The W&OD Trail along Falls Church will get improvements soon thanks to $3.2 granted to the city from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. The trail will be turned into a dual path — one for bikes and the other for pedestrians — run from the bike bridge over West Broad to the east side of Little Falls Street.
Details, according to the Falls Church News-Press:
“The current 10-foot wide shared-use trail will be replaced by an 11-foot wide bicycle trail and an eight-foot wide pedestrian trail with a two-foot wide median in between. It will run for 1.2 miles from the bike bridge over W. Broad Street to east of Little Falls St. In addition, substandard curb ramps at the six street crossings along the way will be updated and the existing narrow wood-deck bridge over Four Mile Run will be replaced. The project will be launched next year and completed by late 2020.”
Falls Church W&OD Improvement Fits Within the Falls Church Master Plan:
“The separated walking and biking trails is one part of that master plan, which also includes improved crossings at street intersections, plazas and resting places that tell the history of the W&OD railroad predecessor to the trail, restored and native landscaping and added lighting.
Implementation efforts currently include updating all six street-at-trail crossings on the improved route in the City. Four of the crossings are being updated by City teams with funding from the City’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), and the remaining two will be updated in conjunction with the Founders Row mixed use development project that was given its final approval by the Council earlier this fall and will be paid for by the developer.”
Trail Improvements Help Falls Church Push Use Cases to Include Bike Commuting, Not Just Recreation:
“The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority identifies the [Falls Church] project as among the first in a phased effort to improve levels of service along congested portions of the W&OD Trail. Overall, the trail is 45 miles traversing the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, and including Falls Church, the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Leesburg.
It is seen as a broader effort to “encourage non-motorized transportation” by extending hours of use to include commuting hours, and includes in the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plan to widen Interstate 66 and construct a 20-foot wide W&OD Trail bridge over Lee Highway (Rt. 29) so that trail users will no longer have to cross hazardous lanes of traffic.”
“The dual trail effort, then, is seen as augmenting the effort to make bike transport more efficient in the wider regional picture.”