Study Documents 277 Miles of Missing Sidewalks; Eastern Loudoun Projects Planned

About five and a half miles of missing links in the county’s sidewalk and trail network could start to fill in next year.

Loudoun supervisors have prioritized 12 sections of sidewalks and shared use paths to start the work of finishing out the county’s patchwork network.

The 2019 Countywide Transportation Plan, part of the county’s new comprehensive plan, calls for 6-foot-wide sidewalks, 10-foot-wide shared use paths, on-road bicycle lanes or a combination of those on arterial and collector roadways. Previous plans, such as 2003’s Loudoun County Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Master Plan, also called for sidewalks and trails to be built with new roadways.

But by comparing the 2019 plan to what actually exists or is programmed in the county’s capital budget or a developer’s project, the county transportation staff found 1,124 missing links in the county’s trail network. That amounts to 277 miles of missing sidewalks and trails, places where the plan calls for a path, but none exists or is planned.

The county will start chipping away at that with $1.1 million anticipated in the county’s next Fiscal Year 2022 budget. Supervisors last month unanimously approved the staff’s recommendation for 12 eastern Loudoun projects, amounting to about 5.52 miles.

The sections were prioritized based on factors like how close they are to places that may see a lot of foot traffic like schools, community centers, parks, and shopping centers; how close they are to transit stops; the road’s characteristics and history of bike or pedestrian crashes; and how much they are anticipated to help people move around. [Full staff report]

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