Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fairfax Board of Supervisors endorses FY2014 trail projects

Today the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors endorsed three major trail project funding applications that will be submitted to VDOT for Transportation Alternatives funding. The Transportation Alternatives Program is the successor to the federal Transportation Enhancements program. This year VDOT is only accepting applications for grants that have current Transportation Enhancement funding. Next year VDOT plans to open the program to new applications. The three projects are:
Cross-County Trail (CCT) in Lorton— Fairfax County is proposing the design and construction of a new multi-use trail to provide non-motorized access between the Occoquan Regional Park and the Laurel Hill Greenway, both of which are portions of the CCT. The trail connects users with the historic Workhouse Arts Center, a program of the Lorton Arts Foundation (LAF), which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and enhances an already significant historic destination.

Mason Neck Trail—Construction of a multi-use trail to provide non-motorized access to the historic, environmental and recreational resources of Pohick Bay Regional Park, the Meadowood Recreation Area, Gunston Hall Plantation, Mason Neck State Park and the Elisabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

Phase III of the Georgetown Pike Walkway Project—The project will be constructed at the western end of Georgetown Pike, connecting the Seneca Shopping Center and site of the historic Salem Baptist Church with the western terminus of Georgetown Pike Trail Project – Phase 2.
See information provided to the Board at today's meeting, Endorsement of the FY 2014 Virginia Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Grant Applications staring on page 189.

What projects should Fairfax County consider for next years program?

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I was so happy to see that CCT improvements in Lorton were included in this. Reading the details, though, wow - an 18 foot wide trail seems very excessive! The well-kept portions of the trail that run through the old Lorton prison are beautiful right now, unpaved but hardpacked and not excessively wide. Still, though, as long as the mountain bike trails through there aren't paved over, I'll be happy.

I was wondering, though - is a map of where these trails will go available? My husband and I bought a house near the Workhouse Arts Center specifically to be close to this trail network, but one of the hurdles we are facing not being able to commute by bike to the Lorton VRE station. I see that the new Mason Neck trail investments will enable off-road bike trail access to the Lorton VRE from the East, but there is no safe way right now to ride to the Lorton VRE from the West. Any ideas?

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