Supervisor Cook Announces Sidewalk Construction in Front of Terra Centre School to Begin Soon

Supervisor Cook announces that Fairfax County will soon begin building a sidewalk from the corner of Pond Spice Lane to Terra Centre Elementary School in Burke. Construction is set to begin within the next few weeks, months of ahead of schedule. Cook hopes the sidewalk will be one step among many to improve pedestrian safety and access along the parkway.

This past spring, he set up the Burke Centre Parkway (BCP) Pedestrian and Motorist Safety Task Force to address growing concern among residents of Burke that the BCP was not safe to cross, especially in front of Terra Centre. The Task Force includes members of the Burke Centre Conservancy, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), Burke Walks Safe and Green, the Terra Centre Parent Teacher Association, and staff from the Virginia and Fairfax County Departments of Transportation. A report from the Task Force is due back to Mr. Cook in August.

“Since I was elected, this has been one of my two spot improvement priorities, and I believe it will better allow parents to walk their children to school. It supports the work of the Task Force to create safety improvements for pedestrians and motorists along the Parkway, and is a step in the right direction,” stated Cook, who submitted the sidewalk improvement in 2009 as part of the County’s Spot Transportation Projects list.

In May, the Board of Supervisors voted to endorse a Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) application, submitted jointly by Task Force representatives from FCPS, the County, parents at Terra Centre Elementary School and the Conservancy. The application has been submitted to the Virginia Department of Transportation for review by the Commonwealth Transportation Board for possible funding in fiscal year 2012.

If approved, the $400,000 grant request will improve sidewalks along the north side of the Parkway from Burke Commons Road all along the front of the shopping center. It will also improve the un-signalized crosswalk at Marshall Pond Road/Schoolhouse Woods Road by widening the concrete median and narrowing the travel lanes to better facilitate pedestrian crossing. The application is a test case for infrastructure improvements that could serve as a model for future County SRTS requests.

“I applaud the efforts of the Task Force to date, especially those of Bill Harrell its chair and Mr. Andrew Lentz, who spear-headed the application. This is a great example of government working as facilitator to support a community-lead initiative,” stated Cook.

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