Thirteen Fairfax County intersections would be improved, buses would take some Virginia Railway Express riders to two crowded stations and key pedestrian trail segments would be completed under a proposal made by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to state transportation officials.
The supervisors are asking the Warner administration to consider the projects as part of the governor's congestion relief program. In December, Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) said he would consider providing up to $2 million each for highway, mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects that would ease traffic delays in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
To qualify for the money, the "quick fix" projects cannot take longer than a year to complete, transportation officials said. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, a newly created organization that is charged with developing a regional transportation plan, will review Fairfax's request at its March 13 meeting along with those submitted by other governments, agencies and interest groups.
One of Fairfax's innovative projects is a bus "subscription" service for VRE riders who use the Burke Centre and Rolling Road stations on the Manassas Line. Parking lots at those stations are full, discouraging additional VRE ridership. The plan calls for passengers to sign up for a bus that would stop near their homes and take them to the VRE stations. VRE fares would be discounted for the bus riders.
In the Tysons Corner area, county officials are asking for money to complete the purchase of right of way for "a significant missing link" of Spring Hill Road between Leesburg Pike (Route 7) and International Drive. If the project is approved, the county could complete it by fall 2005 instead of a year later, officials said.
At the Capital Beltway-South Van Dorn Street interchange, county officials said they would like to make interim fixes on southbound Van Dorn to speed traffic flow off of the Beltway ramp. The long-term plan calls for rebuilding parts of that interchange.
Along Richmond Highway (Route 1), the county proposes to buy buses and increase service. The buses would be equipped with an automatic vehicle locator system that would allow dispatchers to keep track of the buses so they can stay on time. The plan also calls for a multilingual pedestrian safety program in a corridor notorious for pedestrian deaths.
A section of the Cross County Trail between King Arthur Road and Wakefield Park would be finished under the county's request. Some supervisors questioned whether such a trail project qualified as traffic congestion relief, but county transit officials contended that completing this section would link existing trails to provide a walking and biking route between Annandale and the Vienna Metro station as well as Northern Virginia Community College and Fairfax City.
Other sections of the trail proposed for completion would be at Sydenstricker Road and Hooes Road; Lee Highway (Route 29) under Interstate 66; Ravensworth Road to the existing sidewalk south of Braddock Road; the south side of Little River Turnpike (Route 236) between Virginia Street and Chowan Avenue; and the east side of Government Center Parkway between Monument Drive and the county Government Center.