Pedestrian & Bicycle Network:
Sidewalks line both sides of the road in many Woodbridge residential neighborhoods. Yet, once residents arrive at a major thoroughfare, the sidewalk abruptly ends essentially creating a “sidewalk to nowhere.” Today, students from Freedom High School walk on the shoulder of Dale Boulevard to get home, shoppers walk on Route 1 to cross over Powell’s Creek and residents of Potomac Town Center cannot safely walk or ride a bike to the Rippon VRE Station. Additionally, we have had many pedestrian accidents in Woodbridge, often resulting in loss of life. National statistics and studies prove that sidewalks reduce the number of injuries to pedestrians.
In the fall of 2012, transportation and planning experts from local and state government attended a Pedestrian Network work session to identify a total of 31 gaps in sidewalks and 4 crosswalks that were essential to creating a Pedestrian & Bicycle Network. The top five priorities are listed below:
- Route 1 at Powell’s Creek Bridge ($710K)
- Dale Boulevard from Neabsco Mills Road across Route 1 and along Rippon Boulevard ($1.8M)
- Opitz Boulevard from the Wawa to Neabsco Mills Road ($1.5M)
- Blackburn Road from Rippon Boulevard to the Cow Branch Bridge ($500K)
- Blackburn Road from Reddy Drive to Featherstone Road ($600K)
Sidewalks and trails represent a major investment by citizens and are an important part of a balanced transportation system. All of these have been funded by developer proffers, regional grants, or road projects, with the exception of half of Opitz Boulevard (from the library to Stonebridge). As the District moves from a suburban auto dependent community to an urbanized pedestrian friendly community, it must ensure residents can safely walk or ride bikes from their homes to parks, recreational facilities, schools, churches, and businesses.
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail:
One of the best kept secrets in the Woodbridge Magisterial District is the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (PHNST). This multi-purpose trail connects historical and recreational sites from Virginia’s Northern Neck to Pittsburgh, PA. In September of 2010, Prince William County dedicated an eight mile segment to be incorporated into the PHNST from the Woodbridge District. Since then, the total trail length in the Woodbridge District has increased to almost 15 miles as the county facilitates aligning the trail through wildlife refuges, parks, wetlands, utility easements, and HOA common areas. The most exciting feature of the PHNST is the proposed one mile boardwalk over the Mets Wetlands and Neabsco Creek connecting Blackburn Road to Neabsco Road. The Neabsco Creek Boardwalk is in the design phase. Funding has been set aside for its construction, projected to begin in 2016.
After 39 years, Potomac Community Library recently experienced renovations. New floor to ceiling windows, a beautiful outdoor patio and pergola now provide patrons enjoyable indoor or outdoor reading areas. Supervisor Principi joined library staff, members of the Library Board, the Library Foundation and Friends of the Potomac Library at a ribbon cutting ceremony in 2013. With tables and chairs, free Wi-Fi service, a play area for the children is the perfect setting for library programs, get-togethers, or an area to read and enjoy nature.
Historic Rippon Lodge:
Located on Blackburn Road near Rippon Boulevard, Rippon Lodge is one of the oldest houses in all of Prince William County. Built circa 1747 by Richard Blackburn, it sits atop a hill overlooking the mouth of Neabsco Creek and the Potomac River. The estate was later enlarged in 1800 by Blackburn’s son, Lt. Col. Thomas Blackburn. Col. Blackburn served in the Virginia militia during the American Revolution, and became greatly involved in local and Virginia politics. The site offers a glimpse into American history with public tours and educational programs in a bucolic setting.
Prince William County has invested millions of dollars to restore the grounds, including future plans for the Prince William County Museum at Rippon Lodge. A future Prince William Museum at Rippon Lodge is proposed as a gathering place to launch tours of the many historical sites in Prince William as well as provide amenities needed to rent the facility for weddings and special occasions to help underwrite the ongoing maintenance costs of the historic site.
Veterans Park Skate Park:
In 2012, we celebrated the grand reopening of the “rad” new Skatepark facility at Veterans Memorial Park. Named for Scott D. Eagles, the Skatepark slogan is “BE BALD!” On the day of the Ribbon Cutting, skaters, parents, and park enthusiasts gathered for fantastic event including a live band, snacks, and demonstrations from semi-professional skaters. The design includes features for all skill levels including ramps, stairs, a kidney bowl, and a half pipe (for those gravity-defying tricks!). Please remember to follow the posted safety guidelines! BE BALD and wear your helmet!
Marumsco Acres Lake Park:
Working with a group of concerned citizens over several years, we reinvested in a small neighborhood park that had seen better days. Playground equipment was replaced, new picnic tables delivered, and a new fishing pier built to replace one that existed many years ago. The rehab work culminated one Sunday afternoon in 2013 when over 40 volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and EXIT Realty descended on the park to clear overgrown shrubs, pick up trash from the grounds and pond, mulch the planters, trim overgrown branches, plant sustainable vegetation, paint the pavilions and repair a broken fence. The Prince William County supported their day of service with providing staff, equipment and tools, while the Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civic Association provided $1500 toward sustainable plants to beautify the landscape. Together, we’re building a better community!