Greater Greater Washington

Posts by Douglas Stewart

Douglas Stewart is a volunteer with Fairfax City Citizens for Smarter Growth. He also works for the Piedmont Environmental Council as their Grants Specialist, and is the Transportation Chair for the Virginia Sierra Club. 

Old Lee Highway could become Fairfax's most bike-friendly street

Old Lee Highway in Fairfax City might soon become a lot more walkable and bikeable. That would mean more foot traffic in downtown Fairfax and more people using bikes to travel to residential and transportation hubs around the county.

Old Lee Highway. Base image from Google Maps.

Old Lee Highway spans from Old Town Fairfax to Fairfax Circle, one of the city's main commercial areas. It's home to a number of community destinations, including several schools, churches, the Blenheim Interpretive Museum, and Van Dyck Park, one of Fairfax City's largest parks.

But Old Lee Highway also caters to cars. At its commercial ends, Old Lee Highway has four lanes. At its residential heart, it has two. At one time the city had planned to widen the entire stretch of Old Lee to four lanes, and it acquired the right-of-way and paved the area for that purpose at several segments.

The result is a widely varying road width that leads to people driving too fast and then needing to decelerate, which is confusing, and potentially dangerous. That makes it hard to use the street if you're on foot or bike.

Old Lee Highway between Route 236 and Route 29 might look a lot different soon.

A a $60,000 grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' Transportation and Land Use Connections program let Fairfax hire a consultant to look into how to make Old Lee a more complete street. In early July, the city's transportation director presented preliminary design concepts to the mayor and city council.

Old Lee could get bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and calmer traffic

The proposed design would keep Old Lee Highway four lines wide on either end, and provide a uniform two-lane configuration at the residential segment. It would add bike lanes, landscaped buffers, and wider sidewalks throughout the entire street. A landscaped median would also go between the four-lane sections. Throughout, Old Lee's travel lanes would shrink from 12 to 11 feet.

Design concept for one segment of Old Lee Highway. Image from the City of Fairfax.

The proposed bike lane would run between Old Town and Fairfax Circle, connecting to the Cross-County Trail and to the Fairfax Connector trail, which connects to the Vienna Metro station.

For current residents of Country Club Hills, Old Lee Hills and Great Oaks, the three established neighborhoods along Old Lee, calming traffic by adding medians, widening side paths, narrowing travel lanes, and making crosswalks more visible would make walking and biking safer and more pleasant.

The changes would also help accommodate new residents in the area, as Fairfax Circle has been approved for a major mixed-use rezoning with more than 400 new residential units. Over 2,000 new residential units at Vienna MetroWest are just a five-minute bike ride to the north via the Fairfax Connector Trail.

Previous potential changes on Old Lee have fallen through

The plan to widen Old Lee to four lanes throughout was eventually abandoned because it didn't sit well with surrounding neighborhoods.

In 2005, Fairfax commissioned a study that recommended narrowing the street in its residential heart to a uniform two-lane configuration, widening the sidewalks and improving pedestrian crossings. Residents and civic associations did not wholeheartedly embrace that plan, and the transportation division and local elected leaders did not advance it.

Since then, the city has taken some steps to make Old Lee more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. The city installed pedestrian-activated lights at the crosswalk near Fairfax High School, and striped bike sharrows in 2012.

Fairfax City now plans to do basic preliminary engineering to see how feasible the current concepts are. It will also hold more meetings to get residents' views on the plans. While the reception by the mayor and city council at the July work session was generally supportive, some councilmembers expressed concerns about ceding too much space to bicycling and pedestrian uses and cutting travel lane widths.

Moving forward with these changes will require sustained community support. Less ambitious projects in Fairfax City have foundered in the face of opposition by a vocal minority of residents.

It will take a lot of persistence from citizens and community groups to embolden the mayor and council to secure the needed funding and move forward with the plans for Old Lee.

Northern Virginia has $350 million to spend on transportation. Here's what officials want to build

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) controls a vast budget for transportation projects all over Northern Virginia. Now they're gearing up to build 34 new projects, including new Metro stations, more buses, and wider highways.

Map of project locations from NVTA.

What's NVTA?

NVTA may be the most important infrastructure agency in the Washington area that few people know much about. "The authority," as officials call it (to distinguish it from the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, a lobbying organization that favors aggressive highway-building), gives Northern Virginia the ability to raise and spend its own money on its own priorities.

That's the theory, anyway. But the Virginia General Assembly requires NVTA to prioritize projects that reduce road congestion. Before NVTA can fund any projects, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has to run each proposal through a computer model that rates its ability to reduce congestion.

"Congestion reduction" sounds great, but it doesn't work

VDOT's rating system for NVTA projects rewards expansions of the busiest highways, on the assumption that more road capacity will reduce congestion. It's a flawed 20th century metric that ignores decades of real world experience that bigger roads actually make congestion worse.

The VDOT system does not measure things like how a project might benefit safety, or increase accessibility, and doesn't take into consideration how land use changes are driven by infrastructure.

The biggest problem is simply that VDOT's model doesn't know what to do with short distance trips, which are the exact type of trip that transit-oriented development produces more of. So when a transit or pedestrian project makes it possible for thousands of people to walk two blocks instead of drive five miles, the VDOT model doesn't always show that as reducing congestion.

Thus, road expansion projects end up looking good, and other things have trouble competing. Transit does OK if it relieves traffic on a major road, but pedestrian or bike projects are almost impossible.

Many other regions are using broader metrics for measuring transportation performance and congestion mitigation, but Northern Virginia can't because the General Assembly won't let it.

NVTA's proposed project list

NVTA has announced a draft list of 34 projects the agency recommends for funding over the next two years. The list includes 18 road projects and 16 transit projects, totaling about $350 million.

Road projects include widening Route 1, Route 7, Route 28, and Loudoun County Parkway, as well as intersection expansions along Route 50 in the City of Fairfax, new interchanges in Leesburg, and more.

Transit projects include money for the Innovation Center and Potomac Yard Metro stations, a new entrance at Ballston station, VRE platform expansions at Franconia-Springfield, Rippon, and Crystal City, Metrorail power upgrades, and new buses for WMATA, Loudoun, Fairfax, and Fairfax City.

Here's the complete list. Projects that NVTA staff is recommending for construction are highlighted in yellow.

Over the next week NVTA is holding a series of town hall meetings on its project list, and a public hearing in Merrifield on Wednesday, March 25 (tomorrow!), beginning at 6:00 pm.

It doesn't end with this list

NVTA is also developing a long-term regional plan to guide decisions from 2018 on.

NVTA's last long-term plan, TransAction 2040, is an aspirational list of projects that was developed before the agency had any funding. Now that it has money, NVTA is developing a more structured framework to determine how to prioritize funds.

Building the new regional plan will take two years, and there should be many opportunities for citizens to engage in it. A critical issue will be how NVTA and VDOT choose to measure "congestion reduction" and the cost-effectiveness of projects, and to what extent they will take into account the benefits of shifting more single-occupant car trips to pedestrian, bicycle, and transit ones.

Watch for news on the next TransAction plan later in 2015.

How George Mason University and Fairfax City can be better neighbors

While George Mason is Virginia's largest research university, nobody would mistake the City of Fairfax for a college town. But Fairfax and George Mason are working together to try and improve the downtown area, a measure that will benefit them both.

Photo from Google Maps.

Downtown Fairfax is a mere 15-minute walk from George Mason's main campus, and the area has a lot to offer students. And for Fairfax, George Mason's growth could better benefit local businesses and spur redevelopment.

Old Town Fairfax. Image from Google Maps.

Over the past three years, both Fairfax City and George Mason have gotten new leadership, and they've begun to move from an uneasy coexistence to an active collaboration. These days, both parties are working to make Fairfax's downtown work for George Mason's needs and interests, and vice versa.

Fairfax and George Mason can work together on transit, roads, and housing

One obvious place for these two entities to work together is transit. With nearly 34,000 students, most of whom attend classes at the Fairfax campus, along with thousands of faculty and administrators, the university is under constant pressure to move people efficiently and manage parking. Already, George Mason invests heavily in transit options like the Mason to Metro shuttle and Fairfax's CUE bus, which allows students to ride for free.

Fairfax City and George Mason could also really benefit from working together on housing. While new businesses and public spaces have made downtown much more interesting than it was a decade ago, foot traffic remains light. Aside from the shopping and dining plaza on North Street, which is next to a parking garage, the city is struggling to find a way to bring more people downtown. On Fairfax's end, new housing could mean more people downtown after business hours, and for George Mason, a thriving, walkable downtown could help with marketing and recruiting.

North Street. Image from Google Maps.

Finally, Fairfax and George Mason ought to collaborate on ways to improve University Drive and George Mason Boulevard, the roads that connect campus with downtown. In the 1990s, Fairfax built George Mason Boulevard to handle through traffic, and in the mid-2000s it closed University Drive to all but local traffic. Before it closed, University Drive flowed from single family homes to apartments to office buildings and then shops leading into downtown, giving it a feel that made the 15-minute walk inviting. George Mason Boulevard has no such charm.

University Drive. Image from Google Maps.

George Mason Boulevard. Image from Google Maps.

The city and Mason could look at ways to make a trip from the campus more pleasant, safe and convenient. Options include downtown shuttles, improved lighting, and pedestrian-activated push-buttons in the downtown area.

Part of the reason for the disconnect between Fairfax City and George Mason is that the university has developed new housing and amenities that make the campus livelier but also somewhat insular. Still, a more inviting corridor would very likely encourage students to venture out, and without one, the university could very well focus its energies inward and continue urban redevelopment of the campus.

Give your input

On November 6-8, Fairfax City, George Mason, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission are partnering to hold a charrette to explore these kinds of issues. What are your ideas for strengthening the connections between downtown Fairfax and Mason? Share them in the comments here and join the conversation next week!

Fairfax Circle takes a step toward urbanism, but it's still an island for now

On Tuesday, Fairfax City approved the city's first major redevelopment project on Fairfax Boulevard. This will bring new residences, a grocery, and pedestrian-oriented spaces to an area that's strip malls and parking lots today. But since the city has no larger plan, the project isn't poised to connect well with future projects or bring all the amenities the city needs.

Fairfax Circle Plaza. Image from Combined Properties.

Seven years ago the city completed—but did not adopt—the Fairfax Boulevard Master Plan, which envisioned denser, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use redevelopment along the three main nodes of the city's main commercial corridor. Fairfax Circle is the eastern node, located within walking distance of the Vienna Metro station and in the midst of a rapidly urbanizing area.

Fairfax Circle. The development is at the top (north side). Image from Bing Maps.

More than 16,000 residents live within one mile of Fairfax Circle Plaza, and many more will be moving into the new apartments and condominiums at MetroWest.

Combined Properties will build two apartment buildings with 400 units, ground-floor retail, and a 54,000 square foot grocery store. In place of a sea of surface parking and a nondescript service drive, the project will provide a pedestrian-friendly frontage road with parallel parking and bulb-outs, a 10-foot path, and a landscaped buffer. The proposal also provides expanded sidewalks and buffers along Pickett Road and Lee Highway.

The project is far from perfect. Because Combined could not consolidate smaller properties on its sides, trucks and other service vehicles will use the main entrance and the pedestrian-friendly streetscape will stop before connecting to Fairfax Circle. The proposal lacks an adequate gathering space, and the amount of permeable, landscaped surface only marginally exceeds what's on the current site.

The lack of affordable housing is a major weakness. During the past year the city has incorporated affordable housing goals in its comprehensive plan, and the mayor has stated strong support for setting aside 5-10% of new development for affordable units.

Combined is providing some below-market units, but refused to provide truly affordable apartments. Instead, it calculated maximum monthly rental rates assuming residents spend 33% of their income on housing rather than the standard 25%, and did not exempt ancillary fees or utilities from the affordability calculations.

As a result, the rent for these apartments approaches that for market-rate units. While many of the councilmembers recognized Combined's proposal isn't adequate, none seriously pushed back from the dais.

Many of the project's shortcomings stem from the fact that Fairfax City still does not have a clear plan for Fairfax Boulevard. An adopted plan that sets forth clear guidelines for street connectivity, green infrastructure, affordable housing and other elements would make the process easier for applicants and more beneficial for the city.

As the city looks to tackle more complex projects elsewhere on the Boulevard, it will need better planning tools. Meanwhile, though, Fairfax Circle will at least take a significant step forward, even if it's a smaller step than it could be.

Fairfax City is starting to lay down a strong foundation for smarter growth

The City of Fairfax has long struggled to establish a clear vision for future development. Despite a strong master plan for Fairfax Boulevard, the town hasn't established strong guidelines for revitalizing its central commercial corridor. While nearby areas such as Merrifield and Fair Lakes have flourished, Fairfax City's commercial tax base has been stagnant.

Photo by the author.

But the tide has started to turn. Since a new mayor was elected in 2012, Fairfax City has approved 250 new apartment units near its downtown and has started to rewrite its zoning code. Two major redevelopment projects on Fairfax Boulevard are in the queue. The city has also made pedestrian and bicycle projects a higher priority.

Supporters of smarter growth in Fairfax City should be encouraged—and press for more. With elections for mayor and all six city council seats scheduled for May, Fairfax City Citizens for Smarter Growth has released a progress report on the performance of the current mayor and council. They have gotten some important things done, including:

Expanding housing near downtown: Last June the city council approved a pedestrian-friendly redevelopment of Layton Hall apartments. This will bring more residents near downtown and better connect downtown businesses with the apartments and nearby neighborhoods. The project also prompted difficult decisions about housing affordability, which the city is grappling with.

Zoning overhaul: The city has commissioned Duncan & Associates to review and thoroughly update its zoning code. In March the consultants released their initial report, including strong recommendations for enabling mixed-use development.

The redevelopment of Fairfax Circle Plaza is moving through the city's land use review process. The proposal would add 400 apartment units and new retail to the eastern end of Fairfax Boulevard near Vienna, and improve pedestrian and bicycle access between the property and nearby neighborhoods, trails and the Vienna Metro station.

Image from the Fairfax Boulevard Master Plan.

The mayor and council have been laying the foundations, but the heaviest lifting still lies ahead. The city has a lot of catching up to do after allowing the Fairfax Boulevard Master Plan to lie idle while nearby communities, such as Merrifield, built on their foundations of solid planning to spur revitalization. The retail and office markets are extremely competitive. How will the City attract and guide quality redevelopment?

A big part of the answer lies overhauling the city's zoning code. Excessive one-size-fits-all parking standards and the lack of any mixed-use categories are among the vexing elements of the current ordinance. The city will also need to focus on the redevelopment of Northfax at the intersection of 123 and Fairfax Boulevard. Both the zoning rewrite and Northfax are extremely complex processes that will require a lot of political will to see to a successful finish.

The next month is a good time to influence the conversation about future development in Fairfax City. Along with our progress report, Fairfax City Citizens for Smarter Growth has sent a questionnaire to the mayoral and council candidates to gauge their support for smart growth priorities.

Mayor Silverthorne and City Council members are signaling a new receptiveness to compact, walkable, mixed-use development. City voters who want more walkable communities and vibrant public spaces can send their own signal by attending upcoming candidate forums, going to the polls and making informed choices on May 6.

Crossing the street often unsafe in Fairfax

If you live in Fairfax and want to walk or bicycle to the 7-11, your job or to your child's school, chances are you will have to cross a major road designed more to move traffic than for your safety.

Route 7 near Seven Corners has many pedestrians but few sidewalks or safe crossings. Photo by the author.

To bicycle to our son's elementary school, we have to cross both Route 236 and Route 50, plus a busy secondary road, Jermantown Road. During peak hours Route 236 and 50 have many turning vehicles and short walk cycles. The crosswalks are poorly lit, increasing the risk of collisions with pedestrians.

But these crosswalks are still a lot safer than on many other arterial roads in Fairfax County. Twenty two pedestrians were killed on Route 1 between 1995 and 2005, according to a 2008 report by the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Eleven pedestrians were killed on Route 7. A lot of people live along these streets, and many of them don't drive. Yet the streets lack sidewalks, lighting and safe crossings.

Virginia ranks last among states in spending on pedestrian and bicycle projects per capita, according to a report released Tuesday by Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership. The report, Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods), looks at pedestrian spending and safety using a "pedestrian danger index" that computes the rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the amount of walking the residents do on average. For safety, the Washington area ranks 32nd among the largest 52 metro areas (with 52 being the least dangerous). That's better than many Sunbelt areas that have been mostly built in the age of the automobile, but worse than Virginia Beach and many comparable metro regions. The Coalition for Smarter Growth's 2008 report ranked Fairfax as the most dangerous county in the region for pedestrians, based on the same pedestrian danger index.

Fairfax County recognizes the problem and is investing millions of dollars in better pedestrian design on its most dangerous roads. Earlier this year the $8 million Patrick Henry pedestrian bridge opened on Route 50 near Falls Church. But this may not be the best design solution. Steve Offutt's great post on the bridge showed that most pedestrians still cross on the street. Ultimately, the street itself has to be made more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

Making these roads complete streets that are safe and convenient for all users will require a major overhaul of VDOT's current approach. VDOT does have a policy requiring routine accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists as part of any major road construction and maintenance project. But sidewalks and bike lanes, however important, are only parts of complete streets. There are many tools such as bulb-outs, pedestrian refuge islands, express bus lanes and tighter curb radii that would bring the roads into a better balance toward the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users.

There is no better place to use these tools than at Tysons Corner. If we don't build complete streets on Routes 7 and 123, the success of transit-oriented development at Tysons will be limited. Will VDOT and other agencies involved in the redesign of these roads show more flexibility in making them pleasant and safe for walking and bicycling?

For Old Town infill, more is better

On Tuesday, Fairfax City heard a request by the developer of Ratcliffe Hall to downscale an already approved development near Old Town from 154 to 114 homes. The developer, Jaguar Homes, is also seeking to add 57 surface parking spaces. While the City Council and Planning Commission haven't formally approved the request, the amendments will likely go through once Jaguar works out a few tweaks. That will continue an unfortunate trend toward fewer rather than more homes being built within walking distance of downtown Fairfax. But this isn't the usual story of anti-neighbors blocking denser urban development.

The new proposal for Ratcliffe Hall is a familiar pod-style subdivision.

Ratcliffe Hall was approved in early 2005 when the economy was humming and the developer saw a strong market for "active adult communities." The development site, a 10-acre forested area along Main Street, lies right between several neighborhoods and Old Town and the County Judicial Center. The site is bisected by a stream. Most neighbors who testified supported the project. Jaguar had already built the pedestrian-oriented Providence Square condominiums in Old Town Fairfax, near Main Street Marketplace. The plan for Ratcliffe Hall was to front Main Street with 36 townhomes and provide 118 condominium units inside a single building on the other side of the stream. Now Jaguar wants to replace the 118 condos with a more conventional townhouse subdivision layout, consisting of 26 townhomes and 52 condo units. They want to replace underground parking with cheaper surface parking.

If there's a silver lining, it's that the city has an opportunity to improve pedestrian and bicycle access. With a few tweaks, the new residences could be better connected to the trail network and Old Town, and the new trail could provide better pedestrian and bicycle access for surrounding neighborhoods. Several city council and planning commission members pressed Jaguar to work with surrounding landowners to ensure that the trails are connected and flow into nearby destinations such as the Post Office. More townhomes will also likely bring a more varied mix of residents, including families.

Still, the proposed changes in both density and design are disappointing. Forty fewer residential units are a lot for a city struggling to add a critical mass of people and patrons to its downtown mix. Two new downtown restaurants have already closed. The new design is very inward-looking, with buildings oriented toward the parking garages and an internal "plaza," instead of encouraging residents toward a shared public space—which the stream valley trail could be, with some changes in design.

Less pretty, more functional please

Don't let the pretty bricks fool you. This crosswalk in downtown Vienna is no fun if you have to walk on it. Wide curb radii make it much more difficult to cross because a) they lengthen the walking distance, and b) motorists are encouraged to take turns without stopping or looking for pedestrians.

For years Vienna and Fairfax have been trying to revitalize their downtowns and make them more walkable and bicycle-friendly. But there's a big disconnect with conventional traffic engineering wisdom. Getting more automobiles through the road faster trumps everything. Traffic calming measures such as squaring off intersections get in the way of this engineering priority.

One issue is institutional. VDOT controls the roads in Fairfax County.The agency is not accountable to local communities. Local control over roads could lead to more flexible, pedestrian-friendly designs. Although pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly design of Routes 7 and 123 will be critical to making Tysons Corner work as a transit-oriented community, VDOT shows little sign of flexibility in its auto-focused approach. This is one reason Fairfax County is looking into taking control of its roads.

But that's not the only issue. Even county and local transportation divisions tend to narrowly focus on automobile "throughput." Engineers are trained to move cars efficiently. Pedestrian and bicycle-oriented features are not familiar concepts to many traffic engineers. Local elected officials hear complaints about traffic all the time, and usually it is from a "windshield perspective." So they, too, are often pressured to look for short-term, auto-oriented solutions rather than a more balanced approach.

In addition, often our elected leaders themselves have a windshield perspective. It can help to take them on walks and bicycle rides to broaden their perspective.

Until a better balance is struck between the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and motorists, Vienna, Fairfax and other communities will not be able to attract a critical mass of people to revitalize their downtowns. One good step would be for VDOT and local transportation divisions to train all their engineering staff in the Complete Streets approach to street design.

What are we getting for $5,000,000,000?

With so much discussion focused on getting more money for transportation, a little perspective is helpful. As Ashley Halsey reported in yesterday's Post, Northern Virginia has $5 billion in transit and road projects currently under construction. But this $5 billion, all agree, will do little to ease congestion or shorten commutes. As every motorist knows, the traffic delays from constructing the projects are themselves considerable. The Springfield Interchange improvements may never recover all the lost time in traffic caused by the project in the first place.

Photo by bankbryan.

Land use is the elephant in the room, and Halsey sees it — unlike the Post’s editors. More efficient, pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly land use, focused near transit stations and along corridors with some semblance of a pedestrian infrastructure, such as Routes 1, 7, 236, is the only way that Fairfax will be able to address its transportation crisis. It will certainly take money to make the improvements needed to redevelop these areas, upgrade their infrastructure, put in more efficient street grids, and even, in some cases, widen roads to accommodate increased traffic. The formidable planning apparatus being rolled out to retrofit Tysons Corner gives a sense of just how difficult and expensive — and necessary — this will be.

The problem is that there’s been little coordinated analysis, planning or funding for these needed land use and transportation improvements. Atlanta, despite its well deserved reputation for dysfunctional land use, has a robust Livable Centers Initiative that prioritizes $500 million in transportation funds for communities that are making innovative land use decisions. While the Washington area has some helpful programs to encourage greater coordination of transportation and land use, it lacks a strong tool such as this. The Coalition for Smarter Growth’s Blueprint for a Better Region provides a great vision for development around the region’s transit assets. We need a program with strong funding incentives to make this vision happen.

Fairfax greasing the chain

Earlier this week Fairfax County took the first step toward a bicycle master plan. The County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Jeff McKay directing the staff to study the development of a bicycle plan and provide recommendations for funding and creating the plan.

Photo by the author.

Fairfax County currently has very few bicycle projects in its countywide transportation plan. Less than 2 percent of the funds in VDOT's Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program for Northern Virginia are for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. If it is not in these plans, it will not get built.

Washington DC approved a bicycle master plan in 2005. Bicycle projects are now integrated in the city's transportation plan, guiding decisions about design and funding for projects. Bicycle use in the city has soared. Without the plan, many bicycle projects would not have gotten into the city's funding and construction pipeline. The bicycle master plan took a lot of work, and some money. But it is paying off.

With the budget constraints, Fairfax County cannot fund a bicycle planning effort. But the approval of a study of a bike plan greases the chain for a bicycle planning process when funding gets less tight. Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, which has been campaigning for a bicycle master plan, recognized this and worked with Supervisor McKay to get the process started. The District of Columbia used crack consultants to do their bicycle master plan, and the high quality and precision of their work surely has helped legitimize the plan and get it implemented. Still, the county might want to consider getting started with the resources it already has and not wait too long before beginning the plan. Despite the incessant hand-wringing about Virginia's transportation woes, new money for transportation is coming within the next couple years through the federal transportation reauthorization. We need to be prepared with specific bicycle and pedestrian projects to take advantage of the opportunities.

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