Memorial Circle Safety Improvements Environmental Assessment
The George Washington Memorial Parkway (the Parkway) occupies more than 7,600 acres of land in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia and extends 38.3 miles in association with the Potomac River. The Parkway is a carefully planned scenic roadway that honors the nation's first president, George Washington, and extends from Mount Vernon to the Capital Beltway (I-495). This scenic route to the nation's capital serves both recreational users and local commuters and features a scenic road, recreational trails, historic monuments, and natural areas. Arlington Memorial Bridge and Memorial Avenue provide a grand entrance to Washington, DC, while also providing the ceremonial gateway into Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial Circle (the Circle) connects Arlington Memorial Bridge to Memorial Avenue.
Due to its central location amidst numerous vital and historic destinations in the region, the project area (Memorial Circle and the roadways in its immediate vicinity) sees high levels of traffic congestion and is at a major convergence of regional roadways and modes that interact through a complex series of roadway merges, weaves, diverges, and intersections. The heavy use of the project area causes a number of safety concerns, especially where roads merge, weave, and diverge, and at multiple bicyclist and pedestrian crosswalks. The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, the National Capital Planning Commission, and Virginia Department of Transportation, is proposing to improve transportation safety at and near Memorial Circle in order to reduce risks at key locations within the corridor and to reduce conflicts between drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians while maintaining the memorial character of the area.
This environmental assessment (EA) evaluates three alternatives: a no-action alternative (alternative A), and two action alternatives (alternatives B and C). Alternative A would continue the current management of the project area. Alternative B would improve signage, lane striping, in-lane guidance, and would add additional safety accommodations at some crosswalks. Alternative C would build upon alternative B and implement modifications to traffic patterns to simplify the more complex areas of weaves, merges, and diverges. Both action alternatives have the potential to result in beneficial impacts on traffic and transportation, health and safety, and visitor use and experience, as well as adverse impacts on cultural resources.
Note to Reviewers and Respondents:
This EA will be on formal public and agency review for 30 days from the release date. If you wish to comment, please provide comments on the park's website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/GWMP
or by mailing to the name and address below. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
Feb 6, 2019 - Feb 18, 2019