Monday, February 23, 2015

"Green Artery" trail proposal in newest Tysons Plan text

Design concept for Green Artery trail
Photo: Washington Post
Fairfax County Planning Commission is updating the Tysons Comprehensive Plan. The Commission has completed proposed changes for Phase 1 (Implementation, Land Use and Urban Design) and Phase 2 (Transportation) and is currently working on Phase 3 (Parks, Public Utilities, and other Updates).

The latest Phase 3 draft text was recently released. Among proposed changes is the "Green Artery" trail, a linear park linking the four new Metro stations "that could weave under and along the Silver Line." This trail was one of the ideas that came out of a June 2014 design session convened by Chairman Bulova to look at ways to spruce up the area under the elevated Metro tracks.

This proposed trail would be in addition to a planned circuit trail included in the Tysons Park System Concept Plan approved in November, 2014 and bicycle facilities contained in the Bicycle Master Plan. While these facilities will take many years to implement, they will have a major impact on how future residents will be able to get around Tysons by bike and on foot. The Green Artery trail is especially important since almost all future development in Tysons will be focused around the new stations.

The Planning Commission's next meeting on Phase 3 updates is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. See the Tysons Comprehensive Plan Amendments page for more information. Public hearings on all changes contained in Phases 1-3 are expected to be held later this year.

From the Phase 3 proposed edits, page 85 (emphasis added):
Trail Network: The conceptual trail network is included in Map 9. This network will be designed for frequent use through continuous lengths of outdoor trails or spaces that are a minimum of eight feet wide and may include amenities and/or design features such as trailheads, orientation features and wayfinding signage. These linear parks and trails will be popular for jogging, dog walking, biking, walking, enjoying the outdoors and general exercising. The space along the Metro rail provides an opportunity to create a “Green Artery” linear park to link the four stations with a pedestrian and bicycle path that could weave under and along the Silver Line.

Connecting continuous linear spaces with the grid of streets in Tysons provides an important amenity that can be linked with pedestrian and bicycle street elements. The County will pursue lighting of certain trails that provide Metro access and will consider other services to keep trail access open during winter months. The “Tysons Community Circuit” recreational trail loop as proposed along existing and planned roads will be a combined recreational and transportation feature that will add to the diversity of options available for moving through Tysons. The Tysons Park System Concept Plan describes features of and implementation strategies for “The Circuit” in greater detail. 

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