If “Transform I-66” Is Supposed to Create a Multi-Mobile Corridor – Ugh, What About Bikes and Pedestrians in Prince William?

dottedlineVDOT advertises the $3 billion Transform I-66 project as more than a road project:
Work is underway to transform Northern Virginia’s Interstate 66 into a multimodal corridor that moves more people, provides reliable trips and offers new travel options.

Good vision – except the non-motorized part in Prince William is all hat and no cattle.

The project’s contribution to a shared use path west of Fairfax County is just a few lines on a map.

Dotted lines for “duh, don’t know who might ever make this a real trail” cross Bull Run.  Unless you’re paddling a bike with a swim bladder, that dotted line means end-of-trail-and-start-of-platitudes-and-promises.

East of Bull Run, there’s real money being invested in building a trail suitable for pedestrians and bikers.  West of Bull Run… nada.

VDOT blames Prince William County.  The Comprehensive Plan failed to include a path for non-motorized travel in the I-66 corridor.  If the county did not plan it, then there must be no need and VDOT won’t recommend it.  (Think that logic would apply to the Bi-County Parkway?  Hey, it’s not in the Comprehensive Plan either…)

If you don’t play the game, you have no chance of winning.  So Prince William Conservation Alliance submitted the following comments to VDOT, in the idealistic hopes that citizen feedback might somehow affect the final decision:

The Prince William Conservation Alliance supports the planning and construction of bike/pedestrian paths in the I-66 corridor as part of the Transform I-66 project.  

We have two comments:

1) The proposal to end construction of multi-mobile paths at the Fairfax County border, excluding Prince William County, is short-sighted and inadequate.  
The I-66 project should provide a bridge over Bull Run to facilitate a connection from Fairfax County to Balls Ford Road and Vandor Lane.  
2) The Transform I-66 project should construct a bike/pedestrian path where I-66 crosses over Route 234 business.  
Building new infrastructure at that overpass, without creating a bike/pedestrian path linking the southern and northern sides of Route 234, would be transportation planning malpractice.
Currently, I-66 isolates the Northern Virginia Community College and Manassas National Battlefield Park from the development on Sudley Road.  Pedestrians and bikers going from the City of Manassas to the community college or park visitor center must go far out of their way to Groveton Road, in order to get across I-66..  
It would be flat wrong to build more bridges which would perpetuate rather than correct the problem at the Route 234 Business overpass.

Here’s the roundabout route that bikers and pedestrians must take to get to Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) from Manassas to bypass the I-66/Business 234 interchange (yellow circle):

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