It has been about 10 months since Arlington County released drawings of a future Langston Blvd.
That vision included apartment buildings of up to 12-15 stories, cafés and wide sidewalks buzzing with people, and bike lanes buffered by lavender bushes — a substantial change from the commuter route lined with strip malls, car dealerships and quick-service establishments with drive-thru windows.
Now, the county is gearing up to publish a more formal draft plan that refines the ideas set forth last year. That draft will take into account all the supportive and critical feedback people submitted last fall and winter.
Once the draft is released — and exact details and dates on this are yet to be determined — there will be more public engagement opportunities, Dept. of Community Planning, Housing and Development communication specialist Rachel LaPiana tells ARLnow.
The multi-year effort to create this planning document is known as Plan Langston Blvd. It re-envisions what was once known as Lee Highway as a walkable and bikeable, verdant commercial corridor with more affordable housing.
After hearing hundreds of hours of comments from residents, and a decade’s worth of work, Langston Blvd Alliance Executive Director Ginger Brown says she is excited to get her hands on the draft plan soon.
“We know this is a huge step forward,” she said. “We’re very eager to see the final draft plan.”
The draft plan is supposed to be informed by community and commission input but in many cases, that input is deeply divergent, according to snippets of comments included in a summary of public engagement year.
“If we wanted to live in denser, taller neighborhoods we would have moved to [Rosslyn],” wrote one person. “Stop forcing your vision of redevelopment down residents throats.”
“As a working professional with a young child, I look forward to eventually being able to buy a house in Arlington as a result of projects like this one,” wrote another. “Please ignore grumpy people who hate change and implement this plan!”
There were some points of agreement.
People generally want to see a safer Route 29 — the other name for the VDOT-maintained artery — with more street trees and wider sidewalks, as well as underground utilities and fewer driveways. Some wrote in strong support for protected bike lanes over cyclists and drivers sharing lanes, a traffic pattern that may harm, not help, cyclists.
“We’d like to see a greater emphasis on pedestrian safety and transportation and transit improvements and more affordable housing,” Brown said.
Majority support for greater development broke down somewhat when it came to what buildings should look like.
“People in my neighborhood are looking for development similar to the unified and attractive character of King Street in Old Town [Alexandria], not the development and tall buildings that characterize Ballston or Clarendon,” wrote one person.
“We should allow 15 stories for all sites between Langston & [I-66],” wrote another. “This could provide so many amenities and increase property values.”
For instance, where Route 29 is bordered by the Waverly Hills, Donaldson Run, Old Dominion, Glebewood and Waycroft Woodlawn neighborhoods, a slight majority favored taller heights — with many others preferring a range of other, shorter options.
Arlington County has converted two intersections near Nottingham Elementary to four-way stops, in the wake of last year’s fatal crash on Little Falls Road.
In October, a driver struck and killed a woman at the intersection of Little Falls and John Marshall Drive. She was the third pedestrian killed along a two-block stretch of Little Falls Road near the school over the past eight years.
In the aftermath, the county began investigating the appropriateness of an all-way stop at the intersection.
Two such traffic patterns were installed along Little Falls Road in mid-March, Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien says: one at the intersection with John Marshall Drive and the other with N. Ohio Street.
“The two new all-way stop locations are located on both sides of the Nottingham Elementary School and help facilitate crossing opportunities for pedestrians and traffic control on this section of roadway,” O’Brien said. “Additional pavement markings and tactical improvements were made at the intersection of Little Falls Road and N. Nottingham Street.”
Last winter, as part of a traffic safety campaign, the county temporarily ramped up traffic enforcement on Little Falls Road, which saw two previous fatal crashes in 2014 and 2019.
Then, with the urging of the County Board to make safety improvements faster, it made some other short-term updates to the two intersections, says O’Brien.
The all-way stops were deemed necessary after multiple observations and on-site reviews to “assess the operations and effectiveness of the recent short-term improvements,” the spokeswoman said.
In another step to increase safety, last week the county reduced speeds near Nottingham. It made the area around the school a “School Slow Zone,” where there is a permanent 20 mile-per-hour speed limit on a neighborhood street within 600 feet of a key access point to a school.
Earlier this week, meanwhile, at the intersection of N. Quincy Street and 9th Street N. in Ballston, an all-way stop was added in response to an extensive study and data collection effort. Pavement markings will follow soon, says O’Brien.
Safety concerns at this intersection date back more than a decade. The county has added upgrades incrementally to the originally sign-free intersection, Google Maps shows.
By 2010, ARLnow previously reported, a crosswalk and “yield to pedestrians” flags were added. Then, the county added neon yellow pedestrian signs and a repainted crosswalk.
O’Brien says the county studied whether to add stop signs given the limited impact of previous upgrades and repeated safety concerns from residents who cited the high volume of traffic at the intersection.
“This most recent study’s conclusion at this location reflects further consideration of the travel volumes and crash history at this location,” O’Brien said. “It also is part of our Vision Zero approach to safety intervention that calls for a progressive method on implementing safety measures when past efforts do not result in the desired outcomes.”
A plan for a pedestrian bridge between Crystal City and Reagan National Airport is headed to the Arlington County Board for endorsement this weekend.
Specifically, the Board is set to bless a girder-style bridge that will connect a future southern entrance to the Virginia Railway Express station at 2011 Crystal Drive to the airport’s Terminal 2. It is also slated to approve more funding for an engineering firm to further develop designs for the bridge, dubbed the CC2DCA multimodal connection.
“The goal of the project is to create an intermodal connection designed to meet the needs of a broad range of pedestrians, bicyclists, and micro-mobility users of all ages and abilities between the core of Crystal City, the Mount Vernon Trail, and DCA,” per a county report.
Currently, getting from Crystal City to DCA on foot or bike involves navigating a series of trails and crossings the county has previously described as “circuitous.”
“Once completed, the journey from the foot of the bridge to the newly constructed security checkpoint at DCA would be about 1,300 feet,” the National Landing Business Improvement District said in a pamphlet published last winter. “Once completed, the new CC2DCA Multimodal Connector would make National Landing the only downtown in the country with its main street within a comfortable 5-minute walk from a major airport.”
After endorsing the project on Saturday, the Board is set to approve a new $4.2 million contract with Boston-based civil engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) so it can begin drafting preliminary designs. This includes nearly $386,000 in contingency.
Although it may seem incremental, the county says these signs of progress are important milestones in the years-long project, which the county projects could be completed in 2028.
First, this step forward means that a conceptual design phase and environmental review process led by the civil engineering firm VHB are wrapping up.
The County Board approved its first contract with the engineering firm in the spring of 2021 for design work.
Since then, the county, VHB and state and federal agencies winnowed down 16 initial bridge and tunnel connections to a “preferred alternative” and a runner-up bridge proposal, both unveiled last October.
The county says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks Service signed off on the “preferred alternative” this February.
Arlington County is looking to make a three-block stretch in Courthouse safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
Specifically, it is looking for ways to improve conditions along a three-block stretch of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd between N. Uhle Street and N. Adams Street.
The county says the overall project goal is to “create a safe and consistent travel experience for people walking, taking transit, biking, and driving through the Courthouse section of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor,” which has a lot of pedestrian, transit and micro-mobility activity.
Through this Sunday, the county is asking people to share their current experiences as road users and what upgrades matter to them.
When it comes to government priorities, safety is a top concern. The county says Clarendon and Wilson Blvd have seen a higher concentration of critical crashes in recent years.
They are included in a “High Injury Network,” a designation the county uses to prioritize adding transportation safety features to its least-safe roads. This is part of Arlington’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate fatal and severe-injury crashes by 2030.
Within the project’s boundaries, there was a pedestrian crash with severe injuries on Clarendon Blvd in 2015, per a dashboard of crashes with severe and fatal injuries. One block east of the intersection with N. Uhle Street, there was a fatal pedestrian crash in 2014.
Another aim is to fill a “missing link” in bicycling facilities. Clarendon and Wilson Blvd are identified as “primary bicycling corridors” in the county’s Master Transportation Plan, as is N. Veitch Street, which connects cyclists to Langston Blvd, the Custis Trail and the Arlington Blvd Trail.
The county says it aims to realize community visions for better walking, cycling and transit experiences in Courthouse with new curbs and ramps for people with disabilities and improved bus stops and facilities near the Courthouse Metro station.
To encourage (proper) use of shared e-bikes and scooters, the county will review and provide “adequate end of trip facilities.” That could look like the corrals it has installed elsewhere in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and in Crystal City and Pentagon City.
Whatever improvements are selected would link to upcoming road resurfacing work. The county previously incorporated small upgrades when it resurfaced Clarendon Blvd from Courthouse Road and N. Scott Street and from N. Garfield Street to N. Adams Street.
The improvements would also link to street upgrades developer Greystar is delivering via its under-construction Landmark development (2050 Wilson Blvd), set to wrap up this fall, and its redevelopment on the former Wendy’s site (2025 Clarendon Blvd).
Those projects will bring about:
- A “bike island” at the intersection of 15th Street N. and Clarendon Blvd, as well as more and wider protected and dedicated bike lanes
- Wider sidewalks
- Improving pedestrian crossings of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd
- Two new “floating” bus stops
- A pedestrian promenade along N. Uhle Street from Clarendon Blvd and 15th Street N.
- Relocated and newly installed traffic signals
A high-traffic intersection one block north of Columbia Pike could get some safety upgrades, including a traffic signal.
Arlington County is embarking on a project to develop plans to upgrade the intersection of S. Glebe Road and 9th Street S., located between the Alcova Heights and Arlington Heights neighborhoods.
In addition to replacing a rapid-flash beacon with a traffic signal, the county says changes, in collaboration with the Virginia Dept. of Transportation, could include extending the curbs, updating the crosswalks and refuge medians, and fixing deteriorating ramps that do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The forthcoming project responds to community feedback, a 2022 safety audit of Glebe Road — a VDOT-maintained artery — and a 2020 analysis of “crash hot spots,” according to a county webpage. The latter two reports include data, photos and community comments describing unsafe conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and drivers.
“Glebe Road from 14th Street N. to Columbia Pike is part of Arlington County’s High Injury Network,” the county says. “These corridors experience high concentrations of critical crashes compared to other corridors in Arlington.”
Per the safety audit, the intersection saw two pedestrian crashes and five left-turn vehicle crashes between January 2018 and February 2021. It also found that many people drive over the speed limit by at least 5 mph between 8th Street S. and 9th Street S., going an average of 38 mph.
“Community feedback received as part of the Vision Zero Action Plan development identified Glebe Road and 9th Street S. as an unsafe crossing,” the county said.
Arlington is working toward eliminating traffic-related serious injuries and deaths by 2030 as part of its initiative known as Vision Zero. Transportation advocates and the Arlington County Board called for swift action to realize plan goals and make roads safer after a rash of crashes involving pedestrians last year.
Some residents heralded the project on Twitter as sorely needed and a long time in coming.
Back in 2018, cyclists who participated in a “protest ride” to advocate for better cycling conditions, called specifically for improvements to 9th Street S., which is part of the Columbia Pike Bike Boulevards, a bicycle route parallel to the Pike.
— Chris Slatt (@alongthepike) March 8, 2023
This spring, there will be a public engagement opportunity in which the county will solicit feedback on existing conditions, including site constraints such as utility poles that block parts of the sidewalk.
County staff are preparing engagement materials, and “when that’s ready, the engagement will open,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Claudia Pors said.
The engagement will first ask people to share how they currently use these streets as well as any ideas or concerns they have.
“This input will be used to refine to goals and develop concept options,” the webpage says.
This spring and summer, county staff will again request feedback on a concept plan, which will be incorporated into a final design plan that the county anticipates can be prepared this fall.
Arlington County has completed, started or has planned other transportation upgrades along Glebe Road, per the 2022 audit, including new or re-programmed traffic signals and new ramps.
The third time could be the charm for Arlington County, which is applying for federal funding to improve cycling and walking connections around Arlington National Cemetery.
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board is scheduled to review the county’s third application for funding from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program.
The money would partially fund the construction of a long-proposed Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) Wall Trail along Washington Blvd, which would connect Columbia Pike and the Pentagon City area with Memorial Avenue and the Arlington Memorial Bridge into D.C.
“Connectivity for bike-ped users across this part of the County is complicated by the combined barrier effects of secured federal facilities such as ANC, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, and the Pentagon Reservation” and “a high-volume roadway network” comprised of Arlington Boulevard, Washington Blvd, Route 1 as it runs through Pentagon City, I-395 and the GW Parkway, the county notes in a report.
The new trail would run along the western side of Washington Blvd. An existing trail on the opposite side gets dicey near Memorial Circle for pedestrians and cyclists looking to connect to the Mt. Vernon Trail or cross into D.C.
The Federal Highway Administration is designing this multi-use trail in conjunction with the realignment of Columbia Pike. This work is being done to accommodate the 50-acre southern expansion of the ANC, which will add about 80,000 burial sites, allowing burials through the 2050s.
Arlington County has unsuccessfully applied for RAISE funding in the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years. This fiscal year, the federal program has nearly $2.3 billion to dole out “for investments in surface transportation that will have a significant local or regional impact,” per the notice of funding opportunity.
“RAISE is a cost reimbursement program and not a lump sum grant award,” the county report notes. “Previous programs have been highly competitive.”
The Arlington Memorial Trail will run west along Washington Blvd and Richmond Hwy, starting at the eastern end of a realigned Columbia Pike to Memorial Avenue, immediately adjacent to the Arlington Cemetery Metro station.
It will link up to an existing trail along the west side of Richmond Hwy, which provides a connection to the Iwo Jima Memorial, to Rosslyn and to the larger network of bicycle and pedestrian trails along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
The estimated cost of the Arlington Memorial Trail in the approved 10-year capital improvement plan is $25 million. If the federal government green lights the full $15 million, the county would cover the remaining $10 million through a mix of the commercial and industrial tax and funding it receives from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority for local projects.
Projects can receive $5 million to $25 million. A single state cannot receive more than $225 million and awards must be split evenly between urban and rural areas.
Selected projects will be announced by the end of June.
Many drivers have circled around blocks in Arlington, looking for a quick parking spot to slide into and pick up a mobile food order.
Or they may have skirted around a car double parked in a bike or vehicle travel lane, hazards flashing, rather than waiting for a spot to appear.
During the pandemic, the county created temporary “pick-up, drop-off spots.” Coming out of the emergency, most of these spots were converted to short-term parking spaces, with input from business improvement districts and neighborhood stakeholders, Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien tells ARLnow.
Still, food deliveries and contactless ordering options are likely here to stay. Some businesses that are now more reliant on takeout and delivery are concerned they’ll soon lose revenue as curbside parking spots are repurposed for, among other uses, protected bike lanes.
The county says one solution could be adjusting parking times, armed with data that will be collected through new parking pilot program.
Brooklyn Bagel Bakery in Courthouse (2055 Wilson Blvd), for instance, says it has lost four spots to a bike lane that developer Greystar agreed to install during construction for the “Landmark” block redevelopment project across the street.
(There is also a small private parking lot behind the retail strip.)
Speaking on behalf of Brooklyn Bagel — as well as neighboring businesses Courthouse Kabob, California Tortilla and TNR Cafe — Dawn Houdaigui asked the Board on Jan. 21 for a compromise.
“We believe in the protected bike lanes that have already gone in, that are blocking our spaces now, but we need to understand how we can share the space in front of us and how things can be reconsidered,” she said during the public comment period. “This is super important to the businesses who changed our business model after Covid. We have a lot of deliveries, we have people who come run in out front.”
She asked for more notice of proposed changes as well as notice when spots will be lost.
“A letter went out — supposedly it was hand-delivered by someone having lunch at our bagel store — and supposedly an email went out the same day,” she said. “We missed the meeting. Only one person from the businesses were there.”
County Board Chair Christian Dorsey and County Manager Mark Schwartz referred her to the county’s ombudsman and constituent services.
In general, the county is looking into the twin issues of temporary parking and combatting double-parking both systematically and on a case-by-case basis, O’Brien said.
As for specific cases, like Brooklyn Bagel’s, the county follows a six-step public engagement process for projects that impact neighbors, businesses and property owners.
Arlington County is applying for regional funding to run buses every six minutes between Fairfax County and Amazon’s second headquarters in Pentagon City during peak hours.
The Arlington County Board on Saturday authorized staff to apply for up to $8 million in Northern Virginia Transportation Commission funding. Funding would offset the operating costs associated with running 10 buses per hour during peak times for two years along a new Metrobus route dubbed the 16M, connecting the Skyline complex in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Fairfax County down Columbia Pike, to Pentagon City and Crystal City.
The report suggests that the county is preparing for an increase in ridership after the opening of the first phase of Amazon’s HQ2, despite work from home trends.
“The 16M service will provide a direct connection to Amazon HQ2 with its first phase of construction (2.1 million square feet of commercial space) coming on-line in Summer/Fall 2023,” per a county report. “This service will also take advantage of the recently built portions of Columbia Pike and [eight] new transit stations located on Columbia Pike.”
But recommendations to increase frequency along this route date back well beyond Amazon’s decision to move into Arlington, says Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Claudia Pors.
She says the request acts on a 2016 study, which “recommended creating a route connecting Skyline with Crystal City through Columbia Pike in anticipation of growth in Crystal City.” That followed the cancellation of the Columbia Pike streetcar project, which would have followed largely the same route.
“The study evaluated ridership forecasting, current service patterns, like bus and seat availability, and travel patterns, like trip lengths, ridership rates and traffic volume in the area to make the recommendation to increase frequency,” Pors said.
Sometime this spring, the new 16M route will begin revenue service with a base frequency of buses every 12 minutes during the service day. The new route will replace existing 16G/H service.
Pors said the average weekday ridership for the last four-and-a-half years along the 16G/H line peaked at a little over 4,500 average weekday riders before Covid, and is now about 60% recovered compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Next month, Arlington County will hold a community event to kick off a three-year parking pilot program that prices parking by demand in a few highly trafficked corridors.
This is the first official step forward since the Arlington County Board accepted a $5.4 million grant from the Virginia Dept. of Transportation for the “performance parking” program.
The pilot would electronically monitor parking space usage alter parking prices based on the day, time and the number of people competing for a metered parking space along the Rosslyn-Ballston and Crystal City-Pentagon City corridors. It would also give drivers real-time information on spot availability and price.
In the meeting description, Arlington County says the three-year pilot project could “improve the user experience for metered parking spaces in two key commercial and residential corridors in Arlington.”
“Join the project team for a Community Kick-Off meeting to learn more about the pilot project, the technology we’ll be using to inform the project, and share your input on the pilot project’s goals to help us understand your priorities for metered parking spaces in the Rosslyn-Ballston and Route 1 corridors,” per the website.
According to the event page, meeting attendees will be able to:
- Learn about the pilot’s background and purpose
- Get briefed on the status of metered parking in the two Metrorail corridors
- Learn what technology will be used and what data will be collected, and how this will inform the project’s next steps
- Get a first look at a demonstration site
Arlington County Board members approved the program in late 2020 after hashing out concerns from some opponents about how this would impact people with lower incomes. Members were convinced by the case staff made that lower-income people are less likely to have one or more cars and could save money on parking by choosing to park on less-popular streets and for shorter time periods.
Ultimately, however, the pilot project is intended to sort out these concerns and “map out any mitigations that are necessary,” parking planner Stephen Crim said at the time.
Project proponent Chris Slatt said at the time that variable-price parking ensures that spots are generally available where and when people want them. He pointed to the city of San Francisco, which found that the program made it easier for people to find parking. This reduced double parking, improved congestion and lowered greenhouse gas emissions.
An online Q&A about the project lists as goals, “Drivers spend less time looking for on-street parking” and “Vehicle miles travelled resulting from on-street parking search or ‘cruising’ are reduced.” That will come at a cost, though, as parking rates are increased in busy areas.
The virtual community kick-off meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 23 from 7-8:30 p.m.
A proposed left-turn lane off of N. Glebe Road in Ballston could be the smallest, yet most scrutinized traffic change in 10 years.
As part of the planned redevelopment of the Ballston Macy’s, Insight Property Group proposes to add a left-turn option at the intersection of 7th Street N. and N. Glebe Road. It will be for drivers going southbound on Glebe who want to turn onto a proposed private drive abutting the planned grocery store, which will be located at the base of Insight’s proposed 16-story, 555-unit apartment building.
“It was the most thoroughly vetted transportation scenario in the time that I’ve been with Arlington County,” transportation planner Dennis Sellin, who has worked with the county for 10 years, told the Planning Commission last night (Monday).
During the meeting, the Planning Commission gave a green light to the redevelopment, which will go before the Arlington County Board for approval later this month.
After the Transportation Commission voted to defer the project solely on the basis of the left turn, Planning Commission members supported a condition for the project that county staff work with Insight and the Virginia Department of Transportation to come up with more pedestrian-oriented options for the intersection.
“I do not think it’s reasonable to hold up the project for this, given that there’s apparently continued good faith work on the intersection to improve its pedestrian-friendliness,” Commissioner Jim Lantelme said. “I want to make clear that the Planning Commission… expects that any option possible to make this intersection more pedestrian-friendly will be pursued.”
Sellin said a half-dozen staffers, including two top transportation officials, have thoroughly vetted the left-turn lane. They published a 64-page memo justifying the turn lane and will study how the grocery store changes traffic before adding any pedestrian mitigation measures.
“There’s a recommendation to not allow any right turns on red at any of the lights in the intersection,” he said. “That’s a movement we’ll take under further consideration. Our primary concern is safety, our secondary concern is operations.”
The left-turn lane is a non-negotiable for the grocer, who has otherwise been “insanely flexible” as the project has changed throughout the public process, according to Insight’s Managing Principal Trent Smith.
“We’ve shrunk their store, changed their ramps, taken away their parking… we changed their loading, we’ve done eight or nine things that took all sorts of reworking and they’ve stuck with us and have been great, reasonable partners throughout,” Smith said.
Insight’s attorney, Andrew Painter, says the unnamed grocer required the left turn based on “decades of experience in urban configurations.” He added that for a decade, the grocer has desired to be in Ballston, which already has a Harris Teeter nearby on N. Glebe Road, a quarter-mile away.
Some Planning Commissioners noted their regret that the project does not do more to provide on-site affordable housing.
“This space here, in the heart of Arlington, in Ballston, where there’s access to transit, and now a grocery store, we have nothing,” Commissioner Devanshi Patel said.
The National Park Service is starting to work on plans to improve safety along the portion of the Mount Vernon Trail that winds through Arlington County.
South of the City of Alexandria, in Fairfax County, it will make similar improvements to the trail and reconstruct that portion of the GW Parkway.
The 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail runs from Mount Vernon in Fairfax County to Roosevelt Island near Rosslyn, passing by Crystal City as it parallels the GW Parkway. NPS says it is time to address deferred maintenance needs and safety along the entirety of the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail and the southern portion of the 15.2-mile GW Parkway.
“The road and trail improvements being considered would enhance the visitor experience for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists,” the NPS project webpage says. “Potential improvements to the road include the implementation of a road, crosswalks and intersection changes. Potential safety enhancements for the trail would include potential trail widening and intersection improvements.”
Plans to widen the trail come two years after a report was released recommending this change due to heavy use and crash risks.
“The MVT is beginning to show its age, from deteriorating pavement and bridges, to limited accessibility features, and outdated signage and striping,” the report says. “These attributes, combined with increasing usage and user behavior, contribute to risk exposure and considerable crash history.”
For instance, from 2006-10, there were 225 reported bike and pedestrian crashes on the trail.
The report also found the trail has “meandering curves, timber bridges, and in some areas, dense vegetation.”
While controlled by the National Park Service, over time local volunteers have stepped up in an attempt to keep it clean and safe for users amid sparse maintenance from the park service.
NPS says it aims to provide solutions that maintain the parkway’s “scenic and historic character,” and an assessment will determine the potential environmental impact of the changes.
“The Plan is needed to help preserve the historic parkway for future generations, improve the visitor experience, reduce annual park operations and maintenance costs, and improve visitor safety,” writes GW Parkway Superintendent Charles Cuvelier in a public notice of an upcoming meeting about the project.
A virtual public meeting presenting initial plan alternatives will be held on Dec. 6 from 7-8:30 pm. There is no need to pre-register.
“Engaging with you is a critical part of our preliminary engineering and planning process,” the press release said. “Your feedback will be used to refine project designs and to support the analysis of any environmental impacts.”
The website has more information on how to join the meeting:
At the time of the meeting, click the link to join on your computer or mobile device and enter the Webinar ID (Webinar ID: 314-024-315) and your email. If you do not have Go-To-Webinar, you will be prompted to install a small file to your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
You can call into the meeting (no video) using the toll-free phone number and conference ID:
Call in number: (877) 309-2074
Phone Conference ID: 278-447-448
After the meeting, comments will be accepted from Dec. 6 through Jan. 4, 2023.
NPS last made changes to this stretch of the parkway and trail in 2012 to improve safety near the Memorial Circle and at several crossings. Changes included replacing signs, installing rumble strips, painting directional symbols and moving a crosswalk.
Although the plan’s scope only addresses the stretch of the Mount Vernon Trail through Arlington, the GW Parkway through Arlington sees its fair share of crashes.
Less than a week ago, a car drove off the GW Parkway and into the Potomac River near Columbia Island Marina and the Humpback Bridge. One occupant died and the other occupant was hospitalized.
One hotspot on the GW Parkway, near Key Bridge, frequently sees overturned vehicles during rainy weather.
The park service is currently in the midst of a major rehabilitation of the northern section of the GW Parkway that passes through Arlington and Fairfax County.