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I-66 Trail Needs a New Name

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is looking for some public input on new trail names for the bicycle and pedestrian path along I-66.

No Traily McTrailface, please — FCDOT is seeking a more pleasant, non-gimmicky monicker for the trail, which is currently in planning but set for construction later this year.

“The concern was that I-66 has a negative connotation because everyone hates I-66,” Chris Wells, bicycle and pedestrian program manager for FCDOT, said at an earlier meeting. “But everyone knows where I-66 is and where it’s located. We’re going to be doing sample names and present those at a future meeting.”

The trail — will run from Gallows Road in Vienna to Centreville — has more problems than just the name. Discussion of the I-66 trail at that meeting turned contentious as bicycle advocates prodded Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) staff over issues like separation of the trail from the road and snow removal.

For most of the length of the trail, the bicycle path will be at a separate elevation from the highway or running parallel on side streets.

For a few miles, particularly near Vienna, however, the trail will be running directly alongside the highway. VDOT officials at the meeting noted that it was “not ideal for a pleasant bike-riding experience,” but placing the trail on the other side of the sound barrier would have cut into the back yards of homes along the road.

Upcoming meetings are planned to review the proposed trail and offer an overview of the upcoming construction timeline. The two meetings are scheduled for:

  • Vienna: Tuesday, April 9, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Marshall Road Elementary School  (730 Marshall Rd SW)
  • Centreville: Saturday, April 27, from 1-11:30 a.m. at Centreville Elementary School (14330 Green Trails Blvd)

According to a Department of Transportation post for the meetings:

The meeting will also include an interactive exercise with attendees to explore possible names for the new trail.  Attendees will be asked to submit names and weigh in on a sampling of names that have been suggested. FCDOT will than narrow the list of names and host an online survey to vote on the trail names to be presented to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board for consideration and approval.

Image via VDOT

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