Mobility and Transportation

Community Outcome Area: Outcome Statement

Fairfax County is a place where all residents, businesses, visitors and goods can move efficiently, affordably and safely throughout the county and beyond via our well-designed and maintained network of roads, sidewalks, trails and transit options.

 

 

As a rapidly urbanizing community, the need to reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility is one of the greatest challenges facing Fairfax County. Residents and workers want a variety of ways to move around the community that are easily accessible, affordable, safe, and promote both healthy living and environmental stewardship. In addition, there is a greater focus on active transportation options that prioritize safe pedestrian access and bike-friendly facilities that are connected to mass transit.

The proposed strategies in this section seek to improve the condition and capacity of our current transportation systems, while also reducing reliance on single-occupancy vehicles and moving away from car-centric approaches to building communities and transportation infrastructure.

There are also strategies to continue to improve land-use planning that incentivize transit-oriented developments that support fewer car trips, healthier living and more connected and vibrant communities.

Challenge Questions

  1. How will we implement and maintain a comprehensive multimodal transportation network that serves all users equitably while adapting to the projected growth within the county and region?
  2. How will we better collaborate with businesses, community organizations, government partners and residents to plan and deliver transportation solutions that reduce demand, promote smart growth and serve the region?
  3. How will we construct and maintain transportation options that are financially and environmentally sustainable?
  4. How will we incorporate advances in technology to create “smart” transportation alternatives that adapt to changing needs and are accessible to all users?
  5. How will we maintain a safe and secure transportation system, reduce the risk of travel-related injuries and lower the risk of spreading infectious illnesses on public transit?
  6. How will we leverage our land use regulations and economic development strategies to improve connectivity and efficiency within our transportation network?
  7. How will we monitor and anticipate future trends, including the continued expansion of telework, on traffic congestion, public transit and reduced revenue?

Indicators

  • Efficient and Varied Transportation Options
  • Infrastructure Condition, Sustainability and Environmental Impact
  • Traveler Safety
  • Accessibility, Affordability and Equity

Proposed Strategies

These proposed strategies were developed based on the extensive background work completed by the Countywide Strategic Planning Teams. The Board will determine which strategies will be pursued, as well as when they might be undertaken. This process will be highly flexible and will adapt to respond to community conditions as they evolve over time.

Encourage Sustainable Multi-Modal Transportation

  • MT 1. Promote further dense, transit-oriented and mixed-use development within existing urban areas and in other areas of the county, where appropriate, to allow residents and employees more opportunities to walk, bike and use transit, and reduce auto dependency, to meet their daily needs.
  • MT 2. Further develop and expand the multimodal network by a) increasing the number of routes and frequency of service connecting urban hubs and amenities, b) enhancing services on highly traveled corridors to reduce car volume in those corridors and c) improving pedestrian and bicycle access to transit services and activity centers.
  • MT 3. Revise the methodology of how transportation impacts are assessed by transitioning from the automobile-focused level of service methodology to a multi-modal approach.
  • MT 4. Educate, encourage and incentivize employers to continue to offer telecommuting options to their employees and use other transportation demand management opportunities to reduce peak-hour traffic and auto-dominated travel.
  • MT 5. Facilitate more active transportation (walking and biking) by adding, improving and maintaining sidewalks and shared-use paths; enhancing bike facilities throughout the county; addressing “first/last mile” challenges; and educating the community on how to increase their use of active transportation modes safely.
  • MT 6. Advocate for and implement policies that motivate people to reduce their use of single-occupancy vehicles, including transportation demand management (TDM), reducing minimum parking requirements, managing parking and roadway pricing, and other TDM financial and non-financial programs and policies.

Improve and Modernize Transportation Infrastructure

  • MT 7. Explore a transfer of road ownership, design and maintenance responsibilities from the Virginia Department of Transportation to the county, with a corresponding transfer of revenue to accommodate the increased cost to the county.
  • MT 8. Prepare now for the gradual incorporation of autonomous vehicles and other innovative transportation technologies into Fairfax County transportation network and infrastructure, such as smart traffic lights, public transit apps, drop-off/pick-up curb space and changes in parking-related development requirements as a result of reduced parking demand.
  • MT 9. Create and retrofit more great places through quality street design that more equitably balances the goals of automobile throughput and the experience and comfort level of pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.
  • MT 10. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of transportation infrastructure costs and economic development impacts as part of future land use planning efforts.

Improve Traveler Safety

  • MT 11. Develop and implement a multi-faceted plan to reduce and ultimately eliminate traffic-related deaths and injuries (e.g., Vision Zero) that includes, but not limited to, pedestrian-oriented street design, traffic-calming techniques, public education and enhanced enforcement.

Enhance Accessibility and Equity

  • MT 12. Update the transportation element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan with a strong focus on transit, pedestrian and bicycle connectedness.
  • MT 13. Prioritize safe, healthy, accessible transportation options for all with a focus on equitable access for residents facing economic, health, housing and other challenges.

 

Sample Metrics

Indicator: Efficient and Varied Transportation Options
Metrics:

  • % of residents with a commute of 30 minutes or less
  • % of trips in a single-occupancy vehicle
  • % of commuters using non-auto travel mode options (e.g., transit, bike, walk)
  • # of cars on the road daily per lane mile
  • # of vehicle miles traveled per capita
  • % of county residents and in-county workers who rate the amount of congestion as good/improving
  • % of county residents and county-based employees who work compressed schedules or telework at least 20% of their work week
  • % of residents who live within a half-mile of a viable, non-car transportation option, transit stop or bike trail
  • % of residents who feel they have effective connectedness to community hubs and multi-modal transportation
  • # of mode transfers per public transit commuter
  • # of smart city initiatives (e.g., autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, smart signalization) incorporated in the county

Indicator: Infrastructure Condition, Sustainability and Environmental Impact
Metrics:

  • # of new sidewalk miles with a width of at least five feet
  • % of road lane miles with a condition of “good” or better
  • # of road miles that meet "Complete Street" program criteria

Indicator: Improved Traveler Safety
Metrics:

  • # of traffic-related fatalities and injuries by mode per capita
  • Crime rate in public transportation facilities
  • % of bus stops with a shelter
  • % of intersections with adequately marked and/or signaled pedestrian crossings
  • # of streets with safe speeds for pedestrian and bicycle travel through implementation of traffic calming techniques, road diets, enforcement, etc.
  • % of households living in neighborhoods with walkability and bikeability scores above 50 out of 100
  • % of children who live close enough to walk or bike to school safely
  • % of residents who feel safe while driving, riding, walking, or biking within Fairfax County

Indicator: Increased Accessibility, Affordability and Equity
Metrics:

  • % of households that spend more than 15% of household income on transportation
  • % of residents who feel transit is affordable to them
  • % of workers based in Fairfax County who work for employers that provide a transit subsidy
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