Walkable Amazon HQ2 – What’s in Reach?

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Katy Lang Tweet Us @walkarlington@walkarlington September 11, 2019

Katy Lang is the Program Director for Active Transportation. She started living car-free in Arlington in 2010 and is passionate about finding great running routes and safety for people walking and biking.

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Since Amazon expects that most of its HQ2 employees will bike, walk, or take public transportation to work, we got curious: what would it be like to commute to Amazon HQ2? What’s within reach?

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, Amazon’s HQ2 is coming to Arlington. Like many companies that choose to locate in Arlington, our connectivity and multitude of transportation options were a big draw for the Seattle-based giant. Transportation continues to be an important part of the conversation as residents, workers, County staff, and developers plan for HQ2 at National Landing (otherwise known as Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard).

Walkable Amazon

Amazon’s vision for its National Landing headquarters has walkability integrated into the neighborhood—not a walled-off campus, but a place welcoming for people who are working, living, and playing nearby. Walkers will be the primary users of the new development going up at Metropolitan Park, according to the transportation assessment for the property. Plus, Amazon will offer transit benefits and 600+ bike parking spots to Arlington employees.

Given Amazon’s emphasis on transportation options and connectivity to the neighborhood (Amazon expects around 2/3 of its Arlington staff will bike, walk, or take public transportation to work), we got curious: what would it be like to walk, bike, or take transit to Amazon HQ2? What’s within reach?

We used Arlington’s custom travelshed tool to find out. A travel shed is a map of how far you can go using one kind of transportation (e.g., walking) from a central location.  Michael Schade, Mobility Lab’s Senior Tech Advisor, built the Arlington Travelsheds tool. Rather than displaying a simple circle with the average distance someone can walk in 20 minutes, his tool takes into account real obstacles, like buildings, bridges, and rivers.

What’s Walkable to National Landing?

Crystal City and Pentagon City are already walkable neighborhoods. Within a 20-minute walk of Amazon HQ2, we can reach Long Bridge Park, the Pentagon, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, the airport, and nine parks including the Mount Vernon Trail. We can also access shopping hubs like 23rd Street in Crystal City, Pentagon Row, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, and the Crystal City Shops.

Travel shed map of what is walkable to National Landing

What’s Bikeable to National Landing?

Via a 20-minute bike ride, we can reach even more! HQ2 is reachable in 20 minutes or less from as far as Del Ray in Alexandria or Penrose in Arlington. We can enjoy the Mount Vernon Trail, Potomac Yard Trail, and the Four Mile Run Trail, not to mention miles of bike lanes.

Travel shed map of what is bikeable to National Landing

What’s Transit-Accessible to National Landing?

Shaw, Capitol Hill, and Fairlington are just a 20-minute transit trip from Amazon HQ2! Also within reach are neighborhoods experiencing a lot of housing growth and pressure, such as DC’s Southwest Waterfront and Alexandria. Commuters can take Metrorail’s Yellow or Blue lines, hop on Metroway (the region’s only Bus Rapid Transit System), ride the Virginia Railway Express, or make one of dozens of regional and local bus connections. Once at our stop in National Landing, it’s an easy walk to Amazon HQ2.

Travel shed map of what is transit accessible to National Landing

Thanks to Arlington’s great transportation options and walkable neighborhoods, Amazon employees will be well set up to walk, bike, or take transit to work. Curious to know what’s within your residence or work’s travel shed?

Call to Action - Map My Neighborhood Travel Shed

Image credit: Michael Schade, Google Maps

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