A study of the trail network in the Fredericksburg area is underway and citizens will be able to give their opinion on what should be done next Monday, June 27.
The $107,850 study, launched by the Fredericksburg-area Metropolitan Planning Organization, aims to connect the separate trails to create a network.
Three public meetings next Monday will discuss the study of the train and will give residents time to speak.
The Fredericksburg Community Planning Department will hold a meeting to address the Bankside Trail, part of the Virginia Central Railway Trail from the downtown train station to the Chatham Bridge. Residents will be allowed to comment on the course. The meeting will take place on the first floor of the Executive Plaza at 601 Caroline St.
Also next Monday, the George Washington Area Commission and the Policy Committee of the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will hold public comment periods on trail issues. The GWRC meeting starts at 6pm, followed by the FAMPO meeting. Both meetings will be held at 406 Princess Anne St.
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FAMPO is also expected to vote that evening on the final list of this year’s Smart Scale projects, the state’s ranking program for transportation funding. FAMPO has already approved a Smart Scale project to improve the VCR route.
FAMPO Administrator Ian Ollis said the goal of the Smart Scale project was to “close all trail gaps between Interstate 95 and Fredericksburg Station and the station on the proposed Bankside Trail of the town, which will link the station, the new Riverfront Park, and the new Chatham Bridge shared-use footpath in South Stafford.
The trail network study, which could bring drastic changes to three trail crossings, has just begun, Ollis said.
The study will analyze the potential for building a bridge or tunnel at the current VCR Trail crossings on US 1 near Idlewild and at Blue & Gray Parkway, as well as a new crossing over or below I-95 near the Harrison Road overpass. Another option for this crossing would be to take the trail to and across the viaduct.
Ollis said in an email that the study may eventually piece together the trail.
“The VCR trail exists in the city and in Spotsylvania, but the ‘missing middle’ to make it one trail is (the highway), which bisects the trail,” he said. “If all of these projects and an additional section at Spotsylvania are approved and funded, it will create a massive cycle and pedestrian route from Gordon Road to Spotsylvania south of Stafford (Chatham Heights and the Belmont Ferry Farm trail).”
This article has been updated to add that the town meeting will involve the Fredericksburg Community Planning Department and is not a council meeting.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436