Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Liberty Bell Trail

FABB Board member Alan Young, who also is the Springfield Trails and Sidewalks Representative, sent us the following update on the Liberty Bell Trail: 

If you live in West Springfield/Burke near Shiplett Boulevard, Burke, Burke Lake or Coffer Woods Roads, you may have noticed the construction in the Pohick Stream Valley behind the Burke Post Office and Burke Nursery. This is the long awaited Liberty Bell Trail. It will allow pedestrian and bike connections between Shiplett Boulevard at Hatches Court (near White Oaks Elementary), Burke Road at the 90-degree bend called fondly by many "Dead Man's Curve,” and Burke Lake Road at the Coffer Woods Signal. 

The trail is a joint VDOT and Fairfax County Parks project designed to connect neighborhoods in the Pohick Valley Stream Park area to the Burke Road bike lanes leading to the Rolling Road VRE station. It also connects to the Burke VRE Station via the Burke VRE trail and to businesses along Roberts Road and Burke Lake Road, including the Burke Post Office. This new bicycle and pedestrian facility will provide local residents and visitors with much needed recreational and nature access to the Pohick Stream Valley. By extending the trail network to the Burke VRE station, the farmers market there will just be a short and fun Saturday morning run/ride away!

Watch this blog for more information about the scheduling of and participation in the opening celebration.

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How can you make the ride to the VRE though when they have installed those concrete lilly pads to jump across instead on an actual bridge?
You are referring to the "fair weather" crossing on the Burke VRE trail I think. The Park District, in an effort to make trail money go as far as possible, decided to use existing infrastructure when the Burke VRE trail was completed. I objected, noting we want commuting infrastructure open even during wet weather. Because the cost and challenge of putting in a bridge under high tension wires and next to the railroad tracks, the fair weather crossing remains. The Liberty Bell trail will have a proper bridge. If you want to work with us to fix the crossing, we welcome help.
Thanks for the update about this excellent new trail. There are so many areas like this in Fairfax where businesses and transit are just a quick bike ride away from where people live but the connections don't exist. It's great to hear this connection is being made.

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