Eight transit projects in Northern Virginia have been recommended for funding under Virginia’s Smart Scale program. The bus, bike, pedestrian and rail projects could receive $183.9 million should the Commonwealth Transportation Board adopt staff recommendations. Several of the projects were included in Virginia’s successful proposal to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the region.
The installation of transit signal prioritization at 50 intersections on major corridors in the City of Alexandria ranked first among projects in Northern Virginia and fifth statewide. The technology would improve the speed, efficiency and reliability of DASH bus service. Of the $2.2 million project cost, $2.1 million has been recommended under Smart Scale.
Construction of a second entrance to the Crystal City Metrorail station could receive $52.9 million through Smart Scale. The $90.8 million entrance would be situated at the northwest corner of the Crystal Drive and 18th Street South intersection.
A southern extension of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway, an $8.4 million project, would run from South Glebe Road in Arlington County to its border with Alexandria at Four Mile Run. The dedicated bus lane, which opened in 2014, currently is served by the
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metroway bus rapid transit.
The design and construction of infrastructure needed for the planned West End Transitway in Alexandria could receive $57.2 million through Smart Scale. Funds would cover transit signal prioritization, queue jumps, stations, streetscape improvements, and rolling stock for the $61.8 million bus rapid transit project.
The Landmark Transit Hub, which would improve access to the soon-to-be redeveloped Landmark Mall site and Alexandria’s planned West End Transitway, has been recommended for $6.3 million, the project’s full cost, under Smart Scale. The project includes new traffic lanes, sidewalks, bicycle lanes and other infrastructure to increase access to transit.
Also recommended for full funding under Smart Scale is the Pickett Road Connector Trail in the City of Fairfax. The proposed $5.9 million connector would link two major regional trail networks. Ten feet wide and 1,260 feet long, the multipurpose trail would include two 14-foot wide bridges and boardwalks over a wetland.
A new transit plaza at South Washington Street and Hillwood Avenue in the City of Falls Church would allow for multimodal transportation options, increase pedestrian accessibility, and connect the area to the city’s center and the East Falls Church Metrorail station. It is recommended that Smart Scale cover $2.8 million of the $9 million project cost.
Another project along Route 1 could receive $50 million of its $544.8 million cost through Smart Scale. Funding for the project, which would connect Fort Belvoir and the Huntington Metrorail station, would cover new transit stations and facilities for bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles.
Smart Scale works to ensure that funded transportation projects are the best use of limited tax dollars. It scores transit and highway projects based on an objective, outcome-based process that is transparent and allows decision-makers to be held accountable by taxpayers. The Commonwealth Transportation Board will hold public hearings on the proposed Smart Scale projects before voting on the funding recommendations in late spring.