Increasingly many people who live, work, visit, or travel in Old Town are doing so by bicycle and by foot. Improving safety and access in Old Town for bicyclists and pedestrians has been a priority for the City in recent years. In 2016, the City's Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan Update identified an "enhanced bicycle corridor" for Cameron and Prince Streets, between Union Street and the King Street Metrorail Station, as a priority project for implementation in order to provide east-west connectivity for bicyclists in Old Town. This project is currently in the City’s Capital Improvement Program. In Spring 2017, the City milled and repaved both Cameron and Prince Streets. Pedestrian and bicycle improvements were made as part of the Cameron and Prince Complete Streets project.
Based on community input through the Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan Update and Waterfront Plan, the project goals were identified as the following:
- Improve the safety and convenience for all street users
- Provide facilities for people who walk, bike, ride transit or drive cars
- Implement City Council adopted plans and policies
- Safe and comfortable east-west connectivity for bicyclists traveling to, from and through Old Town between the Waterfront and the King Street Metrorail Station.
- Accessibility of sidewalks, crossings, and curb ramps for pedestrians
- Roadway width to accommodate dedicated bike lane
- Conflicts between pedestrians and bicycles on the sidewalks and conflicts between vehicles and bicycles in the street
- High utilization of parking along both streets
- Volume and speed of traffic on both streets
Plans can be viewed here.
The project will address the goals by making the following improvements:
- Install pedestrian countdown signals at signalized intersections
- Upgrade non-ADA compliant curb ramps
- Repair sidewalks to address safety and tripping hazards
- Resurface Cameron and Prince Streets, where necessary and weather pending
- Re-stripe crosswalks and provide high visibility crosswalks at major pedestrian crossings
- Provide bicycle lanes on the following streets with no loss of parking spaces or travel lanes:
- Cameron Street, between Buchanan & Columbus and St. Asaph & Fairfax, in the westbound direction
- Prince Street, between Daingerfield & Peyton and Fayette & Royal, in the eastbound direction
- Provide priority shared lane markings where bicycle lanes cannot be accommodated due to existing right-of-way constraints
- Bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Daingerfield and Diagonal will be completed in conjunction with the King Street-Old Town Metro Access Improvement project.
Map of Proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements
Typical Cross-section - Bicycle Lanes
Typical Cross-Section - Shared Lane Markings ("Sharrows")
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Will there be any removal of parking associated with bicycle lanes on Cameron and Prince Streets?
There will be no removal of existing parking spaces associated with this project. Temporary No Parking signs will be posted prior to any construction activity.
- Will the bicycle lanes on Cameron and Prince Streets cause any additional delay to vehicular traffic?
No additional delay is anticipated since the existing number of travel lanes will remain the same and there will be no changes to the existing intersections. The bicycle lanes will provide dedicated space for bicyclists and will likely result in less bicyclists using the shared travel lane with vehicles.
- How will bicycle lanes create a calmer and safer street for all roadway users?
While the bicycle lanes will not create additional delay for vehicular traffic, it is anticipated that the new marking plan will result in a reduction of 85th percentile speeds from 2 to 3 mph and closer to the posted speed limit of 25 mph. Narrowing travel lanes to 10'-11' in width has been proven to calm traffic speeds, making for a safer operating environment not only for bicyclists, but also drivers and pedestrians.
- Are bicyclists still allowed to ride on the sidewalk if the street has bicycle lanes?
Bicyclists are encouraged to use the bicycle lanes, wherever provided, but the City acknowledges that not all bicyclists have the ability nor are comfortable with riding on the street in mixed traffic. Bicyclists will still be allowed to ride on any sidewalk in Old Town (except for King Street, east of West Street, and Union Street, between Cameron and Prince) per City Code. When bicyclists are riding on the sidewalk, they are expected to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and operate in a slow, safe, and polite manner.
- Are bicyclists still allowed to ride in the travel lane if the street has bicycle lanes?
Bicyclists are not required to use a bicycle lane on a street if such a facility exists. In many instances, bicyclists may have to share the travel lane in order to make turns from the bicycle lane, access a destination, or avoid a hazard, such as a parked car. It is anticipated that more bicyclists will choose to use the bicycle lane, than not use the bicycle lane.
- Why does the proposed bicycle lane on Prince Street turn onto Royal Street and then Duke Street heading toward Union Street?
The 100 block of Prince Street is a historic, cobblestone street. Bicyclists traveling to Union Street and the Waterfront, should use Royal Street, a designated bike route, to connect to Duke Street.
- April 2016 - Project was discussed as part of the Alexandria Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, which began in 2014 and was approved in April 2016 by City Council.
- July 2016 - Civic and citizens associations notified of upcoming resurfacing work and project.
- August 2016 - Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) notified of upcoming resurfacing work and project.
- Fall 2016 - Flyer distributed door-to-door to residents and businesses on Cameron and Prince Streets
- December 2016 - Update to the Waterfront Commission. Presentation can be viewed here.
- March 2017 - Citizens associations and residents notified of upcoming resurfacing work and project.
A project flyer can be found here.
For questions and additional information, please contact Call.Click.Connect staff online or at 703.746.HELP (703.746.4357).