Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I-95/395 HOT lanes public hearings

We attended one of the I-95/395 HOT lanes public hearings held last night in Springfield. As we noted in our earlier post, we were most concerned about the ped/bike bridge used by many commuters to cross I-95 near the Springfield Metro station and Springfield Mall.

The bridge is being torn down to make way for exit/entrance ramps for the new HOT lanes. In order to replace the ped/bike bridge in the original location, it would need to be twice as high as the existing bridge to clear the proposed ramps. Instead, the new 10-foot wide ped/bike bridge will extend along I-95 to the Franconia-Springfield Parkway ramp, extend parallel to the ramp, then cross at grade across approximately 6 lanes of potentially high-speed traffic. It will then descend to the west side of I-95 where it will make a big loop, which we are told is required to meet ADA requirements. To see a detailed image, click on the image above.

The new bridge will be dangerous for users and could take twice as long to cross. Users will be required to activate a pedestrian signal, wait for the signal to change, then pray that motorists actually stop, especially those using the southbound ramp. This is a major degradation in service for trail users.

Please send comments to the project team by February 21 to ask for an equivalent replacement to the existing bridge:
  1. The new bridge will be much more dangerous for all users.

  2. The replacement bridge should provide equivalent access as the original bridge.

  3. The new bridge should provide a grade-separated crossing of I-95 and not require crossing of multiple exit/entrance lanes.

You can review the plans and make comments at the final public hearing tonight from 5-9pm at:

Minnie Howard School
3801 W Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302

Public hearing flier.

Would it be possible to re-locate the bridge further South and use an identical design?
Would it be possible to re-locate the bridge further South and use an identical design?
Russ, that would be another option. It may be the best option since placing the bridge to the north involves too many obstacles. If it were placed at the end of Beverly Lane it could extend over to Layton Dr. I'm not sure from there the best route to the Metro station, but it seems like this would be a good option. I'll mention it in my comments.
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