Jurisdictions throughout Virginia submitted transportation projects for funding under House Bill 2 and three of those submitted from the Northern Virginia area were bicycle/pedestrian projects. All three scored well and have been recommended for funding.
The analysis scored transportation plans to help determine which projects warrant limited state funds, part of a newly required process under Virginia law. The Commonwealth Transportation Board has the final say over which projects should receive funding.
All of the raw scores are relative to the other projects that need funding.
After hundreds of Virginia Department of Transportation staff and consultants spent months analyzing the projects, staff presented recommendations Tuesday for the projects that should be funded during the next six years.
In Northern Virginia, staff recommended funding for projects that will bring toll lanes to I-66 outside the Beltway, widen Va. 28 in Fairfax County, widen U.S. 1 and Telegraph Road in Prince William County and add a second entrance to the Ballston Metro Station that would promote more development there.
Staff also suggested funding new park-and-ride lots and a new bridge to carry Interstate 95 over the Rappahannock River.
The $500 million worth of Northern Virginia projects recommended for funding, the bulk of which is tied to I-66, received an overall 3.7 benefit-to-cost ratio.
Though not called out in the WTOP article, all three bike/ped projects have been recommended - and in fact they're among the highest rated projects in the state. The Falls Church projects were both ranked in the top 10 statewide. The Downtown planning area project ranked 2nd and the Pedestrian Crossing project was ranked 8th - out of 287.
The first application includes funding for pedestrian crossings along Route 7 (W Broad St and Oak St, E Broad St and Fairfax St, and E Broad St and Berry St). The second application includes funding for sidewalk and streetscape improvements in the downtown planning opportunity area (N Maple Ave and Little Falls St, between Park Ave and W Broad St).
Meanwhile, the Old Cameron Run Trail project placed 78th among state priorities, which placed it well above some of the other funded projects like the Route 1 widening (#234) or Route 28 widening (#164).
Old Cameron Run Trail: $6 million requested to increase pedestrian and bicycle connectivity in an area of the City where new development and population growth is occurring. The project would construct a shared-use path between Eisenhower Avenue near Telegraph Road to on-road bicycle facilities that link to the Mount Vernon Trail, addressing a major gap in the City’s trail system.
There are surely other bike/ped projects that were recommended, the only one that jumped out at me was the Virginia Central Railway Trail Bridge in Fredericksburg, which ranked #6 statewide.
The [Commonwealth Transportation Board] can still alter the fiscal 2017 recommended Six Year Improvement Program before voting on the final plan in June.