Transformations Coming to the Custis Trail in Rosslyn

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Erin Potter Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington November 21, 2018
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Erin Potter is the Program Manager for BikeArlington. She appreciates Arlington’s low-stress street and trail network, which allows her to get places easily by bike.

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A wider trail, shorter crossing distances, and more space are a few of the transformations coming soon to part of the Custis Trail in Rosslyn. Learn more about how people biking and walking will benefit from these changes.

Trail users and drivers in Rosslyn have likely noticed construction equipment steadily appearing between the Custis Trail, Lee Hwy, and along the sidewalk on N Lynn St. This work is part of the Lynn Street Esplanade and Custis Trail Improvements, a joint project between Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation, to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic management, and street beautification in Rosslyn.

The next phase of construction is scheduled to begin the week of December 10 and the changes being made along a busy section of trail in Rosslyn will have benefits to people walking and biking.


Rendering provided by Arlington County

Changes with the Biggest Benefits

1. A wider trail

The part of the Custis Trail that runs along Lee Highway in Rosslyn is heavily used by people biking, walking, and running. By the end of the project, they’ll have more space to move around. The trail is being widened from 10 feet to 16 feet, and the buffer from traffic will be increased from 3 feet to 8 feet.

2. Shorter crossing distances

There are also some promising changes coming for trail users at the intersection of N Lynn St and N Fort Meyr Dr, including the installation of curb extensions. There are several benefits of curb extensions at intersections, including:

  • Shortening the distance needed to cross the intersection.
  • Squaring turns for vehicle drivers, which means that drivers take turns more slowly and have better sightlines of trail users. This gives everyone more time to see each other.
  • Providing more space to wait for the traffic signals to change.

3. More (and better) space for everyone

Space is truly the neat thing about this project. Along the Custis Trail, what is currently a travel lane for motor vehicles is going to be transformed into a wider trail. Motor vehicle counts on Lee Hwy demonstrated that there was not a need for the extra lane to move traffic safely and efficiently, while trail counts demonstrated demand for an expanded trail. Along Lynn St, people walking will have a wider sidewalk and people biking will benefit from a brand new section of bike lane.

Between the widening of the Custis Trail, widening the sidewalk and adding a new bike lane on N Lynn St, there’s going to be more space for people to walk, bike, and roll safely in Rosslyn. There will also be more space for people waiting for the bus along Lee Hwy.

Additional Project Details

For more information about the transformation to the Custis Trail, visit Arlington County and Virginia Department of Transportation project pages.

Editor’s Note: This blog has been edited with new information provided by Suzanne Patel.

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/Kittner.com

  • B. Collison says:

    This is great. Are there plans for the Intersection of Doom? I’m a twice-daily bike commuter through there, and it’s one of the two most dangerous places on my entire +10 mile commute.

  • Kenneth Deuel says:

    This project doesn’t extend back to 19th St right? Because the intercity bus stop right there always partially blocks the bike lane. https://goo.gl/maps/nQoyMBHZaft and it would be nice to have a bit more room.

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