Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jones Branch Connector and Route 28 meetings tonight

Jones Branch Connector Project meeting - Fairfax County will present plans for a future bridge over the Beltway in Tysons, the Jones Branch Connector Project. The new bridge would extend from Route 123 near the McLean Metrorail station across the Beltway to Jones Branch Dr. Bike lanes are currently included in the plans for the road and bridge. The meeting will be held at Spring Hill Elementary School, 8201 Lewinsville Road, McLean, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with a formal presentation at 7:15 p.m. Please consider attending and supporting bike access on the bridge.

Route 28 Safety Study Meeting - VDOT is holding a public meeting "regarding the development of a traffic and operational safety study to identify short-term recommendations to improve traffic operations on Route 28 (Centerville Road) from South of I-66 to Liberia Ave." The Route 28 Corridor Safety and Operations Study meeting is on Wednesday, December 10, at Centreville Elementary School, 14330 Green Trails Blvd., Centreville from 6:30-8:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. Better bike access across and along Route 28 should be included in this study.

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I went to the Jones Branch Connector meeting. They had a big stack of blueprints, and buried in there they had elevation profile. The blueprints show that on both sides of the beltway there is about a 50 foot climb with an 8% grade. Doable, I guess, but it would probably intimidate a newer cyclist who still hasn't built up their legs.

When I look on Google Earth, it shows a climb of about 54 feet over a distance 278 feet. And my calculations say that this is a 19% grade. The elevation data there is possibly from before the existing ramp was built, so this is probably a less reliable figure.

Thanks for that information. I agree that an 8% grade is doable but could be a challenge for some.

Was there much discussion of bike access on the new bridge?
Yes, I asked about this, and they were telling me that they were planning both bike lanes and wide sidewalks for pedestrians. So at the moment, it seems good. I didn't get a chance to sit through the entire presentation - I had to leave early to get home in time for dinner.

The part of the connector that was built for the HOT lanes would still need to be widened to make room for the sidewalks and bike lanes. One shouldn't look at the the current section of the road as an indication of what the final project will look like.

I was kind of wondering whether building this project would make it possible to remove one of the two slip lanes at the corner of Tysons Blvd and Galleria Drive, which would enable crosswalks on all 4 sides of this intersection.


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