The 2005 round of federal base realignment is expanding activity and employment at Ft. Meade, Ft. Belvoir and the National Naval Medical Center. In every case traffic is an issue. For example, at Navy Med (which would be re-named the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center)
The expected $800 million expansion of the Bethesda hospital will suffocate traffic and drive down the county’s quality of life if the state doesn’t widen roads, [and] improve public transportation, they said.
The county is requesting at total of $184.8 million from the state for projects to improve transportation infrastructure surrounding Navy Med.
County officials listed priorities to make the expansion of the hospital doable. That includes:
*Improving pedestrian and bicycle safety by constructing larger sidewalks on heavily traveled streets, such as Cedar Lane, Jones Bridge Road and Old Georgetown Road;
*Building either a new entrance at the Medical Center Metro Station or a pedestrian bridge to get pedestrians across Old Georgetown Road, one of the county’s busiest;
I'd like to see better bike connections made. Navy Med sits just north of the CCT and just south of Rock Creek Park. The North Bethesda Trail is not far to the west. It's really at the center of the Bethesda Biking Universe (trademarked).
Ft. Meade is making plans as well.
In anticipation of increased traffic from Fort Meade’s base realignment, the State Highway Administration is conducting a study to make improvements along 3.5 miles of Route 198 between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route-32. The study is also looking at widening MD-198, making interchange improvements and adding sidewalks and bike lanes to the road.
A public meeting was recently held and more are planned:
A public workshop that will examine all the possible improvements to the road is scheduled for June 2008. A location⁄design public hearing will be held in the fall 2009 and the location⁄design approval is slated for winter 2009-2010.
The Annapolis & Elk Ridge Railroad used to connect Ft. Meade to the WB&A railroad (now a trail). The ROW from the WB&A to Annapolis is already planned as the Short Line Trail. The ROW from Ft.Meade to the trail (pictured at left) could be made into a trail connection to the WB&A trail and the Odenton MARC rail station. On the west side of the base, the ROW could connect to the Savage MARC Station and the town of Maryland City.
Ft. Belvoir is getting pressure from the coalition for smarter growth and the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations to improve bicycle connections. Ft. Belvoir also has an abandoned railroad line, but it doesn't really connect to anything - though with a significant investment it could get one to the Franconia-Springfield Metro. Improvements on Route 1, Telegraph road and Pohick Road are probably more important, but I'm not as familiar with that area. Fairfaxians, what do you say?