Bike and pedestrian projects in Virginia will further regional policies

A new separated trail along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail was one of 11 bicycle and pedestrian projects approved for funding by the TPB. (TPB)

At its April 18 meeting, the TPB approved eleven new projects in Northern Virginia to receive $5.4 million in funding under the federal Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program (TA Set-Aside). The TA Set-Aside program provides capital funding to projects other than traditional highway construction, including bicycle, pedestrian, recreational trail, and Safe Routes to School projects.

To help select the projects, the TPB convened a panel of regional experts to review and score them based on how well they align with regional policies. Those policies include expanding travel options, improving non-motorized travel in Activity Centers, improving access to transit, and serving disadvantaged groups. Seven projects are in or close to regional Activity Centers, four projects are within three-quarters of a mile of transit, and four projects are in Equity Emphasis Areas.

Here are highlights of each project:

A new trail connection between Potomac Yards and the Four Mile Run trail in Arlington:
This project will build a paved bicycle and pedestrian trail connection between Arlington County’s Four Mile Run Trail at the stream level and at the street level network of Crystal City at Potomac Yards.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements for the Rosslyn–Ballston Corridor: In Arlington, this project will provide dozens of small-scale improvements for people with disabilities, including curb ramps, wider sidewalks, enhanced crosswalks, and pedestrian refuge islands.

City of Fairfax Judicial Trail Connection: This project will build 500 feet to fill a missing link of the Judicial Trail to improve trail network in the City of Fairfax.

Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro Bike Connection upgrade: In Fairfax County, this bike lane upgrade will enhance bike access to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail station and Metro West Town Center by way of Virginia Center Boulevard and Country Creek Road.

Fair Lakes Boulevard Walkway: This new walkway on the south side of Fair Lakes Boulevard will allow pedestrian access between Stringfellow Road and the Fair Lakes Shopping Center in Fairfax County.

New separated trail for people biking and walking on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in the City of Falls Church: NOVA Parks will replace half a mile of an overcrowded 10-foot-wide trail, currently shared by people biking and walking. The replacement will be a new 11-foot-wide bicycling trail and an additional 8-foot-wide pedestrian trail, which will be separated by a new median strip.

A New Sidewalk on Colchester Road in Woodbridge: In Woodbridge in Prince William County, this nearly half mile of new sidewalk on the west side of Colchester Road will allow pedestrian access between Randall Drive and Featherstone Road.

A New Sidewalk on Sudley Road in Prince William County: In Prince William County, this project will construct a 140-foot sidewalk connection on the west side of Sudley Road between Coverstone Drive and Rosemary Drive.

Better sidewalks and street crossings on Gemini Way in Dale City: In Dale City in Prince William County, these improvements will include installing a new pedestrian signal-controlled crossing, plus, curb ramps, crosswalks, and approximately 635 feet of sidewalk on Gemini Way between Dale Boulevard and Minnieville Road.

ADA-accessible crosswalks on Mill Street in Occoquan: In Downtown Occoquan in Prince William County, nine new ramps will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to make it easier for people using wheelchairs to get around. The project also includes five painted crosswalks at the intersections of Mill Street at Washington Street and Mill Street at Ellicott Street.

A shared-use path for the Gaver Mill Trail in Hillsboro: In the Town of Hillsboro in Loudoun County, the new Gaver Mill Trail will provide safe connectivity for people biking, walking, driving, or using transit to and from the Gaver Mill/Asbury Church residential areas and key employment centers and civic institutions. The project will also link to Hillsboro’s Traffic-Calming and Pedestrian Safety project.

More projects to receive funding later this year

Additional projects in Northern Virginia may receive similar funding later this year when the state’s Commonwealth Transportation Board allocates its portion of the federal block-grant funding. The TPB will also be selecting projects in Maryland and the District of Columbia.  Maryland’s TA Set-Aside application cycle is currently open and will run through May 16, 2018. Details about the District of Columbia’s TA Set-Aside application cycle will be available later this year.

Jack Narron is an intern working on the Transportation Land-use Connections and Transportation Alternatives programs. He is studying community planning at the University of Maryland in College Park. 

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