FABB encourages Alexandria-area riders to participate in Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) public information meetings to provide information about the I-495 Southside Express Lanes study and demand consideration of including a shared-use path in the project.
FABB supports a recommendation by Chris Wells, the Active Transportation Program Manager at the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT), that VDOT include a shared-use path in the express lane study for I-495 from Springfield to the Maryland Route 210. Such a trail would match the I-66 Outside the Beltway trail currently under construction and the trail to accompany the proposed I-495 NEXT project.
Some FABB participants will remember from 2015 when VDOT and their toll lane partners had not originally planned to include a shared-used path along I-66. After considerable public input led by FABB’s advocacy, VDOT altered their plans and added a trail.
In general, FABB believes that additional express lanes are a poor, if not counterproductive, solution to congestion and safety problems. Worse, they consume funds that would be better used to expand multimodal transit options. But, if the project should become a reality, we need to ensure that the plans include biking infrastructure that would actually help with reducing congestion and pollution by creating other viable and safe travel options.
VDOT will hold a virtual public information meeting on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm with a presentation beginning at 7 pm. Visit https://www.virginiadot.org/495Southside or call 703-259-3752 for details on how to join this meeting.
VDOT also will hold a series of in-person meetings from 6:30-8:30 pm (presentation at 7 pm) at the following dates and locations:
- Thursday, May 19, at Oxon Hill High School, 6701 Leyte Drive, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
- Monday, May 23, at John R. Lewis High School, 6540 Franconia Road, Springfield, VA 22150
- Wednesday, May 25, at the Nannie J. Lee Memorial Recreation Center, 1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Plan to share your views with VDOT at one of the above meetings or via the internet using the information below. Having safe and comfortable bicycle facilities will make bicycling better. While the current plans allow for private foreign investors to design, build, and operate the toll lanes for an extended period of time, VDOT can require that safe and comfortable bicycle facilities be included in the project.
The deadline for providing comments is June 6, 2022 and can be submitted via email to [email protected]. You also can provide input by completing a public opinion survey at https://www.virginiadot.org/495Southside.