Help Support a Connected and Protected Crystal City Bike Network

We are asking trail users to submit feedback to Arlington County about the Crystal City Bike Network Plan using Sustainable Mobility of Arlington County’s talking points. The Arlington County Board recently directed staff to devise a bike network plan for Crystal City to take advantage of the redevelopment occurring as part of Amazon HQ2. The plan falls well short of the Board’s intent of quickly building a connected and protected bike network in Crystal City. Comments are due by Sunday, March 21st. We sent the following letter today:

I am writing on behalf of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail about the proposed Crystal City Bike network. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission that includes promoting safe access to the trail. In 2020, over 300 thousand people used to the Crystal City Connector to access the Mount Vernon Trail. The bike network in Crystal City is vital to ensuring safe passage to and from the trail.

I applaud the County Board directing that a plan be created to seize the opportunity that Amazon HQ2 has brought to rebuild the streetscape and make right of way for a safe all ages bike network. County staff have created a plan that has some great elements, especially the southbound protected bike lane on Crystal Drive and the protected bike facilities on the east/west streets into Crystal City.

The remainder of the plan does not appear to meet the spirit and intent of the County Board. The Mount Vernon Trail is an example of a well used bicycling corridor because it is direct and uncomplicated. We struggle with how we could explain to a family on bikes at the north end of the Potomac Yard Trail how to get to get to the Crystal City Waterpark and Crystal City Connector using the proposed bike network.

Bike facilities work best when they are complete, use direct routes and are easy to follow. We urge the County Board to adopt the bike network plan for Crystal City that has been put forth by Sustainable Mobility of Arlington County. Though some elements of this plan may take longer than four years to implement, it is a plan that best provides the connected, protected all ages bike network that will ensure a vibrant and safe Crystal City.

Judd Isbell
Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail

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