Letter to Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer

May 6, 2007

Mr. Pierce Homer, Secretary
Virginia Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218

Dear Secretary Homer:

We are writing to express our concern about VDOT plans for bicycle accommodations as part of the Capital Beltway HOT Lanes project. The project will affect several crossings on corridors planned for bike routes in the Fairfax County Trails Plan. The improvements on these crossings should include the construction of shared-use paths and on-road bicycle routes consistent with the County Trails Plan.

The following crossings are of particular concern:

1) Exit 52 at Little River Turnpike: The Trails Plan calls for two shared use paths.
2) Exit 47 at Leesburg Pike: The Trails Plan calls for two shared use paths.
3) Exit 46 at Chain Bridge Road: The Trails Plan calls for two shared use paths.
4) Idylwood Road Overpass between I-66 and Exit 47: The Trails Plan calls for one shared use path.
5) Exit 51 at Gallows Road: The Trails Plan calls for two shared use paths and an on-road bike route.
6) Lee Highway Overpass between Exits 49 and 50: The Trails Plan calls for two shared use paths.
7) Lewinsville Road Overpass north of Dulles Toll Road: The Trails Plan calls for one shared use path.

Many of these routes are along key corridors that connect to regional trail systems, employment and retail destinations, and transit areas. Chain Bridge Road will be a key route for bicyclists accessing Tysons Corner from McLean. Gallows Road connects with the W & OD Trail, the Dunn Loring Metro station, and proposed mixed-use development in Merrifield.

Also on the plan is a Major Regional Trail that follows the Beltway. This trail would be similar to the very popular Custis Trail adjacent to I-66 inside the beltway. It would provide a north-south route for non-motorized traffic. It is not included in any of the current HOT Lanes plans.

Building out the bike network consistent with the Trails Plan will help replace vehicle trips with bicycle trips and relieve congestion.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience so that we may understand the status of these important bicycle projects in relation to the HOT Lanes plans.

Yours sincerely,

Bruce Wright
Chair, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling

Cc: Gerry Connolly, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Dennis Morrison, Northern Virginia District Administrator, VDOT

Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling is a grassroots initiative aiming to make bicycling an integral part of Fairfax County's transportation network. Visit us on the web at fabb-bikes.org.

Contact FABB via email: info@fabb-bikes.org

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