NOVA Parks seeks comments on W&OD Trail enhancement project in Arlington and its funding request to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority
NOVA Parks is seeking public comment on concept plans to replace the existing 12-foot wide shared-use trail with a 12-foot wide bicycle trail and an 8-foot wide pedestrian trail separated by a 2-foot wide median. Where the W&OD Trail parallels I-66, the trail will be widened up to a 16-foot shared-use trail due to site constraints. Two narrow bridges over Four Mile Run will be replaced with wider bridges. The project extends 2 miles in Arlington County, from N. Roosevelt St. to N. Carlin Springs Rd. and will improve inadequate levels of service along congested portions of the W&OD in Arlington.
The project will provide greater capacity and encourage bicyclists and pedestrians who may avoid the trail due to overcrowding. The popularity of the trail and the wide range of trail users’ abilities present challenges related to maintaining capacity and public safety.
The project is a continuation of NOVA Parks’ and the City of Falls Church’s dual trail project to the west. The project will significantly enhance access to the East Falls Church Metrorail Station (.13 mile from the project area) and for commuters continuing into Arlington, Alexandria, and D.C. The W&OD in the project area provides access to N. Sycamore Street, Wilson Boulevard, and N. Carlin Springs Road, each with sidewalk connections. The W&OD connects to the Custis Trail and Bluemont Junction Trail in the project area, offering an opportunity to enhance the connections to these major trails and routes into Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon, Court House, and Rossyln. The project also enhances access to Benjamin Banneker, Bon Air, Bluemont and Glencarlyn parks.
The 45-mile long W&OD traverses the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun, the City of Falls Church, and the towns of Vienna, Herndon, and Leesburg. The straight and flat paved trail, which follows the gentle grade of the former railroad bed, provides a major bicycle commuter route for Northern Virginia. The trail connects to numerous pedestrian and bicycle facilities to form an extensive non-motorized network throughout Northern Virginia.