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Fairfax County Wants Your Thoughts on Transportation Projects

by Karen Goff August 24, 2015 at 9:30 am 9 Comments

Bike lanes in Fairfax County/Credit: Fairfax County Bike trails. Safe Routes to School. Turning rails to trails. Better sidewalks in Reston. Even reducing vegetation to make trails and sidewalks more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.

Fairfax County wants your comments and ideas  on potential transportation alternative projects, which could get primarily funded by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Fairfax County will hold a public meeting on Sept. 17 (7 p.m. at Fairfax County Department of Transportation, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax) to solicit comments on the proposed FY 2016 Transportation Alternative Program projects

After approval by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the program’s projects will be eligible for submission to VDOT funding under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, also known as MAP-21.

This program provides 80 percent of the funds for each eligible project. A 20 percent local match is required. Any project presented to the board for endorsement must have an identified source of funding for this match.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has established criteria for activities or improvements eligible under the MAP-21 Transportation Alternatives provision. The alternatives are activities or improvements that increase the value of a transportation project or make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Eligible activities under the Transportation Alternatives Program:

Transportation Alternatives: Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.

Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other non-motorized transportation users.

Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.

Community improvement activities, including-inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising; historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities; vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control; and
archaeological activities.

Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to-address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff; or reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.

The Recreational Trails program under section 206 of title 23.

The Safe Routes to School program under section 1404 of the SAFETEA-LU.

Infrastructure-related projects-planning, design, and construction of infrastructure-related projects on any public road or any bicycle or pedestrian pathway or trail in the vicinity of schools that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school, including sidewalk improvements, traffic calming and speed reduction improvements, pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements, on-street bicycle facilities, off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities, secure bicycle parking facilities, and traffic diversion improvements in the vicinity of schools.

Non-infrastructure-related activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school, including public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders, traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of schools, student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment, and funding for training, volunteers, and managers of safe routes to school programs.

Safe Routes to School coordinator.

Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    How about this. The Commonwealth let’s us keep any and all dollars which would be spent on transportation issues, and we take care of them for ourselves.

    In other words, if Gooch, Albemarle and Queen Anne county need transportation projects, let them pay with Gooch, Albemarle and Queen Anne tax dollars.

  • Brad

    More underpasses!

    • Reston Realist

      …or overpasses. Any kind of “grade separated crossing” that permits vehicular traffic & bikes/pedestrians to transit the same busy intersections simultaneously, especially around Metro stations.

  • Mookie Taylor

    A small project that I would like to see done is paving the shoulder on Fox Mill Rd from Heritage Fellowship Church to Fairfax County Pkwy. There is a shoulder east of there and it suddenly ends just past where the church stopped paving for parking, forcing cyclists who are trying to stay out of traffic to veer into the rain or crash off the pavement into sand.

  • Fairfax Watcher

    Money spent on improvements NOT used is money WASTED!! Message to walkers and bikers: USE these improvements – often or never ask for funding again! Every dollar spent on trails and walk ways is a dollar NOT spent on effective improvements to roadways.
    “Safe Routes to School” program is really a great idea as County students need all the exercise they can get, however, can walking to school really be safe? Safety includes traffic as well as threats by disturbed people. Hopefully VDOT will include this aspect of personal safety. I walked to school in all my grades in Fairfax County…but that was a long time ago when things were safer. Too bad – so sad: its 2015!!

    • Shmoo

      The world is safer now than ever, turn off your TV and take a breath.

  • Franklin41

    Why in the world is the federal government paying for projects of purely local concern? This type of thing kills support from conservatives for the highway program, which is the proper use of federal gas taxes. What happened to federalism?

  • residente o visitante

    RA should submit a proposal to have the Hunters Woods trail lightning study and installation funded 80% by the state and have the project brought back into the original budget estimate.

  • Terry Maynard

    Reston 2020 will start here: “Reston Transportation: Meeting the Needs of a 21st Century Planned Community,” June 1, 2010. (https://www.scribd.com/doc/32716465/Reston-Transportation-Meeting-the-Needs-of-a-21st-Century-Planned-Community-Transportation-Work-Group-RCA-Reston-2020-Committee-June-1-2010) The 53-page paper prepared by a Reston 2020 working group was an analysis of the transportation needs in an around the Metro station areas and covers everything from sidewalks to buses to roads.

    It used the 2009 RMAG report as its foundation and added a number of dimensions to the RMAG report. It also endorses and uses the RA “Reston on Foot” pathways study.

    All that’s been done five years later is about 500′ of sidewalk on the south side of the Wiehle station, bus service to the station, and Comstock-proffered road improvements (not that you’d notice from the Metro-induced traffic) on Sunset Hills & Wiehle near/at their intersection.

    For those among RestonNow’s readers who really care about transportation issues, I recommend that you at least read the two-page executive summary. That may encourage you enough to read the full report.

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