The Transportation Planning Division guides the planning, policy, and priorities of the Transportation Branch to ensure that future investments support the City’s strategic plans, based on values of equity, safety, sustainability, health, increasing efficient and reliable access, and improving quality of life, and will predict and plan for future trends.
The Division specializes in strategies and policies to improve transportation options and reduce single occupancy vehicles, safe bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and programs, ensuring new developments support existing City priorities and minimizing negative impacts, citywide programs to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, and to support economic development.
Guiding Transportation Principles
- Improve safety and accessibility for all users
- Improve infrastructure operations to improve quality of life in Alexandria
- Plan for sustainable growth by encouraging transit, biking and walking and reducing single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) driving
- Support goals to improve sustainability and historic preservation per the City Council's Strategic Plan
- Lead the region in incorporating technology and planning for future trends
Study Shows Alexandria Residents Taking Fewer Car Trips
Alexandria residents are relying less on car trips for commuting and making shorter trips when they do drive, according to a new study. The total number of weekday vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Alexandria dropped 12.5% between 2010 and 2016 – the largest decrease of any jurisdiction in the Washington metropolitan area. The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board's most recen t travel trends study found VMT is increasing around the country, remaining relatively flat in the Washington area, but decreasing in Alexandria, even as the city’s population grows. Between 2005 and 2016, Alexandria saw telework increase by about 43%, transit ridership increase by about 21%, and single occupancy vehicle trips decrease by about 8%. Although VMT produced by Alexandrians is down significantly, interjurisdictional traffic remains a challenge for Alexandria’s transportation network.
Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary, multi-national traffic safety concept that aims to achieve a transportation system with no deaths and serious injuries. It began in Sweden in 1997 and has since been adopted by other countries and cities around the world. The Vision Zero concept proposes that adopting communities recognize that traffic deaths and serious injuries are preventable through proper engineering, enforcement, evaluation and education. Thus, when communities adopt Vision Zero programs they are, in effect, rethinking traffic safety and setting programs and aggressive timelines to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries.
The Transportation Planning Division is responsible for leading long range transportation planning efforts and participating in other City efforts that may have a long term impact on mobility. A major initiative in 2020 is the update to the City's Transportation Master Plan, known as Alexandria Mobility Plan. Additional efforts include transit planning, supporting small area plan development, and data collection efforts on resident travel behavior to help inform long range planning and nearer term planning and programming.
Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are a vital part of livable, attractive communities and are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, bicycle to work and access buses or train stations.
Complete Streets are relatively low cost, fast to implement, and high impact. By adopting a Complete Streets Policy in 2011 and reenacting it in 2014, the City of Alexandria directed transportation planners, engineers and developers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. Visit the Complete Streets webpage to learn more about ongoing projects and policies.
Want to know how to get around by bike? Download the Alexandria Bike Map.
- Ride the City DC Metro edition (on-line bicycle-route finding website)
- District of Columbia Department of Transportation
- Fairfax County
- Arlington County
- WashCycle Area Bike Map
Bicycle Trails in Virginia
As a Bicycle and Pedestrian Friendly Community, the City is working to reduce dependence on automobiles. With its stakeholders, the City produced the Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan Update (2016), which details recommendations for safety, mobility and connectivity improvements and ensures that future development plans serve all modes of travel. It also features a Future Bicycle Infrastructure Map, guiding infrastructure decisions into the future as opportunities arise.
City streets serve many functions providing citizens of all ages and degrees of mobility to walk down the sidewalk, to grab a cup of coffee, speak with their neighbors, walk their children to school or bicycle to work. Read more about the City's biking and walking initiatives here.
Safe Routes to School is a federal program to improve the well-being of children by improving walking and bicycling conditions on routes to school and enabling and encouraging children to walk and bike these routes.
As a diverse city with more than 140,000 people living in about 15 square miles, Alexandria provides an ideal environment for walking and bicycling since so many families live close to their neighborhood elementary schools. Alexandria has had a formal Safe Routes to School program since 2003, when we participated in our first annual International Walk to School Day, and the City has been ensuring pedestrian safety near schools for many years. The City conducted safe routes to school walk audits for all Alexandria elementary schools during the 2016-2017 school year, and is in the process of completing audit reports. Efforts to design and implement pedestrian and intersection improvements at seven elementary schools are also underway.
The Transportation Planning Division manages the study, design and construction of Alexandria's
multi-use trail network. The City recently completed projects to improve the trail network such as the
Holmes Run Trail at Chambliss Crossing and has ongoing initiatives along the Mount Vernon Trail at Abingdon Drive and the
Holmes Run Trail at Ripley Street Crossing. A feasibility study to design a trail along
Old Cameron Run is currently underway.
The City’s Transportation Master Plan seeks to initiate an unprecedented paradigm shift, putting Alexandrians first and providing them with innovative transportation options. The successful implementation of this plan will allow all Alexandrians the opportunity to choose, on a daily basis, the options of walking, bicycling, or riding public transportation to their destination.
The goal of this concept-oriented Master Plan is to successfully integrate and link walking, bicycling, and transit together, providing connectivity and accessibility to all of Alexandria’s recreational, cultural, and economic assets, along with those of the greater Northern Virginia region.
City Council adopted the Transportation Master Plan April 12, 2008.
Transportation Planning staff work with Development and Right of Way Services, Planning and Zoning, and other partners on a collaborative development review process that strives to balance quality development and the transportation needs of the growing community. The City of Alexandria envisions an integrated, multimodal transportation system that is accessible and safe for all users. For Alexandria to maintain its attractiveness as a place of residence and commercial destination, transportation infrastructure and impacts associated with new developments are reviewed by staff to ensure proposals are consistent with transportation policies such as the Transportation Planning Administrative Guidelines, Complete Streets Design Guidelines, Transportation Master Plan, Vision Zero Action Plan, Open Sidewalks Policy, and vehicleand bicycle parking requirements.
The Transit Vision Plan will identify existing and future bus transit needs and community priorities in the City of Alexandria as a basis for designing a future bus network that improves mobility, accessibility, and overall cost efficiency. The plan will use data to understand issues and needs and a robust civic engagement process to guide City and DASH staff on how buses should serve the community. More information can be found on the linked Transit Vision Plan page under Project Background, and Project Overview.
- Opportunity to fundamentally re-imagine the City's bus network
- Consistent with the City's Transportation Management Plan objectives
- Close partnership between the City of Alexandria and DASH
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Transportation Planning Division manages and supports a number of important capital transit projects that will improve transit facilities and service to Alexandria residents, visitors and workers.
- Bus Stop Accessibility & Amenities Program
- King Street- Old Town Metro Station Access Improvement Projects
- Van Dorn Metro Station Improvement Project
- Potomac Yard Metrorail Station
- West End Transitway
- Eisenhower Avenue Metro Improvement Project