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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA

Transitway Corridor Feasibility Study Comment Board

We invite the public to provide their comments to us on the Transitway Corridor Feasibility Study. This forum has been set up to provide members of the public to comment on the project throughout the planning process. Staff will respond to comments regularly as they are received. These comments will be reviewed and considered by staff, the consultant and the High Capacity Transit Corridor Work Group as it proceeds with developing the plan.

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7 Comments

City Seal

Dear Jen - Thank you for your comments and questions related to the Corridor B (Duke Street) transitway. The recommended long term transitway design and operation (to be reviewed by Council at its June 16 meeting) does not remove the existing access roads. All existing access roads will continue to be available for residents and businesses upon completion of the transitway. The long term proposed design would add a fifth (center) lane along Duke Street between Jordan Street and Wheeler Avenue. The proposed concept has not yet been developed to a detailed design level, and additional detailed analysis will be required to examine issues such as access to and from side streets and driveways. As part of that analysis, the City would identify the best operation for access into and out of side streets and driveways that addresses access and safety.

Steve Sindiong (186) | City Staff | June 13, 2012 - 8:46 AM

On the one hand, I support public transit, especially where it improves access for people who have no other choice. For example, before we broke down and bought a second car, I was pretty much out of luck if my child missed the school bus, because there is no single bus that takes me from my house on Duke Street to his school on Janney's Lane (or even close). On the other hand, my property line ends at the access road on Duke St, between Jordan and Wheeler, precisely where there is discussion about widening Duke Street, adding dedicated transit lanes and a center alternating lane.

Will widening Duke Street there mean eliminating the access road? I have to tell you that any plan that would eliminate the access road absolutely must not be considered. For those of us with children, or with driveways that open onto the access road, getting rid of that safety barrier simply is not an option. I would feel better about the plan if there were reassurances that the access road will stay.

I'm also concerned about accessibility for our neighborhoods; how much more difficult will getting into and out of our streets be when we have more lanes to contend with? And if there are no left turns from Duke Street during peak hours, people who live, say, north of Duke St. between Gordon and Donelson, will be really restricted. It won't be impossible for them to get home, just exceptionally difficult if they are unlucky enough to come home by way of 395.

Jen (317) | User | June 12, 2012 - 12:21 PM

Please consider opening all corridors. We live in a city that is getting more crowded, therefore we need more options. You should recalibrate all streets to two-way. No more one-ways, or off limit "sacred cow" streets, where people claim residential neighborhoods, quiet enclave avenues, or man-made cul-de-sacs. Commonwealth Avenue in Rosemont/Del Ray should have a trolley like it did years ago. This way you can connect north-south points, connect to Arlington, create bicycle ways/boulevards/transit corridors other than just a few. Also, GW Parkway should be opened as well...more options means more burden-sharing and equitable distribution of traffic and transit options. It is time to break the hold of exclusive neighborhoods over connecting major jurisdictions, cities, and counties. Think ahead please!

Thank you.

Nick

Nick (316) | User | May 25, 2012 - 4:36 PM

City Seal

Dear Mr. Cavanaugh
Thank you for your comments. We appreciate you taking the time to review our project and provide input. We will consider your recommendations as we move forward in selecting a recommended alternative for Corridor C. While we initially considered various alignment options for Corridor C, those that were selected were determined to provide the best connectivity to existing major activity centers and transit facilities and future planned growth areas. Ultimately, the corridors we are planning for may extend beyond the City of Alexandria. We are coordinating with both Arlington and Fairfax Counties, and have representatives from both jurisdictions as part of our project team. Regarding your comment on Sanger Avenue, we are assuming that the overpass will remain, and signal phasing will be used at that location for transit. If Sanger Avenue is relocated as part of the Beauregard redevelopment, the new roadway would be planned for a future transitway.

Steve Sindiong (186) | City Staff | March 18, 2011 - 4:26 PM

Thank you for undertaking this study and proposal. This area has long needed a way to connect with surrounding areas without having to depend on the limited (but great)bus service in the area. As a home owner here I couldn't possibly be more excited about the prospects of a street car serving Landmark Mall and Van Dorn metro and ultimately Shirlington and Pentagon. This is a fantastic way for residents here to tap in to the excellent public transportation as well as access to areas not well served currently. Thank you.

Brian (208) | User | March 18, 2011 - 11:52 AM

City Seal

Dear Mr. Cavanaugh
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. They have been forwarded to the consultant, and will be taken into consideration as we proceed with further analysis of alternatives. We are coordinating with Arlington and Fairfax Counties and have invited representatives from those jurisdictions to be a part of the planning process.

Steve Sindiong (186) | City Staff | January 26, 2011 - 9:03 AM

I attended the January 20, 2011 meeting and have the following comments.

1. Appreciate efforts to upgrade and provide a better ridership experience on public transit. This should be a major focus if the City plans to encourage use of transit. I have taken Dash and buses and the overall experience is bad. Traffic, delayed and crowded buses, air conditioners that don't work, small contoured seats that don't fit normal size people, stopping, starting and turning motions all make riding to and from work miserable. If we are going to change perceptions and encourage people to use buses, we have to have a real focus on making that experience—waiting, boarding, exiting—more enjoyable.
2. I would encourage you to develop different options. Most of the options involved Beauregard-Sanger-Van Dorn. This does not provide any real relief in the short and midterm.
3. The focus in the "Beauregard Corridor should not be solely on moving traffic off of the Interstate on to Beauregard. There should be a better focus on local residents and improving use of transit for local shopping, e.g., Seminary Plaza, Landmark, Landmark Plaza, Skyline.
4. As the area becomes more densely populated, expanding the "choice" market for transit will make the area more livable.
5. As mentioned by a speaker, there should be an origin/destination study. This would help estimate ridership, but also help set priorities.
6. Transit planning has to include Fairfax and Arlington Counties as cooperating jurisdictions. People living at Southern Towers, the retirement homes, and Alexandria residents use those streets to shop at Landmark, Landmark Plaza, Skyline, and Seminary Plaza. It would be short sighted to adopt a proposal that serves Alexandria only and does not improve overall transportation for nearby residents in those close-by neighborhoods.
7. Transit planning for year 2035 should be strategic with short and intermediate steps. An interim planning goal (2020) would be more realistic and facilitate community support. The initial goal should be to facilitate transit use that provides improved connectivity to nearby places of employment as well as to the Pentagon and Metro stations. Improving east-west bound traffic on Seminary from Beauregard to Skyline with connections to the Arlington-FFX County transit facilities should be one of the first priorities. There has to be something in the plans that benefit local residents who ultimately pay the upfront costs.
8. Funding will be an issue. Support for project funding will depend on a realistic, phased program that provides results--improved transit for users living and working near Southern Towers, Mark Center and Skyline.
8. The options that involve Sanger Avenue are very problematic. They involve turning motions, backups on Beauregard and at Van Dorn, and an overpass that would be very expensive to widen for traffic on Sanger Avenue. It would also potentially have impacts on drainage and the natural and environmental conditions along Holmes Run.
9. Approval of any plans for a town center type of development on the Winkler property should be dependent on City support and funding of transit that connects with transit projects in Arlington and Fairfax County.
10. The rating chart--Consumer Report-is misleading. The ratings applied to Option F were inconsistent from those used to rate other options. The criteria should be expanded and ratings more consistently applied. We should not just consider upfront costs without considering operation and maintenance estimates.
As one person at the meeting said, the options outlined at the meeting were a beginning draft. I believe there should be more discussion of options, advantages and disadvantage. It is too premature to adopt preferred options from the current list without further input from other jurisdictions and members of the community.
Thank you.

Dave Cavanaugh (71) | User | January 21, 2011 - 3:19 PM