Building Back Better in Arlington: a CIP Blueprint for Sustainable Mobility

Arlington is about the adopt a plan for their next 3 years of capital projects.  We think this post-covid time is a critical opportunity for Arlington.

We have 8.5 years left to cut global emissions by 45% at hold the rise in global temperatures.

Arlingtonians WANT to walk & bike more - 53% of area residents surveyed said they expect to walk more after the pandemic; 26% said they expect to bike more.  With improvements to travel time and frequency, we are confident people will want to take transit more also, and if we are going to meet our climate goals, we must make that happen.

See the summary of our proposal below, or full details in our slide deck and then TAKE ACTION to support our proposal with the County!

How do we build back better?

  1. Fund Vision Zero
  2. Speed up our Transit
  3. A Safe Route to Every School
  4. Build out the Bike Network for All-Ages & Abilities
  5. Expand & Connect the Trail Network

Fund Vision Zero

If people don’t feel safe walking, biking or getting to transit, they won’t do it.

  1. Create a Vision Zero Tactical Fund for quick-build safety interventions with paint & bollards.
  2. Create a Vision Zero Capital Fund to have a dedicated pot of money to implement the highest priority safety projects with concrete & steel.
  3. Undertake a Corridor Study of Arlington Blvd to determine a community vision for Arlington Blvd which currently has an identity crisis.  Is it an interstate highway?  A commuter corridor?  A boulevard?  A parkway?
  4. Invest in Automated Traffic Enforcement as recommended by Arlington's Police Practices Working Group

Speed up Our Transit

Arlington's buses sit in traffic and have long, slow boarding processes. We must speed up our transit to make it time-competitive with driving. This will maximize Arlington's return on its transit investment and attract more riders.

  1. Aggressively implement Transit Signal Priority to move our buses faster
  2. Work with WMATA & NVTC to implement All-Door Boarding & Off-Vehicle Fare collection so our buses spend less time loading & unloading
  3. Study Dedicated Bus Lanes & combined HOV-3 / Dedicated Bus Lanes on Columbia Pike to speed up transit on Virginia's busiest bus route
  4. Extend the Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway to Pentagon City & the Alexandria line

A Safe Route to Every School

Schools not only serve their students, staff & families, but also host community meetings, sports games, & camps and are neighborhood parks. It should be safe and easy for people of all ages to walk and bike to every school in Arlington. Every “reduced walk zone” is a failure of street design. Despite this, the County proposes to phase out its Safe Routes to School Capital Program.

  1. Create a Safe Routes to School Tactical Fund for quick-build safety interventions with paint & bollards.
  2. Create a Safe Routes to School Capital Fund to have a dedicated pot of money to implement the highest priority safety projects with concrete & steel.
  3. Connect Kenmore Middle School to the W&OD Trail via a new trail on the west side of Carlin Springs Road.
  4. Connect Wakefield High School to the W&OD, 12th St Bike Boulevard & Arlington Blvd Trail via protected bike lanes on S George Mason Drive.

Build out the Bike Network for all-ages & abilities

Standard bike lanes are for the confident & fearless, we need protected bike lanes and trails to make biking work for everyone. Arlington has a great new bike plan, we need to fund implementation!

  1. Build Protected Bike Lanes on Highland Street to bridge the "Clarendon Wall" which impedes North-South bike travel across the Clarendon Corridor
  2. Build a 2-way Protected Bike Lane on the North side of Fairfax Drive to connect the R-B Corridor to the Custis & Bluemont Junction Trails
  3. Create a dedicated fund for Quick Build Protected Bike Lanes to capitalize on repaving, redevelopment, stormwater & other major construction projects
  4. Organize, name & mark the network of Neighborhood Bikeways or Bike Boulevards called for in the MTP into a coherent and navigable system

Expand & Connect the Trail Network

Trails are the “gateway drug” for biking & walking. People get started recreationally on trails & then realize that they c an use those same routes to walk & bike for errands or work. Arlington residents ranked paved multi-use trails as their most needed facility - 87% indicating a need for more trails.

  1. Connect the East end of Columbia Pike & Pentagon City to Rosslyn via a new trail along the Cemetery Wall
  2. Upgrade the Arlington Blvd Trail across and in the vicinity of Glebe Rd to bridge this serious barrier in the trail
  3. Upgrade the east end of the Arlington Blvd Trail connecting the areas recently improved by redevelopment to Ft Myer Drive
  4. Study the feasibility of a grade-separated crossing of Shirlington Rd between the W&OD and Four Mile Run Trails near the Weenie Beenie

Suggested Offsets

We recognize that the County’s capital dollars are not infinite. To that end, we have identified the following projects within the Transportation realm we believe it could be appropriate to cancel or delay to make space within the CIP for the above projects & initiatives.

These projects may very well be good, worthy projects...but we believe they are less efficient, less effective or a lower priority than the above program.

  1. Cancel the Airport Viaduct Pedestrian Improvements project as duplicative with the future CC2DCA connector between Crystal City and DCA
  2. Defer the South Glebe / West Glebe Intersection improvements or pay for them out of the the proposed Vision Zero Capital Fund if merited
  3. Require the Fairfax Dr / N Kirkwood Rd Intersection improvements to be implemented by redevelopment rather than paid for with local funds
  4. Require the Commonwealth of Virginia to meet its commitment to pay for the Crystal City Metro East Entrance and re-purpose the $4.5 million in local funds currently budgeted for it in the CIP
  5. Pay for the entirety of the Crystal City, Pentagon City & Potomac Yard Streets program with Crystal City TIF funds, re-purpose the $2 million in local funds currently budgeted for it in the CIP

Want more details? See the full details in our slide deck.

Want this to happen? TAKE ACTION to support our proposal with the County!