Ten years ago this week FABB was advocating for better bicycling at a public hearing on the development of Mulligan Road, a planned connector road between Richmond Highway (U.S. Route 1) and Telegraph Road in the vicinity of Fort Belvoir. The need for this new road developed when the Department of Defense closed public access to the once popular bike commuter routes of Beulah Street and Woodlawn Road within Fort Belvoir following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Bicyclists were forced to find an alternative route, which ended up being a dangerous, long stretch of Route 1. Improving this situation was one of FABB’s top goals when it was started just a few years earlier.
FABB continued to monitor developments with the planned shared-use path to ensure that it was safe and was wider than the initial plans proposed. When it opened five years later in 2014, the new four-lane divided roadway was renamed Jeff Todd Way in memory of a well-loved local community leader.
In August 2017, riders on Jeff Todd Way could link to the bike lanes added to Route 1 as part of the Route 1 Expansion, a 3.6-mile-long road improvement project from Jeff Todd Way south to the intersection with Telegraph Road. The new bike lanes going in both directions joined a 10-foot multi-use path that runs parallel to the highway on the west side. This path goes all the way to Lorton Road where it connects to bike facilities there. The ongoing Richmond Highway Corridor Improvements project will add separate bike lanes on both sides of the road for three miles north from Jeff Todd Way to Sherwood Hall Lane.
The infrastructure added to the Ft. Belvoir area since 2014 makes it possible to ride to northern Fairfax County (and vice versa) using bike facilities for most of the entire way. Riding south and west to Lorton provides a number of options to connect to the trail along Ox Road to Fairfax City or, with the appropriate bike, to the Cross-County Trail to head all the way to Reston and Great Falls. Alternately, by turning east on Rt. 235 cyclists can use only bike facilities to get to Mount Vernon and then connect with the Mount Vernon Trail. From there, it is simple to connect to the Martha Custis Trail at Rosslyn and then with the W&OD near Falls Church to travel on to the Reston-Herndon-Sterling areas.
This is how connections for a county-wide bicycle and multi-modal transportation network are created. It takes years of advocacy, planning and construction, and FABB is proud to have done its part to help make it happen.
Want to help keep up the momentum for new bicycle infrastructure. Contact us at [email protected].