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Votes

VDOT Angers Hyland

Pedestrian crossing to be eliminated.

A decision made by the state transportation’s Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project Team “to eliminate the pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Route 1 and Fort Hunt Road” has angered both Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland and Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

At the Feb. 27 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting, Hyland told the board that he was recently informed by county staff that the VDOT bridge team “without coordination with county staff or Mount Vernon residents,” decided to eliminate the crossing either at ground level or by elevated walkway.

“As this board knows, Richmond Highway is an enhanced transit corridor that needs extensive pedestrian improvements extending from the City of Alexandria to Fort Belvoir. Given the close proximity of Metro, offices and high-density residential development, and a new pedestrian trail linking Fairfax County’s northern gateway with Old Town Alexandria, this intersection should encourage safe pedestrian travel, not eliminate it,” Hyland said.

Katherine D. Ichter, acting director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, had also written a letter to Dennis Morrison, district administrator, VDOT, expressing her displeasure with the decision. “We are requesting that you [VDOT] re-evaluate this decision to eliminate these pedestrian facilities,” she stated.

Acknowledging that the bridge project team has told him that “their current plans do not preclude putting in a raised pedestrian crossing at this intersection,” Hyland moved that the Board of Supervisors write the VDOT Commissioner, VDOT Northern Virginia District Administrator, and the bridge team requesting that they “install either an at-grade or bridged pedestrian crossing.”

— Chuck Hagee