In response, residents have long supported protection of a Rural Crescent in the west and pushed for greater protection along the Potomac River shoreline and streams. For years, the Western Bypass and an eastern Potomac bridge crossing extending from Route 234 (parts of an Outer Beltway) have threatened remaining farms, forests, and historic sites.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth continues to work with dedicated Prince William residents to stop the wasteful and unnecessary Outer Beltway. We see the priority needs as improving conditions for existing commuters through improved transit in the I-95 and I-66 corridors, including the expansion of Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and expanded commuter bus service. At the same time, revitalizing of aging commercial corridors like Route 28 in Manassas Park, Route 234 in Manassas, and Route 1 in eastern Prince William offer great potential to create competitive, mixed-use communities. The redevelopment of Woodbridge at the gateway to Prince William County next to the Woodbridge VRE Station, the Occoquan River, Route 1 and I-95 seems to offer the best opportunity to create a vibrant, competitive, transit-oriented center in the county.
Woodbridge Transit-Oriented Development
We have strongly supported the revitalization of Woodbridge above the Occoquan River, at the northern gateway to eastern Prince William County. Building off the model of the traditional neighborhood development of Belmont Bay, the county has a basic plan for creating a mixed-use, walkable and urban center linked to the Woodbridge VRE station and connecting Belmont Bay to the Town of Occoquan. The combination of commuter rail and express commuter bus service will offer good transit connectivity, but should be matched by dedicated lane transit southward along Route 1 and potential connections to other parts of eastern Prince William.
Proximity and scenic views of the Occoquan and the Potomac Rivers should offer a positive selling point for residential development and good highway access should help commercial development. Unfortunately, a proposed interchange at Route 1 and Route 123 needs to be redesigned to be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly and to minimize the potential barrier of Route 1 between the redevelopment and the VRE station.