Saturday, November 18, 2017

I-66 Public Meetings Wrap-Up

The I-66 meetings last week went well with good turnouts and support for the parallel multi-use trail. FABB President Jeff Anderson provided the closing remarks at the November 13 meeting, and other advocates made comments in support of better trail design at each of the meetings.  

Some key points mentioned at the meetings that should continue to be emphasized with VDOT were:  
  • There are still opportunities to make additional improvements to reduce the length of trail between the sound walls and the highway to limit health concerns and permit greater access to nearby neighborhood.  
  • In particular, cyclists and pedestrians need protection from road debris and vehicle exhaust. 
    • Increasing the height of the Jersey barrier above 32-inches when the trail is on the highway side would enhance safety; 
    • User experience would be improved by measures on the highway side section to limit exposure to air pollutants.
  • Ensure that the trail has reasonable and convenient connections to bike facilities on bridges that cross I-66.
    • Some attendees noted that proposed trails at the Vienna Metro Station (south side) and Fair Oaks Mall do not appear to actually connect with each other or the local destination. The trail in the Fair Oaks area the trail is not in the I-66 right-of-way and instead circuitously follows nearby roads.
    • Proximity to mixed-use trails increases residential property values.
  • Steps should be taken to ensure that the shared use path has good drainage and design so there will be no standing water and ice will not form in freezing temperatures.  
  • If done well, the parallel trail will help our county compete for the best employers.  
These ideas can be included in written comments to VDOT that can be entered at the department's website here until November 29, 2017.

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