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Alexandria Power Plant Redevelopment Includes Bike Improvements
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Alexandria Power Plant Redevelopment Includes Bike Improvements

The north end Small Area Plan does not leave bike trail users high and dry.

Bicyclists won’t be left out of the plans when the GenOn Energy plant is redeveloped as a major part of the Old Town North Small Area Plan, originally adopted by the city in 2017. Cyclists will see trail improvements on East Abingdon Drive, Slaters Lane, Royal Street and the sliver of trail between the power plant and the river when the project gets going.

At the first of six planned public meetings on Feb. 11, Hilco Redevelopment talked about the power plant redevelopment in a video meeting attended by 227 people. According to the schedule, the final public video meeting will be in the first quarter of 2022, and the planning commission hearing for the whole project will be scheduled for the second quarter of that year.

"We anticipate a series of community meetings in the coming year to address key topics, such as the transportation network and open space," said Catherine K. Miliaras, planner with the City of Alexandria.

Cyclists and pedestrians will have improvements like a bike sharing station to connect the waterfront to a larger regional system that will extend the reach of transit and the parking system as part of a City-wide program. The project includes rehabilitating and making surface improvements to the Mount Vernon Trail, reconnecting waterfront bicycle routes to Jones Point Park, the application and enforcement on and off-road bicycle laws as recommended in the 2008 Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan. The City should proactively explore and implement urban design approaches that help minimize conflicts.

There will be additional bicycle parking on the waterfront in Oronoco Bay Park and near or at the foot of King Street with more racks and/or covered bicycle shelters, and project officials will explore improved bicycle facilities on North Union Street and North Royal Street, as recommended in the 2008 Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan.

The city's northeast small area plan is one of several small area plans designed to make improvements throughout the city. Goals and objectives for the plan include the protection of residential neighborhoods while encouraging economic development that is compatible with adjacent residential uses.