The Virginia Regional Passenger Authority (VRPA) is seeking comment on the most recent designs for the future Long Bridge Bike and Pedestrian Bridge across the Potomac River. The bridge will be built in conjunction with construction of a new railroad bridge that will double train capacity across the Potomac.
Previous comments have been successful in widening the bridge by 2 feet, but we think it should be wider to meet needs for the next 100 years. Visit the survey and provide comments to Question 5 that we stole from our friends at Sustainable Mobility of Arlington County:
The proposed 16′ bike/ped bridge width is too narrow. The vertical barriers on each side reduce the useful width of the bridge and leave no space for people to pause, whether to tie their shoe, change a flat tire, comfort a crying baby, or watch a train go by. We cannot trap people in a 16′ wide channel that is nearly 10 football fields long without space to take a necessary pause. The proposed width will create conflicts that will be with us for decades to come. Please widen the bike/ped span to 24′ in as many areas as possible to create space where people can pull to the side & pause.
In addition to widening the bridge by 2 feet, the updated designs have some great improvements to the connection to the Mount Vernon Trail, Long Bridge Park and East Potomac Park. The Mount Vernon Trail connection will have both a ramp on the eastern side of the trail and a staircase on the western side, both that are 16 feet wide. The landing area for the connection is wide to allow safe transitions. Planners also have planned the connection to accommodate the future widening of the trail to 11 feet.
The bridge will connect to the existing path behind the Long Bridge Aquatics Center which connects directly to the Long Bridge Esplanade as well as the future trail under construction as part of the Boundary Channel interchange project.
The landing to East Potomac Park is much improved from the previous design. The bridge will gradually slope to connect to the park and will have north and south approaches to connect to the roadway. Planners have incorporated connection to future bike lanes on Ohio Drive.
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or Donate to Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail to help us purchase tools and supplies.