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Missing sidewalks and unsafe street crossings among concerns facing West Falls Church development

Redd Road is a spot of concern for some West Falls Church area residents (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) The Fairfax County Department of Transportation got an initial round of public input last week on its study to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and infrastructure in the area around the West Falls Church Metro station.

The department held virtual meetings on Wednesday and Saturday (Feb. 9 and 12) on the study as the county hopes to address community concerns before developers begin to transform the 24-acre transit station area, attracting more foot and vehicle traffic to the area.

FCDOT planner Timothy Kutz Jr. explained that the study focuses on a 2-mile radius around the Metro station to find gaps in the bicycle network. The study’s scope also encompasses a 1-mile radius for possible pedestrian improvements.

After the presentation, attendees brought up a range of issues, from missing sidewalks to the need for safer crossing methods. Areas of concern included access to the Metro station and nearby Haycock Elementary School, among other destinations.

One example of the need for increased safety was Redd Road, where participants raised concerns about the lack of sidewalks and safe crossing points as well as potential traffic dangers.

According to the study description, improvements there could include a walkway and a bridge that would connect to Redd from both the Idylwood Road and Pimmit Drive sides of the street.

Attendees also questioned if the planned development will make local traffic denser and more hazardous.

“We will be looking at forecasted volumes on select streets in order to determine how a change in traffic given increased development may affect the recommendations we make for active transportation improvements,” Kutz said.

The county launched the study in December after the Board of Supervisors approved comprehensive plan changes in July to allow mixed-use development around the West Falls Church Metro station and the Virginia Tech campus.

The plan allows for a maximum of 1,340 residential units, 301,000 square feet of office space, 48,000 square feet for retail space, and 160,000 square feet for institutional needs.

According to the project’s draft scope of work, the first set of recommendations will be ready to present for community feedback sometime this spring. A final draft of the study is projected to go before the Board of Supervisors in the summer.

Photo via Google Maps

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