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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Public input sought on Route 7 transit

Route 7 in Seven Corners.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) has scheduled three public meetings in November to review ridership and cost projections for various transit options along Route 7.

The NVTC’s Envision Route 7 initiative is soliciting public input as part of the Route 7 Corridor Transit Study, an in-depth assessment of existing travel needs along the heavily congested corridor between the City of Alexandria and Tysons. The objective is to develop recommendations to improve mobility and accessibility, recommend the best option for transit, and if feasible, apply for federal funding to implement the project.

Public meetings will be held:
  • Nov. 4, 7-9 p.m., at the Alexandria Health Department, 5th floor conference room, 4480 King Street, Alexandria.
  • Nov. 10, 7-9 p.m., Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School cafeteria, 7130 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church.
  • Nov. 18, 7-9 p.m., Glen Forest Elementary School cafeteria, 5829 Glen Forest Drive, Baileys Crossroads.
During Phase I of the study, five transit modes – express bus, rapid bus, bus rapid transit, light rail transit, and streetcar – were considered and three were deemed not feasible. During Phase II, which is now under way, bus rapid transit and light rail transit are still in the study, along with low-cost improvement options for local bus service.

Several route options are under consideration, as well. Within the City of Alexandria, the end point could be either at the Van Dorn Metro Station or the King Street Metro Station. In the City of Falls Church, there could possibly be a connection to the East Falls Church Metro Station.

Phase II is looking at whether the project is viable, including market demand for premium transit service, whether the community and political leaders want it, whether it makes sense financially, and whether it could be funded.

The study is expected to be completed in spring 2016. If the final recommendations determine the project is viable, planning, design, environmental review, applying for federal funding, and construction could take up to 10 years.

Costs could range from a few million dollars per mile for minor changes and upgrades to a hundred million dollars per mile or more for light rail under the most challenging conditions.


  1. Thank you Ellie for sharing this very helpful information. I remember reading about these meetings, but forgot when and where the meetings would be held.

    Your local blog is a wonderful central resource of important developments taking place in this local area I call my home.

  2. I think the best option will likely be some kind of half-arsed BRT system. Pols and the public will balk at the cost of a true BRT or an LRT system though I would say they are worth the cost.

    I just want something that can be build sooner than later with all things considered. And there should definitely be a connection to East Falls Church Metro for the sake of 7-corners.

  3. > in-depth assessment of existing travel needs

    > recommendations to improve mobility and accessibility

    More crummy little strip malls would probably help.

  4. Great cities did not become great because they talked about transit for decades, its because they built the infrastructure and development followed exponentially. Here all we do is talk and contemplate as the Mason Dump that this place is just gets dumpier.

    Action is what makes progress, not all this useless chatter of what ifs. Fairfax Leadership needs to get bold and lead us into the future instead of back into the dark ages. Soon we will back on horses if we keep up this lack of progress.

  5. Is there going to be any feeder system that gets riders to major arteries like Route 7 and Columbia Pike? Because there's a whole area between them - bisected by Sleepy Hollow Rd.- in which there's no feeder line. The 4s bus that used to run on Sleepy Hollow during rush hour is long gone. So, the only options are to hike long distances to a bus stop or drive. Despite the expense, I prefer to drive just to avoid that difficulty.

  6. Peking Gourmet, Rabeing, Duangrats, Jerusalem. These are the best things from Trader Joe's to Seven Corners. Promote these places, celebrate their diverse-ness. Make sure you can walk to each of these places from each other, eliminate the rest. Start over.