's a beech-nut?
Jonathan Erickson November 20, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Dorothea there is a pretty good Hank Williams jr song where his refers to Beech-nut chewing tobacco that he was going to spit in the eye of the person who killed his best friend. I think the title was A Country Boy Can Survive.


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