Transportation plan builds hype for potential Metro line extension and Route 7 BRT

Looking down on Route 123 from McLean Metro station walkway (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Some transportation projects on the horizon have sparked excitement among the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors over potential transit improvements.

Visualize 2050 is a federally-mandated long-range transportation plan with an emphasis on projects that adhere to new emission reduction goals.

In a meeting of the Board of Supervisors Transportation Committee earlier this month, staff said the county has six projects it’s considering adding to Visualize 2050. The projects have to be considered regionally significant.

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said the inclusion of Route 7 BRT is a positive step, helping take the project from the conceptual stage to something being actively planned.

“I think it’s really exciting that we’re considering this and I would support BRT 7, “Palchik said. “It brings dedicated bus lanes. We’re talking about reducing congestion and using these roads to more easily have multimodal. I think it’s not super helpful when buses get stuck in traffic for people to give up their cars and opt for the bus.”

The Route 7 BRT proposal would eventually connect Tysons to Alexandria on a new route designed to prioritize public transit. Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said she’s hopeful districts between the two major stops will also benefit.

“Certainly Route 7 BRT will go all along Route 7, coming from Alexandria [in one direction] and Tysons [from the other],” Gross said. “I’m hoping that [Mason District] can be the golden spike.”

Elsewhere in county planning, Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk advocated for Metro’s Yellow Line extension down into Hybla Valley.

“That’s in alignment with what we’re doing with bus rapid transit and our Embark Richmond Highway study,” Lusk said. “The goal is that we eventually get to the extension of that Metro line. I just want to advocate for that and put a plug so that it can be considered.”

County staff said there will be two public meetings on the Visualize 2050 plan in April before the project works its way through the bureaucratic process, eventually heading to plan adoption sometime in December 2024.

Read more on FFXnow…

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