|A possible bicycle pathway at Little River Turnpike and the southwest corner of Old Columbia Pike. [FCDOT]|
Fairfax County is working on a study aimed at developing a series of short-term and long-term recommendations for improving bicycling along Little River Turnpike.
The public is invited to submit comments online. The deadline is Oct. 14. You can also comment on an interactive map and see what others have written.
The study area covers seven miles between Pickett Road in the City of Fairfax and Beauregard Street in Alexandria. That corridor handles 31,000 to 42,000 vehicles a day. The speed limit is 45 mph.
Little River Turnpike is considered a “policy road” in the county’s Bicycle Master Plan, which means that an additional, more detailed study is needed, due to the complexity of the corridor.
According to a presentation on the corridor study by FCDOT staff, there are several major challenges in the corridor, including a lack of shoulders due to right-turn lanes, abrupt ends of sidewalks and trails, poor connections to frontage roads, and limited space and right-of-way.
The recommendations are expected to focus on intersection and crossing improvements; access to transit; and coordination with future county projects, such as widening Little River Turnpike and creating a loop around central Annandale. Those projects have not been funded.
The county has $7.35 million available for the Little River Turnpike bicycle project, including short and long-term improvements.
Short-term recommendations would make use of existing and proposed infrastructure, such as frontage/service roads, sidewalks, trails, parallel and adjacent streets and tails, shoulders, and other planned projects in the area.
Pedestrian improvements planned for Little River include signalized crosswalks on Old Columbia Pike, a walkway on the north side at Roberts Avenue, a walkway on the south side between Hillbrook Drive and Little River Run Drive, and a walkway on the south side between Columbia Road and Mayhunt Court.
Bike lanes in the study area are planned for:
- Evergreen Lane between Little River Turnpike and Columbia Pike.
- Patriot Drive between Americana Drive and Heritage Drive.
- Heritage Drive between Ravensworth Drive and Little River Turnpike.
- McWhorter Place from Markham Street to Ravensworth.
- John Marr Drive from Ravensworth to Backlick Road.
- Markham Street between Little River and McWhorter.
- And Ravensworth between Little River and Braddock Road.
Road projects planned or partially funded, according to a plan approved by the Board of Supervisors in January 2014, include widening Little River Turnpike between John Marr Drive and the beltway from four to six lanes and improved streetscaping on that part of the corridor.
Creating a shared-use path is preferable to using a shoulder, according to FCDOT, but drainage, right-of-way, and grade issues limit where this could be done. In central Annandale, space is limited due to right-of-way and utility constraints. Sidewalk widening would be ideal, but might be too costly.