There has been a lot of talk and many projects underway to improve area neighborhoods along the Orange Line. Not one to be left out, Ballston is now up for some major improvements surrounding the Metro Plaza. Arlington County is now in the process of outlining what the improvements will be. The first step is to gather public input. There was a meeting at the Arlington County Library at the beginning of November where the main plans were unveiled. The main goals of the improvements are to enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety, plan for future population growth, reduce traffic congestion, in particular from busses, and to improve the functionality and aesthetics of the plaza.
Use of the plaza is expected to increase up to 50 percent for Metro riders from 2010 through to 2020; being that we are approaching the halfway point to this expected growth, it is time to prepare and make the Ballston Plaza work better. While bicyclists have not used the plaza station as much as others, use is expected to rise up to 200 percent within the same ten years. Taking this all in mind, along with pedestrian use of the plaza, plans are in the works to increase bike parking, add in new bus stops and sidewalk cafés. Tree planters already along the plaza will be moved to widen the area for better pedestrian flow and access.
The engineering for the project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015, with construction beginning in early 2016. There is a plan in place for the long term to add a second Ballston Metro entrance as well, though no date was specified. The main ideas listed in the planning meeting were to meet five top goals. These goals include Traffic Safety, in particular between buses, pedestrians and for bicyclists as well. There is a goal to improve transit circulation around the Ballston station, including better management of curbside operations. There will be improved access and facilities for all users of the Ballston Plaza overall. The use of public space will be increased with better designed space for retail shops, more green space and better comfort. The last major goal is to provide a sustainable infrastructure to the plaza, with enhanced transportation options and low impact development done where ever possible.
The Ballston Metro Plaza is poised to offer a new and improved access point for the neighborhood. If you are ready to call the Orange Line home, myself and the Orange Line Living team are poised to provide you with our unique and specialized services so you can turn your home dreams into reality. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us directly at 571-969-7653 or at [email protected].