ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is considering Route 1 improvements in Crystal City; one of five projects the Commonwealth of Virginia agreed to pursue when Amazon chose Arlington County for its HQ2. 

The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) released three designs as part of its Reimagine Route 1 report. 

“The aim of the report that we put out was to start a conversation to think boldly about the future of Route 1 and make it a people-centric design that can create a truly connected downtown district,” said Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, the BID’s president and executive director.

True to its mission to beautify National Landing and put people first, the BID’s designs accommodate multiple modes of transportation, transforming Route 1 from “auto-centric” to “people-centric.” Sayegh Gabriel says the elevated highway is a “physical and psychological barrier” between “two vibrant areas” with intersections that are often difficult to navigate. 

“The elevated portions require you to traverse underpasses if you’re a biker or a pedestrian,” she said. “So nothing really delivers on the experience of a great place and a safe and comfortable environment.” 

In addition to multimodal transportation, the BID believes reconfiguring Route 1 would free up space for widened sidewalks, landscaping, and more development, like housing.