Virginia Advocacy Roundup
As we continue to virtually organize from our homes, the WABA advocacy team has made it a priority this year to remain engaged in the push to achieve Vision Zero and complete our bike and trail network in Northern Virginia. Our strategies in Northern Virginia this year include :
- Regional Coordination: We have been hosting quarterly meetings with northern VA bike and transportation advocates to collaborate and amplify advocates who are on the ground making northern VA a safer place to walk and bike.
- Showing up: Attending and participating in regional vision zero meetings to influence regional vision zero action plans.
- Collaborating: Working within existing state-wide advocacy coalitions to pass legislation and budgetary measures that help achieve local bike and pedestrian safety goals.
- Making Space to Focus: We’ve created a northern VA subcommittee within the Capital Trails Coalition. The sub committee will be charged with coming up with the strategy to complete our trail network in northern VA.
We are excited to collaborate with our partners on the ground in northern VA and look forward to the work ahead! Check out some of the additional updates and ways to take action below!
Actions to take:
Submit Comments on the Arlington Vision Zero Action Plan!
There are still opportunities to give your feedback on transportation safety in Arlington between now and November 30th, 2020.
Arlington is in the process of developing their vision zero action plan and they are seeking feedback from the public.
To take action on safety issues before crashes occur, they need to hear from people who travel in Arlington every day! Click here to read the draft Arlington Vision Zero Action Plan. You can email your comments to Christine Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get updates and submit comments on the City of Fairfax Bicycle Transportation Plan
The Bike Fairfax City bicycle transportation plan is being developed to help the City identify and prioritize projects to connect the City’s network of on- and off-street bicycle facilities. The 2035 Comprehensive Plan envisions a “Green Ribbon” network that connects neighborhoods, provides more transportation options, and improves access to key destinations like the City’s activity centers.
Click here to sign up for updates about the Bike Fairfax City plan and email comments to email@example.com.
Arlington Plans Protected Bike Lanes on Army Navy Drive
Arlington County is finalizing plans for a completely reimagined Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City to include new curb-protected bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes, and much safer pedestrian spaces and intersections. The plans are at 90%, but there are still a few improvements we would like to see.
Click here to read Sustainable Transportation for Arlington County’s take and submit comments by Dec 4.
Virginia Conservation Network
WABA joined the Virginia Conservation Network! Within the network we will now be active in their new bicycle/pedestrian committee. Through the committee we will be advocating alongside partners such as Alexandria/Arlington Families for Safer Streets, Bike Walk RVA, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Friends of the Lower Appomattox River, New River Valley Bike Association, Roanoke Outside, Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition, Virginia Bike Federation, Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, VCTF/Virginia Trail Alliance.
Through the coalition we will push the General Assembly to adopt our collective policy priorities.
One of our top priorities this year will include finding permanent funding for Northern VA bike and pedestrian projects. Stay tuned on ways to get involved!
Mount Vernon Trail Upgrades
The Mount Vernon Trail is one of the most-used trails in the region, serving as both a critical transportation link and recreation treasure. But as we all know, the trail is far too narrow to comfortably accommodate everyone. After years of preliminary discussions and planning, the National Park Service completed a study of the trail’s needs that recommends extensive trail widening, bridge upgrades, and other safety improvements. We still have much more work to usher these changes through the process and get them funded, but upgrades are coming! Read the study here. The Capital Trails Coalition has provided support for a request through Virginia’s SMART SCALE program to fund the work.
A new connection to the Mount Vernon Trail
The Virginia Department of Transportation and the National Park Service are working a new connection to the Mount Vernon Trail on Boundary Channel Drive, which will create new connections to Crystal City, the Pentagon, and the future Long Bridge. Read our comments here.
Referendum in Fairfax Passes
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized four bond referendums totaling $441 million for this fall’s general election. On the November 3rd, 2020 general election, voters were asked to vote “yes” or “no” on each of the four bonds. One of these bonds includes $112M proposed for improving and maintaining parks in Fairfax County. This funding is an important opportunity to expand the trail network in Northern Virginia, and we sent out an email urging our supporters to vote YES on this bond. And it passed!
The election results are here.
The Potomac River is officially getting a new trail bridge when the new Long Bridge is built! Earlier this summer, the Federal Railroad Administration and DDOT completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the new Long Bridge rail project. Following the persistent pressure from WABA and thousands of advocates from the beginning of this multi year process, a new trail bridge will be built to connect the Long Bridge Park to the Mount Vernon Trail and across the Potomac River to Ohio Drive. Construction on this megaproject is still years away, but the wait will be worth it! The Capital Trails Coalition recently joined a number of US Representatives and State Transportation Heads to support federal funding for the project.