The City is seeking a Civic Engagement firm to assist with community outreach for this project, which will begin in Spring 2021. The RFP is posted online with a submission deadline of January 15, 2021. Community engagement for this project will last approximately 18 months and will begin with a visioning process to understand the needs, wants and expectations of all users of the Duke Street corridor. City Council was briefed on the project at their November 24, 2020 legislative meeting, and the presentation can be viewed here.
What is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?
BRT (also known as a busway or transitway) is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services at metro-level capacities with fast and frequent operations. When BRT can operate in dedicated lanes, it can contain features similar to a light rail or metro system, it is much more reliable, convenient and faster than regular bus services. With the right features, BRT is able to avoid the causes of delay that typically slow regular bus services, like being stuck in traffic and queuing to pay on board.
On July 9, 2020, the City of Alexandria was awarded a $75 million grant from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) in the 2020-2025 Six Year Program. This funding will be used to help construct the first phase of improvements identified in the planning and public input phases of the project.
In the 2008 Transportation Master Plan, the City identified three high capacity transit corridors that were then reaffirmed in the 2012 Transit Corridors Feasibility Study. The Duke Street Corridor was one of three identified in that study. The City was awarded $12 million funding to start planning, design and environmental work for the Duke Street corridor between Landmark Mall and the King Street Metrorail station. In the upcoming year, staff will lead an extensive public outreach effort building on the concepts of the original study. Transit improvements are the primary focus of this effort, but bike and pedestrian access and safety will also be a part of this corridor study. The alternatives identified in 2012 will be reviewed as well as other alternatives identified by the public during the alternatives analysis process.
The City will start an extensive public participation process to identify the community’s desired transit, street design and safety improvements for the Duke Street Corridor beginning in spring 2021. This process will last about a year with a variety of opportunities for the public to participate in the development of the plans for the future of the corridor.
The Duke Street Transitway project will be closely coordinated with a number of other initiatives that are intended to more efficiently move people along Duke Street and improve congestion. As part of the Smart Mobility Program, the City is currently installing additional Transit and Emergency Vehicle Signal Priority along this corridor. Duke Street was also prioritized as one of the first two corridors in the City to receive signal upgrades through the Adaptive Traffic Signal Control project, which will allow the network of signals to better detect vehicles and automatically adjust their timing to improve traffic flow. Additionally, the City was awarded funding to improve safety and traffic congestion at the high crash intersection of Duke Street and West Taylor Run Parkway. Because Duke Street was identified as a high crash corridor through the Vision Zero Action Plan, staff is also working to provide safety upgrades along this corridor.
- Transitway Corridor Feasibility Study
- Duke Street NVTA Application
- November 24, 2020 City Council Presentation
Contact: Mark Schnaufer is the City's BRT Program Manager and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org