Parking concerns and pedestrian safety were some of the issues raised by attendees of a City of Falls Church community meeting last Saturday morning discussing the early stages of a redevelopment plan for the West Broad Street area between Little Falls Street and the Washington and Old Dominion trail overpass.
The Broad Street Planning Opportunity Area was presented by City Planning Director James Snyder at Columbia Baptist Church Saturday and discussed what the area looks like now and how it could be developed.
New developments have populated the West Broad area in recent years, including the Flower Building and the Spectrum complex, home to Panera Bread and Mad Fox Brewing Company. The area also includes the soon-to-open Hilton Garden Inn. The Kensington assisted living project and the Broad & West mixed-use project have also been proposed within that area.
The presentation highlighted the potential for mixed-used development in the area, based on the interest shown by similar projects being built along Broad Street. Additionally, the presentation discussed how “nodes” could be created to promote office and retail establishments around places where similar facilities exist – such as at the Flower Building and at the under-construction Harris Teeter project, respectively.
In order to provide feedback for the plan, the audience was broken up into groups that covered topics such as transportation, land use and parks.
Access to parking was one concern that was voiced; a parking hub was suggested, one which would open the rest of the area up for business and community developments and for greater walking accessibility. The presentation mentioned the Mary Riley Styles Public Library as a possible area for structured parking. The need for increasing pedestrian safety at W. Broad and S. Oak streets was also expressed, as was the need for stronger connections across W. Broad Street in general.
City staff will work on a draft plan over the summer before hosting another community meeting in the fall for more public feedback, in the hopes of having a finalized plan approved by this time next year.
Reporting by David Thompson