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GW Parkway to Undergo Safety Improvements Between Alexandria and Mount Vernon Estate

Photo courtesy NPS

ALEXANDRIA, VA-The section of the GW Memorial Parkway between Alexandria and George Washington’s Mount Vernon will soon undergo improvements to increase safety. That decision is based on the findings of a study by the National Park Service (NPS), which involved public input.

The 2019 study focuses on nine intersections along the route. Improvements, set to begin later this year, will make the parkway safer for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. They will also maintain the parkway’s scenic appeal and historic significance.

Intersection volume map showing the area of the GW Parkway to undergo safety improvements. (Photo courtesy NPS)

“We are being responsive to comments from the public and the expert advice of transportation professionals,” NPS Superintendent Charles Cuvelier said. “Whether you are a park visitor or commuter, these changes will make driving, walking and bicycling between Alexandria and Mount Vernon safer and more enjoyable for everyone.”

For the project, the NPS complete four tasks:

1) Restripe the road to implement a road diet while maintaining driving capacity.

2) On the parkway between Tulane Drive and Stratford Lane, markings will be changed so that there will be three travel lanes (two northbound, one southbound, and one turn lane).

3) Increase visibility of lane markings and Mount Vernon Trail crosswalks.

4) Remove vegetation at intersections to improve visibility.

Once implemented, NPS will monitor the effectiveness of the changes. However, models show that the changes will not affect current traffic patterns.

A History of the GW Memorial Parkway

Opened to traffic in 1932, the parkway was originally named Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. Construction was finished to coincide with the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth.

Designers pioneered principles of modern roadway construction by building an attractive and efficient limited access road.

Because of its unique qualities – including serving as a link to sites important to Washington himself – the parkway is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

At present, the southern section, which was the first section of the original parkway, serves 25,000 vehicles daily.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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