- Show VDOT your support for proposed shared-use trail by 4 December.
- Planned trail can promote bike-ped connections around Tysons.
FABB encourages bicyclists and others interested to Speak Up in support of the planned parallel trail accompanying the 495NEXT project, the proposed northern extension of express lanes on I-495 between Tysons and the American Legion Bridge. We applaud the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for including a shared-use trail in the plan. If the project goes forward, FABB strongly recommends that the proposed bicycle and pedestrian facilities be built behind the noise wall along the three-mile corridor. Regardless of the final decision on the projected express lanes, VDOT and Fairfax County should construct this parallel trail behind the wall and include other improvements we have recommended in previous blogs here and here.
495NEXT has become a controversial project because of questions about the balance between its likely benefits and its negative impact on other transportation options and environmental and health issues. One of FABB’s partners, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, questions the apparent rush to commit to the project before knowing the outcome and timing of Maryland’s plans or before considering pandemic-induced changes in travel patterns.
But, as the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) pointed out in a recent presentation to the Board of Supervisors, the planned trail alone has value because it will promote pedestrian and bicycle connections in and around Tysons. If built, the trail will help spur the county to take action to assure pedestrian and bike facilities along secondary streets throughout the project corridor. You can see FCDOT’s views in its presentation here.
Please support the trail providing your comments to VDOT here by December 4, 2020.