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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 26 were expected to endorse a draft report concerning “transportation-demand management” and transit on Interstate 495 over the American Legion Bridge.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) last July embarked on a study to find potential current and “multimodal” solutions to reduce traffic congestion on the bridge and Beltway.
Officials also sought solutions that would bolster trip reliability and improve existing and planned multimodal connectivity and mobility.
The draft study’s regional recommendations concentrated on rideshare and bus solutions that would make use of the American Legion Bridge.
In the near term, before the opening of new “managed” tolled express lanes) over the bridge, the study recommends more ridesharing and the start of bus service between Tysons and Bethesda.
The study’s mid-term recommendations, which could be timed with the opening of the managed lanes, include the above bus route, plus ones between Bethesda and Virginia locations at Tysons/Dunn Loring and Reston/Washington Dulles International Airport. Other suggested routes would go between Tysons and the Maryland localities of Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and Germantown.
After the express lanes open, the draft plan’s long-term recommendation is for the implementation of two bus routes involving Frederick, Md., one going to Tysons and the other to L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C., via Arlington.
According to the draft study, officials should study bus-bay capacity at the various transfer and terminal locations in order to determine the amount of funding required. Other key questions include the cost of the implementation plan, required levels of service and one or more potential funding sources, such as the Virginia Department of Transportation’s I-495 NEXT project and perhaps dedicated funds from the commonwealth of Virginia.
In their briefing document to the Board of Supervisors, county officials indicated a willingness to implement the suggested transit services if capital and operating funds were available.