Local Commentary

Guest Commentary: Milestones in Our Multimodal Transportation Network

By Paul Stoddard

After many years of planning and hard work by city staff and elected officials, Capital Bikeshare opened May 8, here in the City of Falls Church. A formal ribbon cutting is planned on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
Opening Capital Bikeshare has been a long journey in the ongoing effort to make Falls Church a “multimodal” city, one that is friendly to all modes of transportation – pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and automobile. The vision for a multimodal transportation network was formally adopted by the City Council when it unanimously adopted the “Mobility for all Modes” plan in 2014.

Following the direction set by Council, city staff has worked with the elected officials, boards and commissions, the community at large, and regional, state, and federal partners to deliver on the goals of increased safety and increased transportation options. Since the adoption of Mobility for all Modes 2014, highlights of transportation efforts include:

1) Neighborhood Traffic Calming – Traffic Calming Program updated in 2015 and traffic calming solutions installed along five different streets. More are in progress.

2) Bus Shelters – 15 bus shelters installed through public and private investment along Washington Street, Broad Street, and Roosevelt Boulevard.

3) Bus Service – 2A service increased to 15 minute frequency during rush hour. 3T service between West Falls Church and East Falls Church Metros restored.

4) Bicycle Facilities – Master Plan adopted in 2015. Bike facilities installed several streets. Green bike racks installed throughout downtown.

5) W&OD – Master Plan adopted in 2016. Construction underway on a new overpass crossing Lee Highway. Engineering underway for separate walking and biking trails. Engineering underway for safe street/trails crossings.

6) South Washington Street – Construction scheduled for intermodal plaza, new traffic signals, wider sidewalks, additional crosswalks, and more street trees.

7) Pedestrian Access and Safety – New sidewalk constructed along N. Roosevelt Street. New sidewalk and bridge crossing Four Mile Run on N Van Buren Street. Engineering underway for new signalized crossings along East and West Broad Street.

8) Grant Funding – The majority of funding for these efforts comes through grants. In the last few years alone, the city has been awarded over $30 Million in grant funds for multimodal transportation projects.
Of course investment in the city’s multimodal transportation network continues. Not only is aging infrastructure in need of redesign and reinvestment, the transportation environment continues to change. Growing awareness of the public health and environmental impacts of transportation choices is increasing the desire of more transportation options. The introduction of new forms of transportation — Uber, Lyft, electric scooters and autonomous vehicles — will continue to evolve the transportation world. And of course a growing regional economy means a growing regional population, which brings with it increased travel demands.

By establishing a progressive transportation vision with the 2014 Mobility for all Modes plan, the Council made clear that the City wants to control its own transportation future — that the city will continue to support increased economic activity and vibrancy while also reducing environmental and neighborhood impacts and strengthening the walkability, bike ability, and safety of the city’s transportation network.
This is a great week to check out one of the 11 newly activated Bike Share Stations in and around the City of Falls Church located at:

• West Falls Church Metro

• George Mason High School / Haycock Rd & Leesburg Pike

• Park Pl & N Washington St (next to State Theatre & Clare and Don’s)

• N Oak St & W Broad St

• Pennsylvania Ave & Park Ave

• E Fairfax St & S Washington St

• W. Broad St & Little Falls St

• N Roosevelt St & Roosevelt Blvd

• S Maple Ave & S Washington St

• Falls Church City Hall / Park Ave & Little Falls St

• W Columbia St & N Washington St

It also is an excellent time to activate a Capital Bikeshare annual membership which connects you with more than 550 stations in the Bikeshare System! Monthly memberships can be as low as $8 a month and allow unlimited 30-minute trips from station to station. You can learn more on the Capital Bike Share Blog: https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/blog/cfc.

So come out and celebrate the City’s efforts to advance the community vision of a multimodal transportation future! The ribbon cutting for Capital Bikeshare is scheduled for Monday, May 13, 6:30 p.m. next to the State Theatre and Clare & Don’s.

Continue the celebration by participating in Bike to Work Day on Friday May 17! Plan to stop by the City’s Pit Stop for Bike to Work Day which will be open 6:30 a.m. –to 9 a.m., at the intersection of the W&OD Trail and Little Falls Street. We hope to see you there!