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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

More public input sought on commuter lot option in Braddock Road study

Braddock Road
The community task force charged with making recommendations for the Braddock Road Multimodal Study opposes a transit center at Kings Park Shopping Center and believes a park-and-ride lot, which was presented as an alternative, should be delayed – if built at all.

The technical team drafting the Braddock Road study – made up of transportation engineers from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and consultants – views both options more favorably.

Community members look at maps outlining the Braddock Road study at a June 26 meeting at Lake Braddock Secondary School.
What that means, said Braddock Supervisor John Cook June 26 at the final community meeting on the Braddock Road study, is that the transit center likely will not go forward.

The main issue to be determined now is whether the park-and-ride lot should be constructed along with the intersection improvements or whether a decision on that project should be made after the intersection improvements are completed.

In February, the task force and technical team announced their recommendations for intersection improvements and other facilities along Braddock Road between the beltway and Guinea Road – but delayed a recommendation on a transit center.

The multimodal study also calls for bicycle and pedestrian paths, new pedestrian crossings, at least one pedestrian overpass (near Burke Lake Road), changes to the beltway exit ramp, improvements to the Accotink Creek underpass, and improved traffic signals. Braddock Road will not be widened, as an earlier option for adding HOV lanes was rejected.

Park and ride

The proposal for a transit center at Kings Park Shopping Center called for a parking garage on the site of an office building between Giant and Braddock Road. Buses would be rerouted to stop at the transit center. That option would cost about $23 million.

The park-and-ride option would consist of a surface commuter lot with about 260 parking spaces at the same location. Buses would continue to use existing bus stops. That project would cost about $10 million.

According to Mike Guarino of FCDOT, a park-and-ride lot would encourage carpooling and transit use. It would be used by commuters who live farther out; instead of driving along the Braddock corridor to the beltway, they would park and take a bus.

A third option, for a transit center at the former site of the Northern Virginia Training Center on Braddock Road, is no longer under consideration.

The task force unanimously opposes the option for a transit center at the Kings Park Shopping Center, primarily because it would make access to the shopping center more difficult.

The task force “does not oppose the park-and-ride lot,” Guarino said, but believes a decision on whether that project should go forward should be delayed until the intersection improvements are completed.

The technical team believes that if a transit center is built, the best location would be the Kings Park Shopping Center and it should be built along with the intersection improvements, said Guarino. The team also believes the park-and-ride lot “is a reasonable alternative to a transit center,” and if neither project goes forward now, both options should be reconsidered in the future.

Next steps

Because the task force and technical team didn’t reach a consensus, Cook is conducting a survey to get more feedback on whether the public prefers a transit center or commuter lot. Click here for the survey.

According to Cook the task force, made up of 17 representatives of civic associations and HOAs, does not represent the entire community.

Noting there are a lot of concerns about a transit center, Cook said, “unless we hear a whole lot of support for it, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

FCDOT will make a decision before Labor Day, considering the recommendations of the task force and staff, public comments, and survey results.

The next steps are the design phase, land acquisition, and construction. The project is expected to be completed by 2025.

Cook plans to host community workshops this fall to review the design of specific intersection areas: Sept. 18—Guinea Road to Dunleigh Drive/King David Boulevard; Oct. 2—Wakefield Chapel Road and Danbury Forest Drive; Oct. 18—the beltway area; Oct. 25 and Dec. 11—Burke Lake Road/Woodland Way; and Nov. 16—the Ravensworth Road area.

1 comment:

  1. I'm against this. Why should we deal with commuter lots in our neighborhoods, let the people who choose to live further out deal with parking garages. Makes no sense to have driven 15-20 miles only to carpool for the last 5-12 miles. Also removing 260 cars off Braddock Rd is not worth the $23M or about $90k per car that the transit center will cost.