Public input sought on paving and restriping in Mount Vernon and Franconia Districts
Representatives from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) briefed community members from Franconia and Mount Vernon Districts about the agencies’ 2023 paving and restriping plans during an April 19 virtual public meeting.
Following a presentation about the state’s paving program by VDOT’s Houda Ali, FCDOT transportation planner Zack DesJardins presented FCDOT’s proposal for a pair of buffered or standard bike lanes on Fort Hunt Road between Richmond Highway and Belle View Boulevard. The bike lanes would be created by narrowing the current travel lanes and repurposing underused parking lanes, said DesJardins, though FCDOT might consider retaining the southbound parking lane between Woodmont Road and Hunting Cove Place.
Residents of that stretch of Fort Hunt Road felt strongly about keeping the parking lanes — at the very least on the southbound side of the road. They cited their narrow driveways with minimal parking space, the lack of alternative parking in the area, the use of northbound parking lanes by commercial vehicles, poorly maintained bike lanes in the area, the proximity of the Mount Vernon Trail, and general safety issues as reasons why the parking lanes shouldn’t be replaced.
“If we didn’t have on-street parking, I don’t know what we’d do,” said one resident.
Cycling advocates countered that adding bike facilities along Fort Hunt between Route 1 and Belle View Boulevard would help establish vital commuter links to Richmond Highway, Huntington Metro station and Old Town Alexandria. Representatives from Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling and other community members voiced their preference for buffered or protected bike lanes. DesJardins explained that the paving program as it exists today “covers paint and asphalt.”
The other topic that dominated the question and answer session was the paving plans for the Jefferson Manor section of Franconia District. One resident questioned why there are still three streets in that neighborhood — Fairhaven, Williamsburg and part of Monticello — where sidewalks and stormwater management are in desperate need of upgrading.
“Why are we spending all this money repaving streets where it’s not necessary?” he asked. “I’d like you guys to consider reallocating these funds and addressing what we really need.”
Ali and DesJardins promised to look into the matter.
FCDOT and VDOT are encouraging additional community feedback on the proposed paving and restriping changes. Comments can be submitted until May 3 via the FCDOT website (see red box at bottom), via email at DOTBicyclePrograms@fairfaxcounty.gov, or via phone at 703-877-5600, (TTY 711).
Both the meeting presentation and a recording of the meeting are also available on the FCDOT website.