- Use a virtual public meeting on February 12 to ask for the addition of bike facilities in plans for improving public transit across the American Legion Bridge.
- Bus bike racks, bike parking, and safe access to terminals will increase multimodal options.
Northern Virginia (and Maryland) bicyclists should take advantage of a Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) virtual public meeting this week to insist that bike commuter needs be included in the development of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plans for the American Legion Bridge
The virtual meeting on the draft recommendations from a recently completed I-495 American Legion Bridge Transit/TDM Study will occur this Tuesday, January 12, 2021, starting at 7:00 pm. You can register here and submit comments through February 1, 2021 here.
The meeting and the recommendations focus on possible transit solutions to address the fact that there currently is no bus service between Virginia and Maryland across the bridge, which currently carries 235,000 vehicles each day with a projected increase by 2040 to 280,000. General proposals to reduce congestion, improve trip reliability and regional connections include bus service, autonomous shuttles (good grief), microtransit express bus, commuter and parking information, transit signal priority, carpool/vanpool, and other commuter assistance programs.
Despite having a goal of efficient and equitable transportation choices, the study makes no mention of helping potential bicycle commuters make the trip between Virginia and Maryland. At a minimum, these transportation officials should include consideration of means to enable bikes to be a part of the multimodal options. Plans should ensure that buses and vans have bike racks and bus terminals and carpool/vanpool lots include bicycling parking facilities and safe access via shared use paths and protected bike lanes to give riders more multimodal options.
Obviously, bike commuting will be a small fraction of this effort but it never hurts to remind transportation planners of the need to make bicycle (and pedestrian) infrastructure and facilities part of the initial planning considerations. Please let them know now by commenting at the meeting or on line.