The Custis Trail is one of Arlington's greatest assets, doing quadruple duty as recreation infrastructure, transportation infrastructure (including safe routes to school), exercise infrastructure, and park infrastructure. Given its age, the Custis is due for a refresh and a rebuild as its pavement is near the end of its useful life and its design doesn't meet modern standards for safety, comfort, or stormwater management.
Right now the County is taking stock - what is the current state of the Custis, and how should it improve to serve a new generation of Arlingtonians? Put on your advocacy PJs, charge up your laptop, and weigh-in using the County's online tool. Chances like this don't come along frequently.
We think there are two main areas of feedback we need to send the county through this engagement:
1. Very specific localized suggestions that somebody who doesn't ride the trail all the time or live in your neighborhood might miss. Stuff like "cars parked at the Lyon Village Shopping Center often overhang the curb, blocking part of the trail" and "this section of trail stays flooded after a heavy rain storm much longer than other parts of the trail do".
2. Support for two big obvious needs on the trail that may draw opposition: widening & better lighting. Given the high usage of the trail, the poor sightlines that come with its proximity to sound walls, and the speed differentials inherent in its hilly terrain, we think widening to give all users some additional breathing room is an obvious need and coupling that widening with stormwater improvements like bioswales could do so while improving the overall stormwater performance of the trail. We hear from many folks that the poor and unreliable illumination of the trail causes them to avoid using the trail at night. Given the terrible existing light fixtures, we think a trail lighting revamp with dark-sky light fixtures could improve lighting performance for both humans and critters alike.