Remington Walks

Walkable locales with recreation options are, simply put, nicer places to live and visit, and they increase quality of life. That is why we have partnered with the Town of Remington and various community groups to develop a plan for future walking routes, trails, sidewalks, parks

We brought in the Toole Design Group, which is a nationally recognized expert in walkability. They developed recommendations from a series of events we hosted, which included interviews, open houses, listening sessions, stakeholder groups and a walking tour, this past April.

A group of people walk through a park.
PEC’s Julie Bolthouse leads a walking tour with Toole Design Group consultants, stakeholders and Remington residents. Photo by Paula Combs

“It shows a great deal of foresight for the Town and PEC to tackle issues like these at this time. Around the country, there are countless examples of small cities and towns that have invested in parks, trails and sidewalk projects only to see big payoffs over the long run in terms of community cohesion and economic development,” says Alia Anderson, Mid-Atlantic regional planning director at Toole Design Group. “What we heard from the people of Remington is that they want more places to be together, to hang out, to play and exercise — these are the goals that are at the heart of this effort. Our report recommends a handful of priority projects — some small and a few large ones.”

The consultants considered the main roads of Remington — Route 15 business and West Main Street — and separated them into different categories such as gateways, transition zones and the town center.

One of their ideas was to make the main intersection in the center of town a four-way stop. It would have sidewalk extensions, marked crosswalks and a textured midsection that would look and feel like brick.

The Toole Design Group also suggested that parking only be on one side of the downtown’s Main Street, which would allow for the sidewalk on the Town Hall side to be widened. It was suggested that the extra land next to the Town Hall become a public playground and garden. Additionally, they made trail and sidewalk improvement recommendations for three “loops” around the Town.

The first loop is identified as the ‘play loop,’ which encompasses the downtown area. Along the route is a new proposed play-ground, the current community garden, the carnival grounds, the elementary school and the Lee’s Glen subdivision. The second loop, the ‘learn loop,’ would also include part of downtown, but it would bring you south toward the river and Civil War battlefield, where you could walk around the Rappahannock Station Battle eld Park and possibly along the river to the Rector tract owned by Civil War Trust. The third loop, the ‘stride loop,’ goes out toward Lucky Hill Road, and it would be more geared toward exercise, including features like stretching and exercise stations (akin to more adult-like “playgrounds”).

The recommendations were positively received by the Remington community, but the obvious question came up almost immediately, “how do we afford this?”

The Toole Design consultants explained that the projects will need to be implemented incrementally over time. The most important thing is for the Town and its partners to take advantage of every opportunity to implement these concepts — for example, through redevelopment or roadway repaving. While the Town and County are key players, the broader community has an important role to play in implementation, too. Many of the ideas might be championed by a group of residents, business owners or a ‘friends of the park’ group,” says Alia.

PEC’s next step is to present the consultant’s recommendations to the Town of Remington and Fauquier County for discussion and possible adoption into their respective comprehensive plans. We will be presenting to the Town of Remington on June 19 and to the County Planning Commission on July 20.

This article was featured in our Summer 2017 Member Newsletter, The Piedmont View.