STAFFORD — The future of getting around Stafford County could lay on the trail.
County officials held two public workshops in late August to educate residents on their plans to expand the bike and pedestrian facilities. The current bike and pedestrian facilities are located on Deacon Road, Courthouse Road and next to the Rappahannock River. They asked for input on where to put future Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities, drawing up a plan to use as a guide to future improvements.
“These facilities can be a great benefit to the community by reducing vehicle traffic as a result of providing alternate means of transportation, supporting economic development initiatives by providing an attractive environment for businesses and their employees, and improving the overall health of the residents,” states a Stafford County press release.
A major piece of the proposal is a bike lane on Route 1 that would start at Courthouse Road and extend to Fredericksburg. There are also plans to expand US Bike Route 1 on Deacon Road and Brooke Road. The plan is to extend the bike lane to Leeland Road and extend to Potomac Run Road.
The biggest proposal in this is the plan to build a shared use path along the Rappahannock River that starts at the tip of King George County, near Dahlgren and runs to Deacon Road in Stafford County.
County officials also want shared-use paths along Route 1 starting linking the county’s Courthouse to Prince William County. If officials follow through on the plans for these shared use paths, one could get to Shelton Shop and Mine Road from Courthouse Road by walking, biking, or running across the path.
The idea of a more connected Stafford County started back in 1996 when the Board of Supervisors first proposed a Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilitates Plan as part of the Comprehensive Plan. Supervisors started talking about it again in 2016.
The project is about halfway completed as county staff had to gather information, prepare a draft of preparation, and reach out to the public to get their input. The county now just has to prepare a final draft of the trails, hold public hearings, and adopt the plan. There is no date set for the Board of Supervisors to vote on the trails.
Some residents at the August 27 meeting at North Stafford High School were outspoken, citing that some neighborhoods such as Hickory Ridge, Settlers Landing, and Ferry Farm who don’t have sidewalks and should have the sidewalks created and paved before any cement or asphalt is laid down for the shared use trails.
There will be smaller shared use paths throughout the County. The smaller paths would be located on Shelton Shop Road, Mine Road, and Plantation Drive.