Tonight's Alexandria Transportation Commission meeting was a short, quiet one, largely focusing on updates on several bike/ped projects in the city.
All 17 of the projects briefed are being funded via grants of some sort, whether CMAQ, Safe Routes to School, or some other sort of transportation grant. 14 of the 17 projects are fully funded. The remaining 3 (of which 2 are effectively the same project) are big-ticket, high dollar projects that don't currently have a funding source, although the city's consideration of the Commerical Add-On Tax (mentioned before on my blog) is one possible funding source. Grant funding totals just under $7.8 million, with about $8.3 million remaining unfunded for the three projects in question.
5 of the projects fall under Safe Routes To School, and improve sidewalks and/or pedestrian crossings in the vicinity of the selected schools, or provide bicycle parking at schools across the city.
4 more projects are related to pedestrian safety, with focus areas being on Duke St near Landmark Mall, the Edsall Rd/South Pickett St intersection, and near the King St Metro station.
This quick map shows the locations of the major bicycle-related projects being funded in whole or in part from the grants. Numbers on the map are simply for corresponding with my notes below and do not represent any particular priority:
1 - Holmes Run/Chambliss Crossing. This project will build a low-profile crossing of Holmes Run near the north end of the Holmes Run trail near Chambliss St. The crossing will connect to a similar trail in Fairfax County that continues north towards Columbia Pike. Final design is mostly done for the trail and the city hopes to begin construction this summer or fall.
2 - Holmes Run Trail There are two parts to this project, a study, and then construction. Both are partially funded (about $2 million for the construction part), but both will need additional funding to be completed. The study area emcompasses that part of the trail between North Ripley Street and the north side of I-395. This part of the trail is in poor condition and is effectively a storm outflow during periods of heavy precipitation. The study will identify recommended improvements to be made to this segment, which are expected to involve significant construction. Design is planned to begin next month.
3 - Eisenhower Ave Underpass This project was funded via ARRA (i.e. the stimulus) and is currently under construction. It's building a bike/ped connection underneath Eisenhower Ave at Holmes Run, connecting the Eisenhower Ave multi-use trail with the Holmes Run trail without having to cross Eisenhower Ave at-grade. The project is 85% complete and the city hopes to have it completed in the next few months.
4 - Old Cameron Run Study This "project" is actually a study, and will look at a possible bike/ped trail running along Old Cameron Run between the Eisenhower Ave/Mill Rd intersection and the southwest corner of the city's waterworks near the Beltway/Route 1 interchange. In conjunction with improvements along Payne St and Wilkes St (see below for the latter), construction of this trail will provide a bike/ped connection between the Eisenhower Ave trail and the Mt. Vernon Trail.
5 - Wilkes St Bikeway This project just began early design, and will provide a series of bicycle improvements along Wilkes St, between Payne St and Royal St, where it connects to a bike/ped tunnel which runs to Union St and the Mt. Vernon Trail. Possible improvements include bike lanes, sharrows, better curbs for the sidewalk segments between Route 1 and Columbus St, and also bicycle signals.
6 - Mt. Vernon Trail at East Abingdon This project will reconstruct the segment of the "Alternate" Mt. Vernon Trail that parallels the railroad spur between East Abingdon Drive and Royal St/Bashford Ln. It's possible that it will include the rest of this part of the trail all the way down to 1st Street. The reconstruction project will widen the trail to modern standards where right-of-way allows, but will try for a minimum of 8ft.
7 - Four Mile Run Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge This project is the other unfunded project, though funding exists for design work. This new bridge over Four Mile Run would be for bicycles and pedestrians, connecting Commonwealth Ave on the Alexandria side to Eads Street on the Arlington County side.
These projects will go a long way towards providing the "network connectivity" that is important for any successful bicycle route system. I look forwards to seeing future projects that expand on this connectivity.