National Landing BID Advocates for Design That Puts People Before Cars

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The National Landing Business Improvement District has teamed with local organizations to launch a “People Before Cars” coalition, to facilitate a safer and more accessible transportation network throughout National Landing in Arlington, Va.

JBG SMITH, which is also part of the coalition, is developing the 150-acre, mixed-use complex known as National Landing, which will include Amazon’s more than 4 million-square-foot HQ2 and a $1 billion innovation campus for Virginia Tech 

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Among those joining in the efforts are Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County, Arlington Families for Safe Streets and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

The coalition is looking to implement an urban design scheme that would make things easier for walkers and bikers to get around National Landing.

“There’s strength in numbers. We believe we can make the biggest impact possible by partnering with local organizations that share our same vision and priorities for multi-modal mobility,” Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, National Landing BID’s president and executive director, told Commercial Observer. “Through public outreach, advocacy and engagement, our goal is to create a safer and more accessible transportation network here in National Landing.” 

The coalition’s recommendations include bringing Route 1, the major roadway that runs through National Landing, to grade in order to prioritize those walking, biking and taking transit; incorporating new signals, signal timing and speed enforcement at various locations to make walking safer; and delivering an interconnected network of protected bike lanes, bike facilities, and trails to promote a safe place for people to bike and use scooters away from people walking on the sidewalk. 

“National Landing is in the midst of a transformation. With eight key transportation projects expected to deliver over the next decade, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the most well-connected district in the country,” Gabriel said. “By crafting a robust, interconnected transit network that prioritizes people, we will produce an environment that is both equitable and resilient. It will also help propel our ongoing recovery and position the region for continued economic growth.”

Additionally, Gabriel noted “People Before Cars” showcases the importance of constructing the CC2DCA Intermodal Connector, a planned path that would provide a convenient way for people to walk and bike from Downtown National Landing to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. 

According to the BID’s Mobility Next Report, there are currently eight major transportation projects, totaling nearly $4 billion, in the pipeline that are expected to come about in the area over the next 10 years. Along with the private development projects reshaping the neighborhood, the coalition sees this as the opportune time to enhance walkability and mobility. 

The coalition also looks to expand and enhance mass transit opportunities. The pledge includes rail and road improvements, such as Amtrak service in Crystal City and through-running MARC trains, and increased frequency on the Metroway, Transitway and bus lines.    

Keith Loria can be reached at kloria@commercialobserver.com.