Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Braddock Road pedestrian detour

The existing Braddock Road/I-495 bridge is a typical example of the lack of pedestrian and bicycle access across the Beltway. Well, it's going to get much worse before it gets better. According to the VDOT news release Braddock Road Westbound Bridge Demolition: "Starting on or about Feb. 24, the westbound bridge will be demolished and traffic will be shifted to the eastbound bridge, which will have two lanes of traffic in each direction. To make room for the additional lane, the sidewalk will be demolished and pedestrians will be directed to use the Wakefield Park bridge over I-495."

The detour map shows the route pedestrians (and cyclists who don't choose to ride over the bridge) would follow heading north to the Wakefield ped/bike bridge, then along local streets to eventually reach Ravensworth Road. This is about a 2 1/4 mile detour, walking at a decent pace it's about 30-40 minutes.

There is no mention of the inconvenience to pedestrians and bicyclists. However, in the news release it notes: "Motorists should expect eastbound delays of about six to eight minutes in the a.m. peak hours, and westbound delays of about 10-20 minutes in the p.m. peak hours."

This does not bode well for ped/bike access during the construction of the HOT lanes.

Dr. Gridlock mentions the detour in the online column Get There.

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