Fairfax County TOD Enhancements

Project Highlights

UrbanTrans has been working in Fairfax County since 2005 to develop policies, plans and programs to enhance transit-oriented development projects through reducing trips and encouraging behavior change. The extension of the Metro line and addition of express lanes created an opportunity for Fairfax County to promote its community vision of more livable, mixed use, walkable developments.

Policy Development:
UrbanTrans was part of a project team with Cambridge Systematics that helped Fairfax County develop policies that encourage developers, as part of the development review process, to create TDM plans and provide funding for on-going TDM programming. Our project team identified how land use characteristics and transit service impact the success of TDM programs within Fairfax County. This information was used to help create reasonable expectations regarding the level of vehicle trip reductions that can be expected at developments that implement TDM policies. Our team also helped identify a process through which the county could assure that developers would be held accountable to obtain desired vehicle trip reductions. Additional efforts included serving as the lead consultant for creation of a TDM program manual that assists developers and county staff with the following:

  • Identification of TDM strategies that are appropriate to a development based on multiple characteristics including surrounding land uses and the availability of transit service
  • Costs associated with the implementation of TDM programs
  • Vehicle trip reductions associated with the implementation of specific TDM strategies
  • Processes for monitoring the implementation and success of TDM programs

Planning:
As a result of these policies, Fairfax County required TDM plans for each development proposal within a half mile of new Metrorail stations. UrbanTrans managed the development of several site-specific TDM plans for developers and property management companies throughout Fairfax County, including Pulte, Clark Realty, The Georgelas Group, Capital One Inc., Trammel Crow Residential, SAIC and more. The plans included advanced TDM strategies to implement at the sites to maximize the impact of the rail extension and other infrastructure and service investments. Infrastructure improvements designed to increase the use of non-SOV travel modes were also identified and included bicycle parking, garage ceiling heights capable of accommodating vanpools, transit stop enhancements and shower facilities. Each plan included estimated vehicle trip reductions, implementation costs and initial work plans as well as detailed methodologies to track vehicle trip reductions and site compliance with the county’s vehicle trip reduction goals.

As this area underwent redevelopment, it was important to consolidate some TDM services into an area-wide program that enabled more efficient implementation. In order to facilitate this consolidation, UrbanTrans incorporated area-wide TDM strategies and policies with local developers, including innovative financing techniques and performance measurement tools that were used across the four station areas.

Implementation:
Building on the plans developed by UrbanTrans for the Vienna Metro station area, Pulte and Clark Realty hired UrbanTrans to implement their TDM program at MetroWest. The Connections at MetroWest program was developed to provide residents and commuters with the information and tools they need to have easier, less expensive and less stressful commutes. Program success is measured using an annual travel survey. The most recent travel survey found that 52 percent of commute trips are made using sustainable travel modes and 94 percent of residents are familiar with the bus and rail travel options available to them.