The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently unveiled concept plans for an extension of the Custis Trail along I-66 outside the Beltway in Fairfax and Prince William Counties. Hundreds of Fairfax County trail users contacted VDOT asking for the trail extension as part of the I-66 project. While it is exciting to see the trail one step closer to reality, VDOT still has not included the trail as part of the I-66 project. VDOT is asking for additional feedback on how the parallel trail will benefit you, your commute, and your neighborhood.
A recent study showed that 25% of Fairfax County residents live within a mile of the proposed I-66 trail or within 1/2 mile of either the Fairfax Co Parkway or W&OD Trails, both of which would be connected by an extended Custis Trail.
There was a meeting on the I-66 project last night in Fairfax (sorry) and then one tonight in Vienna, and two more next week in Haymarket and Centreville.
Attend one of the I-66 Public Hearings and tell VDOT you support bicycle improvements, especially extending the Custis Trail, as part of the I-66 improvement project. Hearings are scheduled from 5:30 to 9:00 pm
Written comments may be submitted through June 18th by mail to Ms. Susan Shaw, Megaprojects Director, at the VDOT District Office address above, or by email toTransform66@VDOT.Virginia.gov. Reference “Transform 66 Outside the Beltway” in the subject line. Copy your public representatives on your email to make sure everyone gets your message for better bicycling! Don’t wait until June 18th, send your comments now.
The project, which covers the area from Dunn Loring to Haymarket, is in the NEPA phase right now, with a preferred alternative to be selected this fall and project completion in 2021.
The concept plan shows a multi-use path that is significantly more disjointed and circuitous than the existing Custis Trail. In some places it just seems to peter out (like at the edge of Manassas Battlefield), and in others it moves to sidewalks or on-street facilities. Where the highway is a smooth line, the trail moves wildly around interchanges, crossing the highway multiple times, moving far away from it and then coming back. Still, it is an improvement over the status quo. It would be a shame to rework I-66 and not extend the Custis Trail.