National Landing is poised to become the most connected downtown in America. Building on its rich legacy of transportation infrastructure, National Landing is constantly evolving with a new emphasis on next-generation multimodal mobility. Guided by a singular vision, the public and private sectors are together investing more than $4 billion into the transportation network to meet the needs of current and future residents, employees, students, and visitors.
A Grand Vision
A new report, National Landing: Mobility Next, examines how the downtown district’s largest ongoing projects are interconnected as part of a grand vision to create the nation’s most modern and efficient transportation network. The approach behind this transformation is rooted in four core principles:
- Strengthening transit capacity
- Expanding regional rail access
- Prioritizing human-scaled mobility
- Removing barriers to connectivity
Eight high-profile expansion and modernization projects, with a combined estimated cost of $4 billion, are currently in the pipeline and expected to be completed in phases over the coming decade. While most of the projects were already on the drawing board at the time of Virginia’s Memorandum of Agreement with Amazon, each benefited from additional funding or accelerated timelines as a result. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is advancing its work on Project Journey, a $1 billion project to improve access and connections at DCA. In addition, Arlington County is spending $270 million in an effort to put people first and create a safer and more inviting public realm.
Strengthening Transit Capacity
Mass transit is the backbone of National Landing’s transportation network. New projects are underway to extend the Transitway from Potomac Yard north to Pentagon City, further improving high-capacity bus service to the Columbia Pike corridor. A second Crystal City Metro station entrance is also coming soon to alleviate platform congestion and deliver riders directly to Crystal Drive. Currently under construction, a new infill Metro station in Potomac Yard–Alexandria will connect Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus and 7.5 million SF of development to the core of National Landing.
Expanding Regional Rail Access
Investments in the region’s rail network will augment service from Amtrak, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC), and Virginia Railway Express (VRE). Projects include a new “Long Bridge” across the Potomac River that will allow for a significant increase in VRE service, while also enabling direct commuter access to and from Maryland. An iconic new VRE station on Crystal Drive is in the design phase, and will be able to host Amtrak and MARC service, as well as connections to DCA.
Prioritizing Human-Scaled Mobility
Improving human-scaled mobility — such as walking, biking, and scooting — is a critical priority. Ongoing redevelopment is widening and upgrading thousands of linear feet of sidewalk frontage to improve pedestrian safety. Three new trailheads will create connections to the Mt. Vernon and Four Mile Run trails, ensuring National Landing remains a cyclist and runner’s paradise. More than five-and-a-half miles of bike and scooter lanes are planned — four miles of which will be protected.
Removing Barriers to Connectivity: Route 1
Route 1 currently bisects National Landing, restricting connections and easy access between Crystal City and Pentagon City. A new report released by the BID in 2020, Reimagine Route 1, envisions a bold transformation of the corridor a multi-modal, pedestrian-friendly, and urban-oriented boulevard that unifies the area into a truly walkable, connected, urban downtown.
Improving Pedestrian Connections: CC2DCA
The CC2DCA Intermodal Connector will create a short pedestrian walk between National Landing and National Airport, stitching together disconnected transportation infrastructure to better serve existing development as well as planned growth. Through a context-sensitive and dynamic pedestrian connection, the CC2DCA Intermodal Connector will seamlessly link the multitude of transportation assets in the heart of Crystal City into a vibrant, multi-modal hub.