The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) hosted a virtual public meeting on Tuesday (Jan. 12), with transportation leaders from Virginia and Maryland to address questions and comments about its transit and transportation demand management study for Interstate 495 and the American Legion Bridge.
The study’s focus is to “develop and prioritize transit options and travel demand management for bistate travel across the bridge,” DRPT Northern Virginia Transit Planning Manager Ciara Williams says.
Williams presented three investment packages divided into baseline, medium and high designations based on their ability to improve productivity, equity and connectivity.
The baseline package focuses on two main route connections that would provide peak-period service from Tysons to Gaithersburg and Bethesda in Maryland.
The medium package features additional routes, increased frequency, and a Bethesda-Tysons route with off-peak service. It also adds service to Silver Spring, Germantown, Frederick, L’Enfant, and Arlington.
The high package offers all-day bus service, additional route connections, and even more frequency. It has an expanded scope that includes Dunn Loring, Reston, and Dulles.
DRPT Chief of Public Transportation Jennifer DeBruhl emphasized that the study is being conducted in coordination with partners at the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Maryland Transit Association.
“This study is really about the art of the possible,” DeBruhl said. “…We’re looking forward to continuing to work with them…to put together a really seamless network that we can develop and enhance as funding resources become available to do that.”
During a question-and-answer portion of the meeting, community members questioned the exclusion of a Dulles route from the baseline and medium packages.
According to DeBruhl, there wasn’t “much demand” seen in a connection to Dulles, but transportation leaders can reevaluate the possibility, either as part of the current study or in the future.
“This evaluation of transit options in the corridor doesn’t end with this study,” she said.
Members of the public also asked about the ability to accurately predict the potential traffic patterns that transit may create over the American Legion Bridge when transit currently does not exist there.
“This is, in a lot of ways, a very technical modeling effort to try to assess and predict the demand and willingness of individuals to shift from that single-occupant vehicle to a transit option if it’s made available and competitive from a time perspective,” DeBruhl said.
With DRPT now working to finalize its recommendations, Williams noted that no decisions have been made yet on which transit agencies would operate the proposed routes.
The public comment period for the study will be open through Feb. 1. DeBruhl anticipates that a final study report will be published in March.
“This study has covered a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time, but it is our goal to bring this study process to a conclusion before we get to far into the spring,” DeBruhl said.
Comments on the study may be made online, by phone at 703-253-3324, or by sending a letter addressed to Ms. Ciara Williams at DRPT, 1725 Duke Street, Suite 675 Alexandria, VA 22314.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott; slide via Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation
Live Fairfax is a bi-weekly column exploring Fairfax County. This recurring column is sponsored and written by Sharmane Medaris of McEnearney Associates. Questions? Reach Sharmane at 813-504-4479. There are so many fun things…
Shipgarten’s Thanksgiving Barks & Brews Festival is coming this Saturday (via Shipgarten/Instagram) People will be talking about Bruno at Shipgarten in Tysons this Thanksgiving weekend. Characters from the Disney movie…
This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better. November — a month containing both Veterans Day and Thanksgiving…
Curative will operate COVID-19 testing mobile labs at six sites in Fairfax County (courtesy Fairfax County Health Department) Curative is set to shut down all of its public COVID-19 testing…
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.
The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.
Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.