A huge thanks to everyone who worked, rode and promoted Bike to Work Week to ensure it was an astounding success. We had ten events in one week (including Riverfest), all of which were fun and invigorating.
As high gas prices, traffic congestion, strain on the state budget and concerns about pollution prompt widespread calls for change, PEC supports a new transportation vision for Virginia.
Resources from Our Creating Walkable Piedmont Communities Workshop
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Creating Walkable Piedmont Communities workshop on March 31! This half-day workshop focused on giving your town or village the tools, resources, and contacts you need to implement pedestrian, streetscape, trail and traffic calming projects. It was also an opportunity to network with other local leaders interested in making their Piedmont communities more vibrant and walkable.
Third Annual Mobility Summit Celebrates Success, Launches Collective Work Plans
For the third February in a row, the Piedmont Mobility Alliance came together in Charlottesville to celebrate progress, discuss ways to broaden participation, and lay out some specific work plans for 2023.
Metro Silver Line Extension Opens in Loudoun County
Metro’s six new Silver Line stops opened this week, including service to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County. This once-in-a-generation investment enables a more sustainable future in the D.C. region and Virginia.
Regional traffic congestion, pollution in the Occoquan?
Last November, PEC wrote about the threats posed to Prince William County’s long-standing Rural Crescent by three major land use decisions.
Prince William County Considers Land Use Changes That Encourage Sprawl
Prince William County is evaluating three different land use changes that would introduce industrial and residential sprawl into the Rural Crescent, to the detriment of water quality, wildlife habitat, agriculture, historic resources, tourism and the rural atmosphere.
PEC Signs Letter Asking National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board to Reduce Transportation Emissions, Sprawl
On May 1, PEC joined 34 other groups around Virginia, D.C. and Maryland in signing on to a joint letter from the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG) to make necessary and feasible changes to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TBP)’s Visualize 2045 plan.
Rivanna Bridge Update
Update (August 1): The MPO submitted the Bridge proposal (with the Wool Factory terminus) to VDOT this afternoon for SMARTSCALE funding. We will find out if the project is approved in January of 2023.
Read the full project background here.
As you may know, the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Board voted last week to pursue VDOT SMARTSCALE funding for a pedestrian bridge connecting Pantops and Woolen Mills at the end of Market Street (the Wool Factory). Allison Wrabel wrote a good story about the vote.
Getting a pedestrian connection over the Rivanna in this area is a big win for the community, and I’m excited for the next step. Although the public survey and MPO Technical Committee both preferred the Chesapeake Street location, Market Street has powerful logic of its own and some late-breaking and not-obvious factors were decisive in the vote.
For one thing, much of the support for Chesapeake Street was contingent on the bridge being an elegant suspension bridge, which came into doubt late in the process. Many people might well have voted differently if they had known the bridge style would likely be more industrial in nature. Of course, it would have been better to know this from the beginning, but the process did work in that it brought the issue to light before the final location was selected.
What’s more, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors has a strong preference for the Market Street alignment adjacent to the Wool Factory site, which locates the bridge entirely in the County. Albemarle is stringing together a series of projects that merge economic development and community wellness in Pantops, the Old Mills Trail, the Wool Factory and Broadway. The bridge at Market Street ties them all together.
Not only is Albemarle putting forth plans, it is putting money behind them. The existing improvements at the Wool Factory are one example. Also quite interesting is the fact that the county has recently juiced several transportation projects with millions from its Transportation Leveraging Program.
That kind of local support (or Economic Development funds) could help mitigate the cost difference between the two bridge location options and be of critical importance if unforeseen contingencies arise. Although both options had strong appeal, the Policy Board (with representatives from Albemarle, Charlottesville, and VDOT) selected the one that it would best be most able to get behind and push to completion.
For all those reasons, this is a very positive outcome.
Webinar: Smart Growth Protects What We Have!
On January 6, 2022, Prince William Conservation Alliance hosted a panel discussion on data centers… from the Rural Crescent to the Occoquan Reservoir.
NEW Warrenton Branch Greenway Extension!
The Warrenton Branch Greenway is a paved pedestrian and bike trail used and loved by Fauquier County residents for decades. Earlier this fall, a new extension opened to nearly double the Greenway’s length to 2.2 miles!