shutterstock_568093297Sidewalks 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.”  As part of the revitalization of New Woodbridge, progress is being made on completing a 50-mile network of sidewalks, trails and mixed-use pathways that will facilitate pedestrians and cyclists safely traveling between home, work (with access to VRE and PRTC stops), play and shopping.

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 their bikes to recreational destinations such as Veterans Park, Rippon Lodge, or the Rippon VRE Station.  Since 2008, nineteen pedestrian accidents occurred in the Woodbridge District.  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 four crosswalks that were essential to creating a Pedestrian & Bicycle Network. The top five priorities are listed below:

  1. Route 1 at Powell’s Creek Bridge ($710K) FUNDED
  2. Dale Boulevard from Neabsco Mills Road across Route 1 and along Rippon Boulevard ($1.8M) FUNDED
  3. Opitz Boulevard from the Wawa to Neabsco Mills Road ($1.5M) FUNDED
  4. Blackburn Road from Rippon Boulevard to the Cow Branch Bridge ($500K) FUNDED
  5. Blackburn Road from Reddy Drive to Featherstone Road ($600K)

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 strives to move 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.

Bike to Work Day: Each year, Supervisor Principi hosts a “pit stop” on Bike to Work Day to support riding a bike to the train station, as opposed to driving. Biking is becoming a popular mode of transit for many people.  It’s healthy, less expensive, and good for the environment. Learn more here.