Duke Street In Motion
On May 25th, the Duke Street Advisory Group adopted a recommendation to Council on a preferred concept for the corridor. The May 25th Advisory Group meeting recording will be posted the week of May 29th. Council will hold a public hearing and consider the recommendation on June 27th.
Concept Comparison April 2023 Engagement Materials
- Overview presentation
- Recording – English
- Presentation Slides (PDF) – English, En español
- Fact Sheets – English , En español በአማርኛ (Amharic) ,
- Curb Features Visuals
- Check our FAQs
- Review an overview of estimated bus and vehicle travel times .
- Additional resources can be found in the Documents section under Phase III.
Our monthly newsletters recap Advisory Group meetings, share engagement opportunities and keep you up to date on project status. Sign up for eNews alerts to receive updates and information about the City's many projects aimed at improving travel along Duke Street; for opportunities to participate in community meetings; and ways to provide feedback. Select "Duke Street Projects" when choosing your subscriptions.
To learn more about all the ways the City is working to make Duke Street work better, please visit alexandriava.gov/transportation-planning/duke-street-projects
Advisory Group Meetings
Advisory Group Meeting #11: May 25, 2023
Advisory Group Meeting #10: April 13, 2023
Advisory Group Meeting #9: March 16, 2023
Advisory Group Meeting #8: February 16, 2023
Advisory Group Meeting #7: December 15, 2022
Advisory Group Meeting #6: November 17, 2022
Advisory Group Meeting #5: September 15, 2022
- DRAFT AGENDA
- ADOPTED MEETING MINUTES
- ADVISORY GROUP MEETING #4 DRAFT MEETING MINUTES
- ADVANCE MATERIALS PACKET
- BUS STATION ITEMS STATUS
- CONCEPT FACT SHEETS
- COMPARISON MATRIX
- DATA PLAN
- VIRTUAL MEETING POLICY
Advisory Group Meeting #4: August 18, 2022
The next Advisory Group meeting will take place on August 18, 2022 at the DASH Facility at 3000 Business Center Drive from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Members of the public are welcome to attend either virtually or in person. To register for virtual access, use this link.
DRAFT AGENDA (REVISED 8-16-22)
ADVISORY GROUP MEETING #3 MINUTES (adopted)
Advisory Group Meeting #3: June 30, 2022
Advisory Group Meeting #2: June 1, 2022
Advisory Group Meeting #1: April 28, 2022
- DRAFT DUKE STREET TRANSITWAY PROJECT VISION AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES
- DUKE STREET TRANSITWAY ADVISORY GROUP MISSION AND CHARGE
- DUKE STREET PLANNING SEGMENTS
- ADVISORY GROUP MEETING #1 PRESENTATION
- ZOOM MEETING RECORDING (Note: Meeting starts at the 29-minute mark. There is a break between the 1:42 and 1:52 minute marks.)
Duke Street Transitway Advisory Group
On March 8, 2022, City Council approved the formation of the Duke Street Transitway Advisory Group to assist City staff in the development of transit improvements for the corridor. The meetings are open to the public. For Zoom access, please use this link to register prior to each Advisory Committee meeting.
- Advisory Group Mission and Members (Membership updated November 2022)
The first phase of this effort – a community visioning – was launched in June 2021 with several outreach events and an online feedback form requesting public input. Response to the feedback form was outstanding, with over 1,800 responses both online and from in-person pop-up events. Read the results in the Phase 1 Visioning Community Feedback Results section below. The input from this phase informed the development of Vision and Guiding Principles adopted by the Duke Street in Motion Advisory Group.
The second phase – conceptual design for transit in the corridor – is currently underway and will includes multiple opportunities for public input.
The Duke Street corridor was first identified in the 2008 Transportation Master Plan and then reaffirmed in the 2012 Transit Corridors Feasibility Study and the 2021 Alexandria Mobility Plan as one of the City’s three high capacity transit corridors, along with the Metroway on Route 1 and the West End Transitway. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has awarded the City a total of $87 million dollars for the planning, design, and construction of a transitway along the Duke Street Corridor from Landmark Mall to King Street Metro Station.
Since the adoption of the 2012 Study, transportation priorities, land use plans, and (more recently) a major change in home-to-work travel patterns have created the need to re-evaluate the transit plans for the Duke Street Corridor. In 2021, the City undertook an extensive public outreach effort to inform the development of a vision and guiding principles for the development of a transit corridor on Duke Street. While transit improvements are the primary focus of this effort, other community priorities such as safety, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and vehicle travel are also important considerations for this project.
Staff briefed City Council on the project at their November 24, 2020 legislative meeting, that presentation can be viewed HERE. You can also view a presentation from the Duke Street In Motion June 2021 community webinar HERE.
Phase 2 Fall 2022 Design Concepts Engagement Materials
Thank you to everyone who provided input during our October engagement on bus design concepts for Duke Street! A summary of input is available here .
See below for Fall 2022 engagement meeting materials:
- Recorded overview presentation
- Presentation PDF with transcript (español )
- Busway concept fact sheets and comparison tables:
- Vision and guiding principles
- Review FAQs
- Meeting Boards (Existing Conditions Bus, Existing Conditions Vehicle Travel, Comparison of Busway Alternatives - Safety, Comparison of Busway Alternatives - Travel Times)
- Segment 1 Presentation
- Segment 2 Presentation
- Segment 3 Presentation
- Additional background materials are available in the Documents section of this page
Phase 1 Visioning Community Feedback Results (June 2021)
The City of Alexandria has compiled the results of more than 1,800 feedback form responses from both online and in-person pop-up events for the Duke Street In Motion project. Watch the video below for a brief overview of some of the findings from the community's input.
Community Input Summary: City has compiled the results of the feedback forms and provided a summary report of the findings of your input. If you are interested in seeing all the data submitted, the complete results are available in this sortable Excel file.
Phase 1 Outreach (June 2021)
- Webinar Recording
- Webinar Recording (Spanish)
- Pop Up Events Locations (June 21-28, 2021)
Thank you to all who participated in the first public participation phase to help create the community-developed vision for Duke Street In Motion.
Frequently Asked Questions - April 2023 Design Concepts
These FAQs will be regularly updated. If you have a question that is not on here, you can email email@example.com.
What options for the corridor are currently under consideration?
The Fact Sheet shows the two end to end corridor busway concepts as well as the curb features currently under consideration for each segment of the corridor. Curb Feature Concepts and Busway concepts can be mixed and matched. Also, it is possible that segments can be combined from either of the two Busway Corridor Concepts to make up the preferred alternative.
What are the differences between the two curb features concepts?
Curb Concept Y is focused more on separating bicycles and pedestrians with a cycle track and shared use path in locations where there is sufficient right of way. In concept Z, there is mostly a shared use path, which allows for more green space in Segment 1, West of Jordan. Either curb concept can be paired with either busway concept.
Will the busway design option impact space available for curb features?
For Segments 1 (Between West End Alexandria and Jordan Street), Segment 2A (between Jordan Street and Wheeler Avenue), and Segment 3 (between Roth Street and Callahan Drive), the busway design will not impact what curb features can be used. However, for Segment 2B (between Wheeler Avenue and Roth Street), which has more limited space, the amount of space available on the curb for other features depends on the concept selected. Widening will be required for Corridor Concept A in Segment 2B, so curb features will require an even greater amount of right of way.
What is being proposed for service roads?
Neither busway concept requires changes to residential service roads. However, there are a few options that touch service roads related to the curb features concepts. Many service roads will remain largely unchanged, but some might be modified to provide safer walking and biking amenities. What we heard from the community was that the buffer aspect was the most important thing to them and we are looking for ways to enhance the buffer from homes but also for pedestrians.
On the north side, the recommendation under consideration is to create a woonerf, or slow, shared space for all potential users of the street between Donnelson and Fort Williams. This could include incorporation of rain gardens, special paving, signage, and other treatments that encourage cars to slow down. Rain gardens may reduce the number of street parking spaces. A parking study has been conducted that has indicated that there is space available for rain gardens.
For the service road between West Taylor Run and Cambridge, both concepts show the conversion of a vehicle lane to a cycle track and separated sidewalk, leaving the westbound lane. The Project Team is also evaluating slip lanes for cars to get back onto Duke Street without going all the way to Cambridge.
For the service road east of West Taylor Run, there are two options under consideration. 1) Curb Concept Y - converting the service road to one-way and incorporating a cycle track and wider sidewalk to improve the bicycle and pedestrian experience, or 2) Curb Concept Z - expanding the sidewalk to create a shared use path. The latter may have right of way impacts and would not enable a buffer between the shared use path and the street. Both options are showing a right turn lane from Duke Street just west of Moncure and eliminating the right turn on to West Taylor Run from Duke Street. Pulling back the right turn lane improves both pedestrian safety and intersection operations. In Curb Concept Y, this configuration would require Moncure Street residents and visitors to go up East Taylor Run to South View Terrace to access Moncure.
The Phase III Roll Plots and Meeting Boards in the Documents section of this page illustrate these changes.
While making safety improvements, the Project Team is working to minimize impacts to residents and will continue to work with the community as designs are being refined.
What is being proposed for commercial service roads?
Between Picket and Paxton, the service road would be repurposed to provide for curb features in either concept.
At the service road east of Jordan to Gordan, the service road is being considered for one-way operations to allow for expanded curb features.
What happens after Council selects a preferred alternative?
After Council selects a preferred alternative for the corridor, the project will advance further through the planning and design process, which includes incorporating detailed survey, determining and negotiating ROW needs, and an opportunity for public engagement as additional planning and design considerations need to be made.
How will the different concepts affect people driving?
Corridor Concept A will separate the buses from cars for much of the corridor. This will mean that cars don’t have to wait behind or weave around buses.
Largely because of the signal priority given to buses, in the afternoon peak period, most car trips along Duke Street will also experience reduced travel times. This benefit to cars on Duke Street does increase side street delay, because side streets will have longer red times. These changes in operation, as we have seen in the West Taylor Run signal pilot, may result in cut through traffic diverting elsewhere.
Lastly, safety will be enhanced on the corridor where there are center running lanes by making all left turns signalized and protected (requiring a green arrow). This feature reduces left turn crashes, but does require that at certain locations, cars will need to make a U-Turn to access their destination, like in certain areas on Route 1.
In Busway Corridor Concept B, the model is showing increased travel times compared to business as usual in the westbound direction during the afternoon peak period, but a reduction in eastbound travel times similar to that in Concept A.
How will the different concepts affect pedestrians?
Corridor Concept A: Pedestrians will experience greater protections from vehicle traffic by having shorter crossing distances due to medians with pedestrians refuges.
For both busway concepts, pedestrians will have wider sidewalks or shared use paths for much of the corridor, particularly on the north side. Intersection treatments such as leading pedestrian intervals, where pedestrians are able to walk before vehicles can go and removal of some slip lanes, and improved crossings, will be included in both concepts.
In Curb Concept Z, pedestrians will share space with bicyclists for most of the corridor, but there will be more opportunities for green space and tree cover than in Corridor Concept Y, where bicyclists are separated from pedestrians, but there is less of an opportunity for green space and tree cover.
How will the different concepts affect bicyclists?
Both curb concepts include the provision of a continuous off-road bicycle facility.
In Curb Concept Z, pedestrians will share space with bicyclists for most of the corridor, but there will be more opportunities for green space and tree cover than in Corridor Concept Y, where bicyclists are separated from pedestrians, but there is somewhat less of an opportunity for green space and tree cover.
How will the different concepts affect transit riders?
Corridor Concept A appears slightly better for transit times and reliability than Corridor Concept B, in the afternoon peak period, according to the model. While the model is looking at travel times and travel time variability on a typical travel day, center running bus lanes have the potential for even greater reliability when there are events such as crashes, greater volumes, vehicles loading or picking up passengers in the curb lane, or other special activity because they are fully separated from vehicle traffic.
Corridor Concept A has stations at center medians, which means that bus riders have to cross half the roadway to wait at the station, but never have to cross the whole roadway.
In both concepts, crossings at stations will be signalized and all stations will have amenities such as shelters and real time information. One tradeoff is that there will be fewer stops, which reduce bus travel times, but mean that bus riders will need to walk a few minutes farther to access their bus stop.
What happens if the cost ends up being higher than the available funding for the project?
The current cost estimates include the costs for features that can be scaled back or adjusted as well as a healthy contingency to account for unknowns. As the selected concept advances through the design process, the accuracy of the estimate will increase and the “nice to have” project elements can be scaled up or down accordingly.
How will emergency vehicles be impacted by this project?
The intent would be to establish an agreement with emergency responders so that those vehicles can utilize dedicated bus lanes during emergency response situations, as is currently the case with Metroway. Additional coordination will occur to identify any additional design features to better support emergency vehicle usage.
What are the impacts to trees and green space on the corridor?
Related to the busway designs, some of the trees in the median will need to be removed in Concept A related to the construction of center stations, but the intent would be to mitigate tree removals by utilizing either existing or newly established greenspace areas for new tree plantings or other desired greenspace features. Concept A also shows the removal of some trees related to the roadway widening in the area of Segment 2B (Alexandria Commons)
Other impacts to trees are primarily related to proposed changes in curb feature designs (shared use path, sidewalk widening, cycle tracks), and are not related to the busway Concept A or Concept B.
At this stage of design, an arborist has not been engaged to determine health of existing trees or collect specifics about tree diameters or sizes. This is typically a step that would happen after conceptual design, and that information would help inform design advancement and preservation strategies.
How will bus service and frequencies change along the corridor as a result of this project?
Per the Alexandria Transit Vision plan, the DASH 30 bus was envisioned to operate 15 minutes all day. Peak frequencies are anticipated to remain similar to today’s across the Line 30 and WMATA Metrobuses. Currently, there is no new route planned for the corridor. All existing buses will serve the proposed station locations.
Please tell me more about the ridership modeling. What assumptions are included in the ridership forecasts?
FTA has developed a method to quantify the measures used by FTA to evaluate and rate projects, called the Simplified Trips-on-Project Software (STOPS). It is designed to estimate transit trips on a project using readily available data and procedures that are calibrated to match both local and national experience related to rail, bus, and BRT ridership and is designed to forecast project ridership in a wide range of situations. STOPS performs many of the same computations of transit level-of-service and market share found in model sets maintained by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) throughout the United States. It produces all of the reporting needed by project sponsors to review ridership forecasts in detail and to support grant applications to the FTA Small Starts and New Starts programs.
The STOPS model takes in as input the available Census data, General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) files, observed transit counts on the existing system, local roadway network including travel times and distances, base and forecast year demographic and employment data, and transportation analysis zone (or another geographic unit) shapefile. STOPS is first calibrated to local conditions based on the observed transit data. It is then used to generate ridership forecasts for the build options under consideration.
For the Duke Street BRT study, the following data were used to support the ridership forecasting using STOPS:
- 2022 GTFS data for DASH, WMATA, and other transit providers in the region
- Observed transit counts for DASH and WMATA in 2022
- 2010 American Community Survey data for Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia
- Socioeconomic data from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG or COG), including Round 9.2 forecasts for population and employment
- Auto travel times and distance data for existing and future years, based on the regional model by COG/Transportation Planning Board (TPB)
- Transportation analysis zone from the COG/TPB
- BRT build alternative specifications (station locations, frequency/headway, and run time) and future year transit routes in the corridor.
- Existing peak frequencies were assumed
- PM: Travel times from Vissim Model
- AM: better than PM by one minute for the corridor
- Mid-day: better than AM by one minute for the corridor
- Night: better than Mid-day by one minute for the corridor
In this model application, STOPS develops an origin-destination person trip flow table, based on Census Journey-to-Work flows, grows it to a future year using demographic projections, and then uses a conventional mode choice model to estimate the share of these trips using transit and tally up the number of transit trips using each transit station and route. BRT is assumed to be more attractive to riders than a bus and less attractive than a light rail and a heavy rail like Metrorail.
It looks like both concepts require right of way (ROW), that the City will only acquire through negotiation. What happens if you can’t acquire all the ROW you need? What happens if there are physical constraints limiting curb features?
There are a few different approaches that may be taken:
- Stations: There may be opportunities to shift station locations to avoid right of way needs
- Busway: If the right-of-way is related to the needs of the busway, such as segment 2B in Corridor Concept A, then additional phasing of implementation may need to occur if right-of-way cannot be acquired.
- Curb feature options:
- Small sections of shared use paths may need to be replaced with a narrower shared use path, or sidewalk that bikes are permitted to use (bikes are currently permitted to use sidewalks outside of Old Town).
- The buffer between the path or sidewalk and the street may be eliminated.
- Bikes could be diverted to a bicycle route along the south side of the street, potentially along south side service roads.
The advisory group may make a recommendation around priorities in these constrained environments, particularly around curb features.
How much of the travel time savings is because of stop consolidation versus the bus lane?
Bus travel time savings in a BRT project is typically associated with several factors. Two notable factors on the proposed concepts for this project are:
- BRT vehicles in the proposed concepts stop fewer times than local buses because the stations are spaced further apart than existing bus stops.
- With the dedicated bus lanes, queue jumps and transit signal priority represented in the proposed concepts, the bus can avoid conflicts and delay from interaction with general traffic
The amount of time assumed for BRT vehicles to stop at a single individual station and load/unload riders is called dwell time. In our models, the dwell time for a BRT vehicle at an individual station is assumed to be equal to the dwell time for a local bus at a single bus stop.
In both concept models, an estimated 3 ½ minutes of the bus travel time savings in either travel direction can be attributed directly to station spacing and a reduction in the total amount of dwell time.
The bus travel time savings associated with dedicated lanes and other priority treatments can range from an estimated 2 minutes to 5 ½ minutes depending on direction of travel and the concept. On average this represents over 1 minute per mile in bus travel time savings.
Frequently Asked Questions - Background
Why is the City focusing on transit on Duke Street?
City Council has prioritized transit and transportation alternatives along the Duke Street corridor for more than ten years. In 2008, the Transportation Master Plan identified Duke Street as one of three priority transit corridors. In 2012, the City worked with the community to develop conceptual plans for the corridor. In 2018, the City received funding to advance the design, and in 2020, the project was fully funded.
Today, there is high-density residential throughout the corridor, and with more redevelopment, especially at the Landmark Mall site, there will be more people along Duke Street. Duke Street currently has the most ridership of any corridor in the City between the DASH Line 30 and Metrobus 28A and 29K/N. The DASH Line 30 is DASH's most productive route. Ridership along this corridor has exceed pre-COVID levels, consistent with other corridors with higher transit dependent populations who use the bus service all day and not just for commute trips. This project is an opportunity to improve the existing transit experience and encourage even more use of buses to get around.
Right now, the bus along the corridor isn't competitive with a vehicle in terms of speed. A more efficient, reliable and comfortable bus service – with safe, connections -- will make it a more attractive option. A well-designed roadway can make travel safer and more efficient for everyone, reduce congestion, and improve air quality. The City wants to keep Duke Street in Motion.
Will this project include improvements for people walking and riding bicycles?
Yes, where feasible. Since many people live, work, or visit locations within walking or biking distance to Duke Street, safe and convenient routes between bus stops and the places people need to go along the corridor will be essential elements of this project. The project team is looking at features that would make it safer, less stressful, and more accessible for both pedestrians and cyclists. If feasible, staff are looking at possibly implementing wider sidewalks, shared-use paths, or separated bike lanes.
How will this project affect drivers and traffic conditions on the corridor?
While transit is the key focus of this project, Duke Street is an important connection for people in cars. Community conversations have made it clear that traffic along this roadway and through the adjacent neighborhoods is a major concern that needs to be considered with any changes to the corridor. Any major roadway design changes will include an analysis that will evaluate the impacts to traffic in the area. The project team will be evaluating the impacts and will mitigate operational challenges where possible.
How will this project balance the needs of today with future conditions?
The City’s goal is to plan for the long-term sustainability of the Duke Street corridor while supporting travel needs in the shorter term. The project coordinates with current and planned development along the corridor, as well as projects happening around the region. This project is a significant investment for the City, and we want to ensure the BRT system of the future incorporates the latest technology and considers future uses along the corridor.
Will this project address cut-through traffic? What is the City doing to monitor cut-through traffic?
During community engagement as part of the Central Alexandria Traffic Study and the Alexandria Mobility Plan, it was clear that cut-through traffic is a major concern in this area. While this project will not directly address cut-through traffic, making transit a more attractive option has been shown to move some people to use it more frequently. However, the City has a number of projects and initiatives aimed at improving traffic flow and reducing cut-through traffic through the Smart Mobility program and capital projects such as Duke Street at West Taylor Run.
What happened to the planned road connections between Duke and Eisenhower?
Potential overpasses linking Duke Street to Eisenhower Avenue were discussed many years ago by city Staff and Council. City Council did not take action to move this concept forward due to the cost and various community and traffic concerns, and this connection is not in any current City plans.
Why were the project boundaries determined to be between Landmark Mall and the King Street Metrorail Station? Why doesn’t the route connect to areas west of I-395 or to Carlyle/Eisenhower/Fairfax County to the south?
Boundaries for this transit corridor were established by City Council in 2008 and were then updated in 2012. The Duke Street Transitway will connect to another forthcoming transitway (the West End Transitway) at Landmark Mall, which itself will be a major destination, and will also connect to the King Street Metrorail Station, which is currently a major destination for riders along Duke Street.
There is only a small portion of Duke Street west of I-395 that is in the City of Alexandria. Should Fairfax County develop a plan for a BRT corridor to the west, the City will work with them to provide connections that could create a more regional transit network.
What is being done to address the east-bound backups at West Taylor Run / Telegraph Road?
We recognize that this is a concern to many residents and others who travel through the Duke Street corridor. While this issue will not be addressed as part of this project, the City has been awarded $5.7M funds from Virginia’s Smart Scale Program contributing to the redesign and construction of the Duke Street and West Taylor Run Parkway intersection, as well as additional access to the Telegraph Road interchange. Community engagement for the Duke Street and West Taylor Run project will begin in fall 2021, and the Duke and West Taylor Run Parkway intersection efforts will be coordinated with this Duke Street transit project to ensure that bus stop placement is aligned.
What are the typical elements or goals of Bus Rapid Transit projects?
Bus Rapid Transit (or BRT) system aims to make bus transit more efficient, reliable, and comfortable by adding elements often seen in rail transit like MetroRail. In general, BRT is a flexible system of facilities, equipment, services, and amenities that improve the speed, reliability, and identity of the bus. Specific BRT system elements vary but may include characteristics such as:
- More frequent service
- Upgraded bus stops with enhanced passenger amenities, including level boarding that makes it easier and faster, especially for passengers with difficulties.
- Vehicles and stations branded for easy recognition by riders
- Transit signal priority enabling buses to stop less often at red lights. (You can see a video about this technology here.)
- Queue jump lanes to allow BRT vehicles to bypass traffic
- Part-time or full-time bus lanes with to provide a bus-only pathway that can function similar to a rail-way, with dedicated space
- Pre-paid boarding using all doors to reduce the time it takes for passengers to get on and off the bus
What are the potential outcomes of this project?
There are a few “givens” to this effort:
- The project area is defined as the Landmark Mall site to King Street Metrorail Station via Duke Street.
- Bus transit will be the primary component of the final concept.
- Bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicular improvements will be included, where possible, and will follow other City priorities like Vision Zero and the Complete Streets Design Guidelines.
- The project will involve coordination with other ongoing initiatives and projects.
There are several pieces that are yet to be determined, including:
- The potential use of dedicated transit lanes
- Removal/retention of service roads
- Station locations and amenities
- The system operator (WMATA or DASH) for any new bus service
- The potential inclusion of bike facilities, trails, sidewalks, landscaping, stormwater, drainage, etc.
- And more!
Will the busway design option impact space available for curb features?
How will these improvements be funded?
On July 9, 2020, the City of Alexandria was awarded $75 million in regional revenues from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) in the 2020-2025 Six Year Program. This funding will be used to help construct the first phase of improvements identified in the planning and public input phases of the project. Prior to July 2020, through NVTA’s inaugural 2018-2023 Six Year Program, the City received $12 million in regional revenues, utilized towards the design and engineering phases of the project.
Will the City need to acquire land or eliminate service roads for any of the options being presented?
For Segments 1 and 3, no property impacts are currently envisioned for any of the bus running way concepts. However, to maintain general traffic lanes and include improvements to walking, biking, and green space, service roads in front of business and multi-family residential areas may need to be modified or eliminated. The City is working to identify ways to minimize these impacts, like redesigning the street to accommodate access and parking where service road changes are being considered.
For Segment 2a (Between Jordan Street and Wheeler Avenue), the Center Running option would likely require impacts to service roads in front of homes and/or impacts to property.
The Hybrid option, which includes a mix of bi-directional bus lanes, center running lanes, and buses operating in mixed traffic, will only impact one service road on the north side of Duke Street between Ingle Place and N. Gordon Street. However, improvements to curb features may require modification of some additional service roads.
Is the City going to use eminent domain for this project?
The City commonly works with property owners on capital improvement projects (such as sewers and facilities) to acquire property rights, typically referred to as “right-of-way.” For the Duke Street in Motion project, it has not yet been determined if the City will need any easements or new public right-of-way. In design, the City performs detailed land survey and mitigates right-of-way needs to the greatest extent possible. Staff anticipates that any right-of-way needed for this phase of Duke Street in Motion would be acquired via voluntary agreements and not through use of eminent domain.
How will this project impact left turns into/out of my home?
Depending on the ultimate design selected and what you are located, left turns across Duke Street might be restricted. What this means is that there would likely be a dedicated U-turn at the intersections so rather than waiting for a gap in traffic to cut across two or three lanes, you would have a safer turn, but it might take an extra few minutes. Left turn crashes on Duke Street are one reason it is a high crash corridor in the City.
How are you dealing with situations when the roadway does not look like the typical cross section?
We understand that not all sections of Duke Street look the same – even within the segments we are showing. What we are showing are the most typical sections, and we know they don’t cover everything. The tradeoffs listed on the fact sheets (whether there are property, service impacts, or travel lane reductions) are based on high level sketches that cover the whole corridor. As we narrow down design options, and before a preferred option is selected, we will have to look at these areas in more detail to determine what the precise, location specific tradeoffs are. This is a reminder that one concept doesn’t have to, and likely will not, carry throughout the entire corridor.
What is existing bus ridership on the corridor?
Summer 2022 ridership along the corridor was about 2,700-3,000 average weekday boardings per day between the DASH 30 bus and the WMATA 29K/N and 28A routes, which is the City's highest ridership corridor and DASH's most productive route (most riders per bus). Average weekday activity (ons and offs) is about 5,600-5,700. Ridership has been increasing steadily and corridor ridership as of the Summer was greater than pre-COVID levels.
Metrobus ridership data shows that 36% of transit customers use the Duke Street corridor during mid-day period (9 AM to 4 PM) in comparison to 45% AM/PM peaks combined. The remaining 19% of trips take place during early AM, early evening, and night periods.
The Duke Street Transitway project will be closely coordinated with a number of other initiatives that are intended to more efficiently move people along Duke Street, improve mobility, and alleviate congestion.
- Duke Street is an important part of the Alexandria Transit Vision Plan 2030 network, providing connections to various parts of the city with frequent, all-day service.
- As part of the Smart Mobility Program, the City is currently installing additional Transit and Emergency Vehicle Signal Priority along Duke Street. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Transit Signal Priority here and watch a video about Intelligent Transportation Systems in general here.
- Duke Street was prioritized as one of the first two corridors in the City to receive signal upgrades through the Adaptive Traffic Signal Control project, which will allow the network of signals to better detect vehicles and automatically adjust their timing to improve traffic flow.
- The City was awarded funding to improve safety and traffic congestion at the high crash intersection of Duke Street and West Taylor Run Parkway.
- Because Duke Street was identified as a high crash corridor through the Vision Zero Action Plan, staff is also working to provide safety upgrades along the corridor.
- Transitway Corridor Feasibility Study (2012)
2012 Concept Plan Fact Sheet (Developed in 2022)
- Transitway Work Group Recommendation to Council (2012)
- City Council Presentation and Resolution on Preferred Alternative for Transitway Corridors (2012)
- Memo to Council on History of Corridors B (Duke Street) and C (West End Transitway) (2018)
- Transitway Corridor Feasibility Study Webpage
- Duke Street NVTA Application (2018)
- Duke Street NVTA Application (2020)
- November 24, 2020 City Council Presentation
- Vision and Guiding Principles for Duke Street in Motion (Adopted June 2022)
- Phase II Engagement - Existing Conditions and Preliminary Analysis Boards (Fall 2022)
- Existing Conditions Report
- Phase III - Summary of Metrics (April 2023)
- Phase III - Travel Time Comparison Detail - AM and PM (Updated with AM May 2023)
- Phase III - Open House Boards (similar to presentation PDFs; includes a map showing changes in walk shed) (April 2023)
- Phase III - Busway Concept A, Curb Feature Y - Preliminary Roll Plot (April 2023)
- Phase III - Busway Concept B, Curb Feature Z - Preliminary Roll Plot (April 2023)
- Phase III - Open House Comment Period
- Phase III - Cameron Station Precinct Meeting
Jen Slesinger Monaco is the project manager for this effort and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.