Reimagining Duke Street for ALL Alexandrians

The Duke Street In Motion project to rebuild and reimagine Duke Street is poised to take the next step forward. Alexandria City Council will meet on June 27th to sign off on the design, ideally the preferred concept that features center-running dedicated bus lanes AND dedicated, continuous, grade-separated facilities for both bicyclists and pedestrians. 

This is a huge, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prioritize Alexandrians who walk, bike, roll, and take transit along one of the busiest, most important east-west corridors in Alexandria. And so we at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, in collaboration with the Alexandria Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, need folks like YOU to share your enthusiastic support with Councilmembers today!

Building a just and sustainable transportation system where walking, biking, and transit are the best ways to get around starts with taking exactly the holistic, people-first approach Alexandria has demonstrated with Duke Street In Motion. WABA and BPAC are excited to support this transformational project and encourage you to voice your support as well. 

Project Background

Bike/pedestrian treatment recommended by the Advisory Group

The Duke Street corridor – stretching from King Street Metro Station to the Landmark Mall – was first identified in the 2008 Transportation Master Plan and then reaffirmed in the 2012 Transit Corridors Feasibility Study and the 2021 Alexandria Mobility Plan as ripe for a high capacity transit makeover. In 2021, in light of pandemic-induced changes to travel patterns, the City undertook an extensive public outreach effort to inform the development of a vision and guiding principles for the development of a transit corridor on Duke Street. That community engagement led to the formation of the Duke Street Transitway Advisory Group in 2022 to assist City staff in the development of transit improvements for the corridor. 

While transit improvements are the primary focus of this effort, other community priorities such as safety, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and vehicle travel were also elevated and centered by the Advisory Group. In April, City staff presented concept designs to the public and to the Advisory Group, and in May the Advisory Group adopted a recommendation to Council on a preferred concept for the corridor. We are joining with the Advisory Group, the Alexandria Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and advocates across the City in enthusiastically supporting the preferred concept. 

While every project involves tradeoffs, we are so far encouraged by what City staff has presented and the Advisory Group has recommended. Preferred Curb Concept Y would feature a continuous, wide shared-use path along the entire corridor with several segments featuring modal separation – a two-way cycle track in parallel to the shared-use path in the highest-usage areas. Additionally, the recommendation for center-running bus lanes will require significant safety upgrades to Duke Street crossings that will benefit pedestrians and bicyclists just as much as transit users. Overall, the project demonstrates a holistic, people-first approach that is critical to achieving our Vision Zero, carbon reduction, and general community and livability goals.