From Waldorf to Loudoun: Potential new trails, sidewalks and more

WASHINGTON — On future-bike-to-work days, there could be many more options across the region for commuters looking for an easier ride.

From a potential six-mile trail extension from Lanham, Maryland, to D.C. to new traffic lights or other improvements for people walking or biking from Loudoun to Waldorf, the region’s Transportation Planning Board approved eight low-cost yearlong studies or engineering analyses that could move projects forward.

In D.C., a project would develop a guide to new uses for existing public spaces that are not heavily used today, said board planner John Swanson.

“Essentially looking at how to permanently or temporarily reallocate public space for civic life, cultural expression, economic activity; there’ve been a lot of interesting examples of this in New York City,” Swanson said.

The projects funded for design or analysis this year through the “transportation land-use connections” program are each meant to help support development that adds less car traffic to the roads:

  • DC Public Space Activation and Stewardship Guide ($60,000): New uses for public right of way and how to get it done to permanently or temporarily use public space for civic life, cultural expression or economic activity. Swanson said this follows the lead of New York projects such as the High Line
  • Charles County Waldorf Urban Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Analysis ($50,000): Assessment of existing facilities and needs for connectivity, circulation and convenience for bicycle and pedestrian travel in Waldorf
  • College Park ($55,000): 30 percent design of 1.1 miles of new bicycle facilities along Rhode Island Avenue from Greenbelt Road to Muskogee Street connecting to Greenbelt Metro
  • Montgomery County ($60,000): Develop educational materials for the new bicycle and pedestrian safety infrastructure planned in all of the county’s bicycle and pedestrian priority areas. It will be piloted for White Flint and Silver Spring
  • Prince George’s County ($30,000): Feasibility analysis to look at extending Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail about 6.5 miles to the D.C. line from the current end point near the intersection of Annapolis Road (Route 450) and Martin Luther King Jr. Highway (Route 704) in Lanham
  • Fairfax County ($45,000 of requested $60,000): Study to identify recommended bike and pedestrian improvements along Columbia Pike
  • Fairfax County ($45,000 of requested $60,000): Technology plan for a travel monitoring program that would count the numbers of cars, bikes and pedestrians moving around the Tysons area to help guide future changes. “If Tysons Corner is going to work as a new downtown, local traffic circulation needs to work,” Swanson said.
  • Loudoun County ($25,000 of requested $60,000): Engineering for bicycle and pedestrian facilities within one mile of new Silver Line stations due to open around 2020, including new traffic signals.

The panel reviewing applications for the program also recommended funding an operations and maintenance plan for the Central Avenue Connector Trail in Prince George’s County, but the Maryland Department of Transportation determined that the project was not yet ready to move forward.

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