Will VDOT be creative with the I-66 corridor?
The Virginia Department of Transportation is currently studying transportation in the I-66 corridor inside the Beltway. A public hearing in Arlington on Wednesday will be a critical chance to weigh in on the smartest investments.
This study could lead to just about any mobility improvement: light rail on Route 50, tolls, bus lanes, changes to the HOV structure, or more Capital Bikeshare stations.
But especially given Governor McDonnell's heavy emphasis on in new and wider roads, smart growth advocates should be keeping a particularly close eye on the results, as it could set the stage for a new push to widen I-66 through Arlington.
The whole reason VDOT is doing this study comes from a battle in early 2009. VDOT wanted to widen I-66 in some places, but advocates argued they needed to analyze other options instead of just assuming widening was the answer. Arlington and Fairfax members of the TPB briefly blocked the project, and agreed to let it proceed on the condition VDOT do this study.
Will they truly be open to more creative multimodal options, or simply got through the motions only to reach a predetermined conclusion that more road capacity is the only answer?
The study's mission is to "identify a range of multimodal and corridor management solutions (operational, transit, bike, pedestrian, and highway) that can be implemented to reduce highway and transit congestion and improve overall mobility within the I-66 corridor, between I-495 and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge."
One thing that jumps out on the map is that while the corridor has three major east-west roadways, it has just one dedicated bike trail. VDOT doesn't step outside its of its roads-first mentality too often, so Wednesday's meeting will be a good opportunity to send them a message.
I-66 Multimodal Study Open House & PresentationIf you can't make the meeting, you can still read about the study and send comments to info@I66multimodalstudy.com.
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011
6-8 pm (presentation begins at 6:30 pm)
Arlington County Board Room
2100 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington
Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!
- Where will DC's next 200,000 residents go? The mayoral candidates weigh in
- Comparing Metrobus and Metrorail farebox recovery is apples and oranges
- Topic of the week: Walking in unexpected places
- The Purple Line gets a boost from President Obama's budget
- Fun on Friday: Play the Mini Metro game
- Metro FAQ: Why does Metro run express trains in one direction during single-tracking?
- I tracked every Metro trip I made for two years, and here's what I found