Dear Mr. Reinhard and team,
The Coalition for Smarter Growth supports the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT’s) preferred alternative to convert Route 1 through National Landing from an elevated highway to a slower, safer, and vibrant urban boulevard. This is a forward-thinking proposal that will eliminate the current barrier that the elevated Route 1 presents and provide greater cohesion between Pentagon City and Crystal City.
It is essential that this new urban boulevard be designed in a way that truly prioritizes the needs of people walking, biking, and using transit. We recognize there are concerns regarding the safety of people without grade separation. However, we believe with the right design and safety measures, this new boulevard can be safe, accessible and provide a more connected community overall.
Physically designing the roadway for slower speeds by narrowing travel lanes and reducing corner radii, providing physically protected intersections and bike lanes, and allowing off-peak on-street parking are proven designs that make streets safer. Added safety measures should also include utilizing pedestrian lead intervals at signals and automated speed enforcement.
Conversion to a boulevard presumes we do everything we can to promote non-automobile access to National Landing, Reagan National Airport, and other commuting destinations. This includes expanding employee transit benefits, utilizing parking pricing, and providing more frequent and reliable transit services. Providing attractive transit options will help intercept commuters from Prince George’s, Fairfax County, and other points south traveling to jobs in Arlington and the District.
We urge VDOT and Arlington County to reimagine Route 1 with an at-grade design that emphasizes safety and accessibility for all road users and provides a vibrant urban boulevard through the heart of National Landing.
Thank you for your time and consideration of our comments.
Northern Virginia Advocacy Manager