Help Envision New Transit Options for Route 7

December 17th, 2015

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission is looking for ideas for Route 7.

rt 7 28XThe Leesburg Pike (Route 7) corridor in Northern Virginia is second only to Columbia Pike in its daily volumes of bus riders.  This busy, mixed use corridor connects  Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, and the City of Falls Church.  The corridor connects many vital regional activity centers including Old Town Alexandria, Seven Corners, downtown Falls Church (Broad Street) and Tysons Corner.

In 2009, in recognition of the importance of this corridor, Metro completed an evaluation of the 28A and 28B lines, and concluded that there was a demand for a robust, limited stop service on Leesburg Pike.   The study acknowledged that by 2040, population in the corridor is anticipated to increase by 36% and the number of jobs is anticipated to increase by 34% .  These changes will mean that without more high quality transit, vehicle congestion will only increase.   The study also identified heavy congestion as a major impediment to consistent, on-time performance and recommended traffic signal improvements and queue jumps at targeted intersections.  As a result of the study, frequencies were increased on 28A and a limited stop service (28X) was introduced to serve the heaviest traveled portions of the route.Recently, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission has embarked on its own study to evaluate the feasibility of additional high quality, high frequency transit modes on Leesburg Pike.  Some of the modes under evaluation include; light rail, BRT in dedicated lanes, and business access lanes as well as transportation systems management improvements (TSM). TSM refers to lower-cost transit improvement options without major capital changes to the existing roadway or transit network such as enhanced service, decreases in headways, and increased span of service.

The study team hosted several public meetings in early November to share findings and hear from the public regarding preferred modes and alignment alternatives.  A website has been created that includes an interactive tool which allows site users to add their visions for Route 7 to a map of the corridor.  A recent post on the also shared some details and thoughts about the alternatives under evaluation.  For more information about the study, please visit the study’s website at


Public comment map from  Click map to visit the live version.

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  1. December 22nd, 2015 at 15:10 | #1

    I ride the 28A most weekday mornings from King Street Station to Skyline. There are an awful lot of stops on Seminary Road in both directions near Skyline. I also wonder whether the Southern Towers stops could be consolidated. The bus stops in front of each tower, and sometimes nobody gets on or off. Combined with the loop through the parking lot and about four stop signs, the excursion through Southern Towers takes several minutes. In the long run, some kind of rail would be nice. There probably isn’t room for it on King Street east of Quaker Lane, but maybe it wouldn’t need to enter Alexandria over King Street. Maybe Eisenhower Avenue or the Norfolk Southern right of way could accommodate light rail or streetcar tracks.

  2. Skyline
    January 11th, 2016 at 08:42 | #2

    In several places, but not the entire length, there are “feeder lanes” on the sides of VA Route 7. In those places, we should consider eliminating the feeder lanes and reconfiguring the lanes to create dedicated bus lanes – as was done a year or two ago in north Alexandria along US Route 1.

    In doing this, it is VERY important to avoid gold plating – e.g., avoid repeating Arlington’s notorious mistake of spending $1M on a single fancy bus stop (one that does not even keep waiting bus passengers dry).

    VDOT no longer encourages feeder lane designs, and indeed has already eliminated them from many roads where they had previously existed. So there should be no VDOT policy issues with the proposal above.

    This is relatively low cost, and can be implemented quickly, but will improve people/mile/hour by giving buses a dedicated right of way.

    In some other places, such as Route 7 within the city limits of Falls Church, the above is not possible.

    Pick the low-hanging fruit first.

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