BRT design altered to allow full access to Fordson Road

Rendering of who intersection will look
The preliminary design for the BRT project now has Fordson Road accessible from both directions on Richmond Highway. (Fairfax County Department of Transportation image)

The preliminary design for the Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project now has Fordson Road accessible from both the northbound and southbound lanes of Richmond Highway, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation announced last week.

The design for the Fordson Road intersection had originally only allowed for right turns in and right turns out. That proved to be unpopular with some residents of the Gum Springs area, and after a series of community meetings last summer FCDOT came up with three possible alternatives.

Map showing three renderings of possible Fordson Road intersection alternatives
(FCDOT image)

In the email update on the BRT project sent last week, FCDOT said that “[b]ased on community and stakeholder input” they had decided on Option B, which allows vehicles to make left turns onto Fordson Road from southbound Richmond Highway.

“The Fordson Road intersection will continue to operate as it does today, with full access into and out of Fordson Road,” FCDOT said.

The BRT project’s public meeting that had been planned for May has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A new meeting has not been scheduled yet. FCDOT head of communications Robin Geiger said Thursday the the project remains on schedule, and that it was too early to tell if the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis would affect the schedule down the road.

FCDOT also said in its email that BRT station prototypes continue to be developed and will be shared at one of the future public meetings.

Additionally, the BRT section on FCDOT’s website now also includes information about public feedback given after the last public meeting in September. FCDOT said the following subjects received the most comments:

  • Minimize impacts to St. Louis Church and/or Walsh Hall (40 comments)
  • General support for project (26 comments)
  • Concerned that BRT will not be used or will have low ridership (16 comments)
  • Preserve historic structures & properties (13 comments)
  • General non-support for project (11 comments)
  • Concerned about impacts in Gum Springs (8 comments)
  • Focus on smaller-scale improvements first, then BRT, if needed (8 comments)
  • Utilities should be placed underground (5 comments)

Once completed, the Richmond Highway BRT project will allow buses to run in a dedicated lane down the middle of Richmond Highway between Fort Belvoir and the Huntington Metro station (the last 0.7 mile stretch along North Kings Highway will not have dedicated lanes). The project includes adding dedicated bike and pedestrian paths and sidewalks on each side of Route 1, improving stormwater drainage and modifications to some existing intersections.

More information on the Richmond Highway BRT project can be found here on FCDOT’s website.