Fall 2012 transportation updates
Thanks to increasing traffic from the BRAC-133 complex, congestion is growing at the intersection of Quaker Lane and Seminary Road/Janneys Lane. The City proposed adding lanes at this intersection to increase capacity, but any increase in capacity risked bringing more traffic into the neighborhood along existing cut-through routes. Thanks to TRCA input, this project is being downsized to a simple reassignment of lanes. This will allow the intersection to work better while keeping capacity at existing levels.
The crosswalk at the intersection of Upland Place and King Street remains dangerous for pedestrians. At their last meeting, the TRCA Executive Committee decided to request that the City install a pedestrian-activated, flashing, amber signal. This would be similar to the signals currently adjacent to those at the Braddock Metro Station along Braddock Road which have received good reviews from the surrounding community. Under state law, drivers must stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. The flashing lights encourage this behavior and alert drivers to pedestrian presence.
The intersection of King Street, Callahan Drive, and Russell Road remains unsafe for those with disabilities, due to the lack of a ramp on the Russell Road side of the King Street crosswalk. The City has plans to fix the problem, but there’s a lot of competition for the funds necessary to implement the project.
When Alexandria did not include traffic calming funding in the city's budget for several years, TRCA, along with other citizens, contacted Alexandria City Council and officials via letters, calls, and emails requesting reinstatement of this funding. These efforts proved successful when City Council approved $532,000 into the 2012-13 budget. However, the lack of funding in the preceding years created a long queue of traffic calming projects for the City to work through. Funding for pedestrian safety remains too limited, with several neighborhoods requesting these projects along their streets.
However, the possibility exists that the City can implement pedestrian and bike safety improvements as repaving projects move forward. The City, as part of its Complete Streets Resolution, has embraced the use of lane restriping to create better crosswalks, bike lanes, and other changes that can calm traffic at no extra budgetary cost. After all, a repaved road has to be restriped, no matter what. Starting in November, the Transportation Commission will review the repaving list to see what Complete Streets improvements City staff plans to implement. This process will repeat every six months.
Capital bikeshare comes to alexandria
Capital Bikeshare is up and running in Alexandria. For $75 per year, you can use a bike anytime you would like; the first 30 minutes are free, and then charges incur for each additional 30 minutes. Day memberships are available for $7. Bikes can be rented at one location and returned at another. Bike-share is active all over Arlington and DC, while Alexandria has 8 stations active in Old Town (the closest to us is at King Street Metro along Diagonal Road) with plans to add more. Find out more here.