Active Prince William

Helping to make Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park a More Livable, Sustainable Community.

Category: Transportation (page 1 of 4)

Transform I-66 Outside the Beltway Design Public Hearings, November 13, 14 & 16

Design Public Hearings
for Transform I-66 Outside the Beltway
November 13, 14 and 16, 2017

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in partnership with I-66 Express Mobility Partners (EMP), will host Design Public Hearings on the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project regarding plans for the 22.5 mile corridor from I-495 to University Boulevard in Gainesville.

This will be our final opportunity to review and comment on the proposed design of the I-66 Trail, between Gallows Rd. in Dunn Loring and University Blvd. & Rte 29 in Gainesville.

Public Hearing Dates and Locations

All hearing times are from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
A formal presentation will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a public comment period.

Monday, November 13, 2017
for project segment 3 from Route 50 to I-495
Oakton High School Cafeteria 2900 Sutton Road, Vienna, VA 22181

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
for project segment 2 from Route 29 in Centreville to Route 50
Stone Middle School Cafeteria 5500 Sully Park Drive, Centreville, VA 20120

Thursday, November 16, 2017
for project segment 1 from Gainesville to Route 29 in Centreville
Piney Branch Elementary School Cafeteria/Gym 8301 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA 20136

Details:

  • View design plans and learn more about the proposed improvements
  • Discuss your questions with staff during the open house
  • Attend the formal presentation, followed by a public comment period
  • Provide oral and/or written comments
  • Comment period through November 29, 2017

Small Area Plans – Your Opportunity to Engage

As part of the ongoing Comprehensive Plan update, the Prince William County Planning Office has created several small area plans to guide development in key areas of the county. Each small area plan may offer opportunities for improved transit, increased open space, and greater walkability.

Public outreach will be accomplished through one or more public meetings and design charrettes for each project. A charrette is a collaborative planning session among a project’s various stakeholders – in this case, government officials, consultants and/or developers, and interested members of the public. A planning outline and some anticipated outcomes are provided for each active plan at the links below. There are no upcoming public hearings or charrettes currently scheduled, but the Planning Department promises to update the website when they have been. We will monitor the website as well.

Five plans that are currently active:

Dale City
The basis for this project is two studies completed earlier this year: one by the Dale City Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) and the other under a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Transportation/Land-Use Connections (TLC) Program grant. The scope of the studies includes redevelopment of both the Dale Boulevard/Minnieville Road intersection and Mapledale Plaza at the intersection of Dale Boulevard and Queensdale Drive, as well as extensive redesign of vehicular, cycling, and walking infrastructure throughout the area.

Innovation Park
An examination of the Innovation Park area and a couple of miles of Prince William Parkway between Sudley Manor Drive and Godwin Drive/Nokesville Road, with the goal of developing Innovation Park as an economic center for PWC.

North Woodbridge
Covers US-1 between Occoquan River and Occoquan Road, north to I-95 and south to Belmont Bay Wildlife Refuge. The major issues appear to be the US-1/VA-123 interchange and multi-modal transportation options. There is currently very little usable infrastructure for non-motorized traffic in this area.

Small Area Plan: North Woodbridge

Parkway Employment Center
An update of the existing Parkway Employment Center sector plan at I-95/Horner Road/Prince William Parkway. A .pdf of the 2008 sector plan is available here.

Route 29
There is not a lot of information available for this plan yet. It will include a bike path along US-29 between US-15 and Somerset Crossing.

Future SAP projects include Independent Hill, Triangle, Yorkshire, and Fairgrounds/New Dominion.

Ryan Foster (rfoster@pwcgov.org), Community Development Manager, and David McGettigan (dmcgettigan@pwcgov.org), Long-Range Planning Manager, are the primary points of contact for questions or comments.

Active Prince William is a group of concerned citizens who advocate for improving opportunities, support, and infrastructure for active transportation and healthy lifestyles within Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. We are interested in helping to make Prince William County and Greater Manassas a more livable and sustainable Community.

Join the Manassas Community Conversations

The City of Manassas is holding a series of “Community Conversations” to gather ideas, priorities, and visions for the community’s future from individuals, families, neighbors, business professionals, and community leaders. This is your opportunity to shape Manassas by sharing your perspectives and providing input on key topics such as quality of life, services, transportation, land use, and economic development.

This community engagement process follows up on the City’s 2014 and 2016 community surveys, in which the following 10 community priorities were identified in order of importance.

 

The following engagement sessions remain:

Thursday, Sept. 7, 2 PM – Active Adults & Seniors
​​​Manassas Senior Center Board Room / 9320 Mosby Street ​​

Thursday, Sept. 7, 6PM – Families ​
​Manassas Museum / 9101 Prince William Street ​

Thursday, Sept. 21, 6 PM – Twenty & Thirty Somethings
​​​Bad Wolf Brew House / 8420 Kao Circle ​​ ​​​​

Saturday, Sept. 23, 2PM – Everyone!
​Grace Methodist Church Fellowship Hall / 9750 Wellington Road

You can also engage with City staff at the farmers markets in downtown Manassas on September 16 and 28 and October 21 and 26.

In addition, you can participate online through the City’s new online engagement portal!

The Community Conversations will dig deeper into the “why” of the top priorities to find location-specific issues and gauge if any priorities are missing from the list generated by the survey. The findings from both the survey and the Community Conversations will assist the City in updating its strategic priorities and comprehensive plan. Join the conversation!

Route 28 Corridor Study Public Information Meeting, Thursday, September 7, 6:30-8:30 PM, at the Manassas Park Community Center

Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, are holding a public information meeting on their Route 28 Corridor Feasibility Study on Thursday, September 7, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Manassas Park Community Center, 99 Adams St, Manassas Park, VA 20111.  The meeting will include a project overview presentation beginning at 7:00 pm.

According to the study website, the “project goals for the Route 28 Corridor Feasibility Study are to identify infrastructure improvements that will improve travel times and network reliability within the Route 28 Corridor through Prince William County, the City of Manassas and City of Manassas Park [between Godwin Dr at the west Manassas city line and Compton Rd in southern Fairfax County] and develop a plan to implement these improvement project(s).”

The public is invited to review and comment on the four alternatives for long-term corridor improvements that currently remain under consideration.

All alternatives would include a shared-use path for bicycling and walking.   One of nine “key objectives’ of this study is to “provide increased opportunities for alternative modes of travel such as travel by bicycles, walking and carpooling/vanpooling”.

View the May 11, 2017 study briefing.

Prince William County news release of August 29, 2017, describing a proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment for the presumed preferred alternative (2B) from this study.

For those unable to attend the September 7th meeting, a second, identical meeting will be held on Monday, September 11, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, at the Centreville Elementary School cafeteria, 14330 Green Trails Blvd, Centreville, VA 20121.

Vision Zero

I always find it interesting when talking to people about traffic crashes and fatalities, they seem to be resigned to the fact that there will always be carnage on our roads. But if you ask them how many traffic fatalities would be acceptable in their own family the answer is always zero. So why do we have this big disconnect in accepting the status quo for traffic deaths? When a plane, or train, crashes there is high visibility coverage, and much discussion about why it happened. However, when one of the more than 115 people in the U.S., and Canada,  die each day on our roadways, there is very little response from the media.

To make matters worse, in 2016 the number of people killed on our roads spiked upward, with a disproportionate effect on people walking and biking. Have we decided that it is just part of the cost of mobility, a cost that has resulted in an estimated 2 million walking, biking and driving deaths in the U.S. from 1945 to 2015, or are we willing to make changes?

Vision Zero is a program to reduce the number of traffic deaths and severe injuries to zero. Is this a worthwhile goal? A lot of people think so, and already cities elsewhere have saved numerous lives as they get closer and closer to the goal. Watch this video and decide for yourself how many traffic deaths are acceptable.

The Washington Area Bicyclists Association hosted the DC Vision Zero Summit on Friday, March 31. DC has a goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024 and they have made great strides in moving towards achieving their goal. Vision Zero DC is a collaborative effort with transportation, health, police, advocacy groups, government officials, and community members working together to reduce crashes that result in fatalities and severe injuries. Mayor Bowser emphasized during her presentation that this has to be a regional effort. This makes sense as the population of DC doubles during the workday with many people driving from suburbs to the city for work.

The epidemic of deaths from traffic crashes is a public health issue. Greg Billings from WABA opened up the summit and was followed by Dr. Sarani from GWU Hospital, Center for Trauma and Critical Care, Dr. Yang from AAA Foundation, and Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Emiko’s presentation resonated with me in that the design of our streets is critical to reducing death and injury. The National Complete Streets Coalition Dangerous by Design 2016 effort takes a closer look at the alarming epidemic of people walking getting killed in traffic crashes on our streets. The study includes a socio-economic analysis of the people who are most at risk, and for the first time also ranks states by their danger to pedestrians.

Having been hit by a car while riding my bike, having spent time in a trauma ward, and then several months recovering, I know firsthand how an unsafe transportation network effects health. I was happy to see a number of health professionals in attendance and speaking at the summit. It is critical going forward that transportation engineers and planners work with public health officials to design livable communities with sustainable transportation options.

The panel session discussions included

  • Opportunities for Cross-jurisdictional Cooperation
  • Vision Zero and High Risk Users
  • Public Health Case Studies
  • Vision Zero and Public Health
  • Human Impacts of Traffic Fatalities
  • Vision Zero and Enforcement
  • Winning over the Public to Vision Zero
  • Infrastructure: Designing Safe Streets
  • Driver Training and Accountability

http://www.waba.org/vision-zero-summit/

For my part, I would like to see better infrastructure design that provides safe access for all, but especially people walking and biking. Speed limits need to be lowered so that when humans make mistakes vulnerable roads users do not have to suffer the consequences. Road design needs to take in account human behavior and create safer space for all.  The automotive industry and the technology industry need to work together to install devices in vehicles to reduce the increasing issues of distracted and drunk driving. Stakeholders need to be included in the community planning process.  People of color, and older adults, are over represented among pedestrian deaths, and as such should have a larger voice in the conversation. The best solution might be to get more people out of cars. Using active transportation and transit is much safer than driving, and better for your health.

What are some of the ways that you can start making a difference?

Talk to your elected officials about infrastructure design focused on reducing road user conflict, making it safer for people to walk and bike, https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/national-complete-streets-coalition/

Take the World Health Organization pledge to slow down while you are driving, https://www.unroadsafetyweek.org/en/home

Check out Virginia’s driving laws to catch up on recent changes, such as the three foot passing law, http://www.bikearlington.com/pages/pal-safety-on-our-streets/virginias-3-foot-passing-law/

The media and government agencies need to stop victim-blaming vulnerable road users. People walk and biking have a right to navigate the transportation network safely. Every type of traveler makes mistakes. People walk out into traffic while texting. Drivers text while driving, drive drunk, or speed. Bicyclists run stop signs. We need to design our roads for the most vulnerable users as people walking or biking are not surrounded by a 3,000 lb steel personal pod with air bags. Remember that everyone is traveling to their destination outside of a car at some point in time during their travels. The important distinction is which kind of traveler has the biggest potential to kill & maim. And that our roads are designed such that mistakes like texting & driving can kill.

Vision Zero, or zero traffic deaths, is a goal that we should all want to achieve. Americans need to make it personal, and make the choice to slow down and yield to life. No one wants one of their family members, or wishes it on any other family, to be killed in a traffic crash. If transportation professionals, public health professionals and government officials work towards designing and building safe infrastructure, and  people use our roads with the perspective that everyone will be missed by someone, we can work towards achievement of the goal to make it safe for everyone using our transportation network.

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