How Herndon is making 3-block stretch close to downtown safer for pedestrians


In order to boost security alongside the hall, Perry stated the city is planning for all new sidewalks, a brand new curb that separates the sidewalk from the curb and new crosswalks.


New sidewalks and crosswalks are coming to a three-block stretch in Herndon, Virginia. (WTOP/Scott Gelman)

New sidewalks and crosswalks are coming to a three-block stretch in Herndon, Virginia, as a part of a plan to make the realm close to the city’s downtown neighborhood safer for pedestrians.

The venture will concentrate on the south aspect of three blocks alongside Elden Street, close to Herndon Middle School and St. Joseph’s School.

Bryce Perry, the city’s deputy director of group improvement, stated many of the venture shall be funded utilizing $2.5 million accredited by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board.

Last month, the board accredited $19.5 million in federal funding as a part of the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program. It shall be used for 15 non-highway transportation tasks in Virginia, together with the Elden Street “walkability enhancements,” based on a information launch.

“This is a pedestrian enchancment venture,” Perry stated. “The fundamental purpose right here is to boost the streetscape to make it as pedestrian-friendly, with as a lot consolation and comfort for pedestrians, as attainable.”

Because the components of Elden Street are close to two faculties and the Town of Herndon’s downtown, Perry stated there’s quite a lot of pedestrian visitors. There hasn’t been one incident that prompted city leaders to take motion, he stated, nevertheless it’s “one thing that the city has recognized for some time that has wanted to be executed.”

In order to boost security alongside the hall, Perry stated the city is planning for all new sidewalks, a brand new curb that separates the sidewalk from the curb and new crosswalks.

When the work is completed, Perry stated there shall be a “minimal 2-foot” grass strip that separates the sidewalk from the curb. The sidewalks are at the moment about 3 to three.5-feet vast, however the city is planning to make them 5-feet vast.

They’re additionally planning to transition the sidewalk from concrete to brick, which Perry described because the “downtown commonplace.”

“It’s an atmosphere that wants some work to enhance it, to make it as secure as attainable for these pedestrians,” Perry stated.

On some components of the sidewalk, utility poles are mounted within the center, making it troublesome for individuals strolling with strollers or in wheelchairs to navigate the realm, Perry stated.

“They basically will run into bodily limitations often all through this space and need to someway navigate round it or have to show round,” Perry stated. “It’s not a really comfy environment both for pedestrians, since you do have a journey lane that’s proper up towards the sidewalk.”

In some circumstances, he stated, vehicles are driving 4 to six inches away from the sidewalk.

The plan additionally contains high-visibility sidewalks, that are made with brick and have high-visibility stripes on the perimeters.

The adjustments are projected to price about $3 million, Perry stated. He expects the city to cowl the remainder of the fee. Ideally, he stated, building will begin throughout the subsequent two to 3 years.

Herndon acquired the identical funding for the venture in fiscal 2020, however couldn’t use it, as a result of “we simply didn’t have the assets at that time to comply with via with the venture,” Perry stated.

“We’re very excited to get this venture going,” Perry stated.

Other Northern Va. packages are getting funding

Part of the $19.5 million in federal funding accredited by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board contains cash allotted for different Northern Virginia tasks.

Over $2 million was granted to the City of Fairfax for a safer and “greater high quality bike and pedestrian facility” alongside Chain Bridge Road.

Prince William County was given a number of $2.5 million grants for sidewalk enhancements alongside Graham Park Road, Lions Field Road and Colchester Road.

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