FCDOT solicits community feedback on proposed Richmond Highway BRT changes
During a May 3 public meeting, Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) officials presented findings and recommendations from the Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) turn lane analysis they conducted over the past year in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Transportation. The analysis was designed to evaluate potential BRT design modifications based on community concern about the proposed number of north- and southbound travel lanes at certain intersections along Richmond Highway.
As part of its analysis, FCDOT identified 13 intersections for potential left or right turn lane reductions, evaluated a total of 30 lanes at those intersections and decided to recommend 12 lanes for potential removal from the BRT design plan. Factors contributing to their recommendations included BRT impact, pedestrian crossing distance, walk time for signals, potential conflicts or delays, existing lanes, and cost impacts or other considerations.
Among the dozen turn lanes recommended for elimination were the second northbound left turn lane at Sherwood Hall Lane — leading into the Walmart parking lot — and the southbound right turn lane leading into the Costco parking lot. FCDOT, however, recommended against removing the northbound right turn lane onto Sherwood Hall.
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By incorporating these design modifications at the Sherwood Hall intersection, FCDOT aims to bring the total number of proposed north- and southbound travel lanes down to 10 — a key request from members of the Gum Springs community.
“Having the lanes reduced from 13 to 10 is a good step in the right direction,” said Queenie Cox, president of the New Gum Springs Civic Association.
Other community members thanked FCDOT for its efforts to reduce the number of travel lanes, but several attendees expressed concern that the proposed changes didn’t go far enough.
“While I appreciate all the effort here … why are we encouraging more lanes when we want people to be on the buses?” asked one attendee. “We need to make this roadway safer … to get people out of their cars,” said another.
Pete Sitnik, chair of the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Association’s Transportation Committee, said that one important thing was left off FCDOT’s list of five objectives in conducting the analysis.
“There’s no objective in there that says, ‘making a place, making a main street … more livable,’” he said.
FCDOT is asking community members to share feedback about its recommendations for potential BRT design changes by responding to a survey by May 27. Comments may also be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by postal mail to the attention of FCDOT’s Richmond Highway BRT Project Manager.
The community meeting materials are available on FCDOT’s Richmond Highway BRT website.