Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Report on Springfield Mall redevelopment hearing

We attended the Fairfax Co. Planning Commission public hearing on proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan to allow mixed-use development on the site of the Springfield Mall. The owners of the mall plan to build residential, commercial, and retail buildings surrounding the mall, which will be redesigned. New streets will be added.

To allow the redevelopment, the Comprehensive Plan must be changed, and the applicant must file for a rezoning. The rezoning application public hearing is scheduled for February 12, 2009.

During the developer's comments, they mentioned proposed bike lanes on the perimeter roads on the east, south, and west. Providence Commissioner Ken Lawrence noted that for bicycle transportation to work, other bike facilities are needed such as racks, showers, and changing rooms.

When we testified we reinforced Commissioner Lawrence's comments about bike parking. We also suggested some changes to the Plan text to more recommend that a bike circulation plan be developed similar to the pedestrian circulation plan. We also noted that since the developer offered to build bike lanes on their side of the road, VDOT and the County should figure out a way to have both sides striped at the same time. Travel lanes could be narrowed and the lanes could be shifted to accommodate bike lanes.

Lee District Commissioner Rodney Lusk, in whose district the development is being proposed, said he was well aware of the need for good bike facilities, noting that the chair of the Lee District Land Use Committee bicycles to transit regularly. Commissioner Lusk said that he would make sure that my comments were included in discussions of developer proffers when the rezoning application is heard.

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