North Van Dorn Complete Streets

Page updated on Feb 24, 2020 at 10:08 AM

What's New?

Flexposts were installed on the buffered bike lanes of North Van Dorn Street in July 2017. This is the City's first protected bike lane. Resurfacing and installation of pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, and new crosswalks was completed in June 2016.


Van Dorn St Before Photos                            


Van Dorn After Photos

Project Background

North Van Dorn Street, from Braddock Road to Menokin Drive, was resurfaced in 2016.  As part of the Complete Streets Program, the City worked with the community to redesign the street to improve safety along this corridor for all roadway users.

City staff met with residents in October 2015 to gather input regarding concerns with the roadway. The community provided the following feedback that staff attempted to address with a new street design:

  • Difficult pedestrian crossings at bus stops and intersections
  • Excessive vehicle speeds
  • ADA upgrades needed along corridor
  • Better access to Fort Ward Park needed
  • No bicycle facilities provided

As a follow up, City staff met with the community on January 28, 2016 to present new street design options. Based on feedback from the residents, a proposal was recommended to the community at a public meeting on March 15, 2015.  Attendees provided helpful information at this meeting.  The proposed design was modified to include these suggestions before going to the Traffic and Parking Board for approval in April and May 2016. 

Project Improvements

This project implemented the following improvements to address the community's safety concerns along the corridor:

  • Reduced travel lanes from two in each direction, to one in each direction with a center left turn lane, to separate turning vehicles from through traffic
  • Removed slip lane from Menokin Drive to North Van Dorn Street that encouraged excessive vehicle speeds
  • Installed a traffic signal, with pedestrian countdown signals, at the intersection of Menokin Drive and North Van Dorn Street
  • Installed ADA crosswalks and bus stops
  • Installed pedestrian refuge islands to reduce crossing distance and make pedestrians more visible to drivers
  • Narrowed the street to reduce excessive vehicle speeds, and lowered speed limit to match design speed of the street
  • Installed protected and buffered bike lanes along corridor to provide a safe, dedicated facility for bicyclists

Protected Bike Lanes


Protected bike lanes are bikeways that are at street level and use a variety of methods for physical protection of people biking from passing traffic. The protected bike lane installed on North Van Dorn Street uses flexposts to protect bicyclists and provides the following benefits:

  • Dedicates and protects space for people bicycling in order to improve perceived comfort and safety.
  • Eliminates risk and fear of collisions with over-taking vehicles.
  • Reduces risk of ‘dooring’ compared to a bike lane and eliminates the risk of a doored bicyclist being run over by a motor vehicle.
  • Prevents double-parking, unlike a bike lane.
  • Low implementation cost by making use of existing pavement and drainage and by using parking lane as a barrier.
  • More attractive for bicyclists of all ages and abilities.


  • Do not block the bike lane. You may never drive or park in any bike lane.
  • Watch for bikes when turning. Please make sure to look for and yield to bikes when entering or exiting a driveway or when turning at an intersection. You should always do this, at every driveway or intersection.


  • Pay special attention at driveways and intersections for turning cars.
  • Slower cyclists are encouraged to comfortably position themselves to the RIGHT side, so they may be passed by faster cyclists on the LEFT.
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.


National Association of City Transportation Officials: Urban Bikeway Design Guide - One-Way Protected Cycle Tracks

City of Alexandria - Complete Streets Design Guidelines

Public Outreach

Community Meeting - October 22, 2015

Community Meeting - January 28, 2016 - Presentation 

Community Meeting - March 15, 2016 - Presentation

Traffic and Parking Board Public Hearing - April 25, 2016 - Docket

Traffic and Parking Board Public Hearing on Signal - May 23, 2016 - Docket

Project Contact

For questions and additional information, please contact staff  online or call 311 or 703.746.4311.