Coming out of the pandemic, our transportation system is at a crossroads. We have 8.5 years left to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% to curb rising temperatures and electric vehicles will not get us there alone. At the same time, Arlingtonians are saying they expect to walk & bike more post-pandemic and that they need more trails and protected bike lanes to make that happen. [source] With improvements to travel time and frequency, we are confident people will want to take transit more also, and if we are going to meet our climate goals, we must make that happen.

Arlington is about to adopt their Capital Plan for the next 3 years and we have a blueprint to Build Back Better.

How do we build back better?

  1. Fund Vision Zero - If people don’t feel safe walking, biking or getting to transit, they won’t do it.
  2. Speed up our Transit - Arlington's buses sit in traffic and have long, slow boarding processes. We must speed up our transit to make it time-competitive with driving. This will maximize Arlington's return on its transit investment and attract more riders.
  3. A Safe Route to Every School - Schools not only serve their students, staff & families, but also host community meetings, sports games, & camps and are neighborhood parks. It should be safe and easy for people of all ages to walk and bike to every school in Arlington. Every “reduced walk zone” is a failure of street design. Despite this, the County proposes to phase out its Safe Routes to School Capital Program.
  4. Build out the Bike Network for All-Ages & Abilities - Standard bike lanes are for the confident & fearless, we need protected bike lanes and trails to make biking work for everyone. Arlington has a great new bike plan, we need to fund implementation!
  5. Expand & Connect the Trail Network - Trails are the “gateway drug” for biking & walking. People get started recreationally on trails & then realize that they can use those same routes to walk & bike for errands or work. Arlington residents ranked paved multi-use trails as their most needed facility - 87% indicating a need for more trails.

For each of those five key priorities, we are proposing four projects or programs for inclusion in the CIP - everything from Transit Signal Priority to speed up our buses to Protected Bike Lanes on N Highland St in Clarendon to help families bike to the sprayground. Want the details? See our summary here or check out our full plan slide deck for details and then TAKE ACTION!