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Lane Reductions, Bike Lanes Planned for Wilson Blvd in Bluemont

The county plans to resurface a stretch of Wilson Blvd in Bluemont to improve the driving, cycling and walking experience.

The project is part of Arlington County’s annual effort to resurface about 100 lane miles of roadway annually, prioritizing those in the most need of upgrades and those adjacent to development or other capital projects.

County staff propose reducing — in most places — the number of vehicle travel lanes along Wilson Blvd from four to two between N. Frederick Street and N. George Mason Drive. During a meeting last night (Monday), they said the reduction will accommodate new turn lanes and buffered and standard bike lanes, and prevent merging conflicts where Wilson Blvd transitions from two lanes to one in each direction west of N. Frederick Street.

Transportation Engineer Dan Nabors said the changes will “improve pedestrian crossings, provide separation between people who are driving, walking and biking, reduce and control vehicle speeds, improve sightlines, and make the street easier to understand for all users.”

Currently, east of N. Frederick Street — near the Safeway — Wilson Blvd has two vehicle travel lanes in each direction, curbside transit stops and shared-lane bicycle markings, also known as “sharrows.” The posted speed limit is 30 mph and most people go 33.8 mph, said fellow transportation engineer Cathie Seebauer.

This spring, road users suggested changes to this segment of Wilson Blvd, which staff said they incorporated into the concept plan shared last night. Community members asked for a continuation of existing bike lanes, a safer Bluemont Trail crossing at the intersection with N. George Mason Drive, and changes to the part of Wilson Blvd where it narrows from two lanes to one west of N. Frederick Street, Seebauer said.

Proposed changes to Wilson Blvd from N. Frederick Street to N. Emerson Street (via Arlington County)

From N. Frederick Street to N. Emerson Street, staff propose eliminating the transition from one to two lanes and adding buffered bike lanes that will be shared with enhanced bus stop markings.

“The road does meet national volume thresholds for a reconfiguration from four lanes to two,” Seebauer said. East of N. Edison Street, however, she said that “two eastbound travel lanes would need to be retained to maintain safety and operations.”

Proposed changes to Wilson Blvd from N. Emerson Street to George Mason Drive (via Arlington County)

From N. Edison Street to N. George Mason Drive, cyclists will have a 6-foot standard bike lane with green paint to warn drivers and cyclists of major conflict points. A two-stage bike box will guide those turning to go north on N. George Mason Drive and help those continuing east on Wilson Blvd to merge with through vehicular traffic when the bike lane disappears.

Wilson Blvd going west will have only one through-lane to make room for dedicated right and left-turn lanes.

An online comment tool will be open until Tuesday, July 7. The resurfacing work will be done this summer and fall.

Photos (1-4) via Google Maps 

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