At its April 19 meeting, the TPB approved seven new projects in Northern Virginia to receive $2.7 million in funding under the federal Transportation Alternatives Program. Also known as Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside, this program provides capital funding to projects other than traditional highway construction, including bicycle, pedestrian, recreational trail, and Safe Routes to School projects.
Selected projects help meet regional needs
The TPB convened a selection panel to choose projects based on how well they meet key regional needs. Those needs include expanding travel options, improving non-motorized travel in Activity Centers, improving access to transit, and serving disadvantaged groups. Here are four projects that highlight bicycle and pedestrian connections to transit:
A safer connection to the Van Dorn Street Metro station
In Fairfax County, a new connector trail will link an existing path on South Van Dorn Street at Parkwood Road to an existing trail near the Capital Beltway Bridge that leads to the Van Dorn Street Metro station. The project will create a new path to be shared by people walking and biking. It will include new traffic signals and crosswalks to improve safety.
A two-way protected bike lane in Herndon
In Herndon, a Complete Streets approach with a two-way protected bike lane will provide better access to transit. The project will also include better street crossings, sidewalks, and access for people with disabilities.
W&OD trail improvements will connect Falls Church
In Falls Church, an overhaul of the Washington & Old Dominion recreational trail will improve safety and accessibility. One improvement will be to create level crossings with roads that intersect the trail. In some places the trail currently runs higher than the roadway, meaning that trail users have to travel down and back up inclines to cross the road—which is difficult for people biking as well as those using wheelchairs. To create the new crossings, the road will be raised to meet the trail.
The new crossings will also include narrower lanes on the road and colored pavement to alert drivers to look out for trail users. Another enhancement will be separating foot traffic from bike traffic by building a parallel track for pedestrians. Together these improvements will provide better bicycle and pedestrian access throughout Falls Church and a connection to the East Falls Church Metro station.
Capital Bikeshare continues to expand in Fairfax County
Fairfax County requested funding to further expand Capital Bikeshare in the county’s Providence District—an area that includes Tysons Corner, Merrifield, Oakton, and Vienna. The expansion will add 15 new bikeshare stations and 120 bikes, including more stations in Tysons and the expansion of the service to the communities of Dunn Loring and Merrifield. The expansion will provide more ways for people to access Metrorail and other transit options in the area. It can bridge the gap for those who may live just a little further from those stations.
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. Applications in both Maryland and the District are due on May 15.