Manager's Report - February 7, 2014
VDOT I-395 HOV/ Transit Ramp Project
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is currently constructing a reversible High Occupancy Vehicle/Transit (HOV) ramp on Interstate 395 (I-395) at Seminary Road. A comprehensive noise analysis identified five feasible noise barrier walls along I-395 that could potentially benefit Alexandria residents. As part of VDOT’s public outreach process, feedback from Alexandria residents has been sought. Alexandria residents who qualify as benefiting from the noise barrier walls are eligible to vote on the decision to place sound walls or not. The voting results shown in the table, linked below, represent the response received by VDOT. Based on the low response rate from the surveyed communities, a United States Postal Services (USPS) mailing error, and a recommendation from the VDOT Highway Traffic Noise Impact Analysis Guidance Manual; VDOT sent out a third mailing, on January 28, to those residents who had not yet responded. The postmark date for this final ballot is February 11. Once these votes have been returned and the data from all mailings reviewed, VDOT will decide on whether or not to build the proposed noise walls in accordance with the above manual.
Mobile Parking Payment Service Update
The Department of Transportation & Environmental Services’ (T&ES), Transportation Planning division launched a mobile parking payment application in December 2013. This new service is offered by PangoUSA and is an alternative to the current pay station kiosks. It provides customers with the ability to pay for metered parking spaces by phone or by using a smartphone app. Alexandria is the first locality in Northern Virginia to offer a mobile payment system for on-street parking and approximately 3,001 people have registered to use the service since it launched. The number of customers who are using the mobile parking system is steadily increasing. Data shows that in December approximately 2.5% of the total number of customers who parked at metered parking spaces utilized this payment method, and in January, it doubled to approximately 5.6% of customers.
Since September 2012 the BRAC-133 Mark Center facility has been fully occupied, with more than 6,100 employees. Of these, approximately 3,300 people enter the building in the morning peak period hours each day. Mode travel analysis shows that approximately 10% commute as carpool members, 5% slug in HOV lanes; 38% by public transit, 40% telecommute, and 2,062 parking spaces have been issued parking permits. Because the facility is at capacity, staffing levels are not expected to increase in the foreseeable future. Traffic engineering also shows the current flows during morning and afternoon travel peaks are at an “E service level” or better (that is, with an average delay between 55 to 80 seconds per vehicle). This is not expected to change based on BRAC traffic impacts. Short- and mid-term roadway improvements are complete. These include adding 1) an extra lane from Mark Center onto Seminary Road; 2) an additional through lane on eastbound Seminary Road in front of Mark Center, and 3) a lane around the I-395 rotary and entrance ramp onto Seminary Road. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is working on the design of the long-term improvements as part of the High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV)/Transit ramp on I-395 between Duke Street and Seminary Road. These include a phased replacement of the entire Seminary Road bridge deck and construction of a separate pedestrian bridge approximately 50 feet from the main bridge deck to provide a wider pedestrian travel-way across I-395. The target completion date for this project is Spring 2016.