The National Park Service has announced five entrance fee-free days in 2020, as shown below. On these days, all national parks will waive entrance fees.
Entrance fees for the Great Falls area at both Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (MD) and Great Falls Park (VA) will increase on January 1, 2020 as part of the National Park Service's ongoing efforts to address infrastructure needs and improve future visitor experiences.
Effective January 1, 2020 the fee schedule is as follows:
Per Vehicle $20
Per Person $10
Per Motorcycle $15
Park-Specific Annual Pass $35
Passes purchased at either park are valid at both parks.
All money collected from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service (NPS), with at least 80 percent retained locally at C&O Canal and the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
The Great Falls Annual Park Pass allows access on both the Virginia and Maryland side of the Potomac River and pays for itself in two visits, allowing visitors to enjoy daily changes in the river levels and the seasonal changes in the park. The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, active duty members of the U.S. military, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.
Information shown above drawn from the NPS website. For more information, see https://www.nps.gov/grfa/learn/news/great-falls-entrance-fees-to-increase-january-1.htm.
On Saturday, September 28, 2019 the National Park Service (NPS) is waiving entrance fees at national parks across the country to celebrate National Public Lands Day.
While Great Falls National Park (GFNP) should be sufficiently staffed to keep both entrance lanes open for pass sales and general information, the predicted sunny weather, along with the opportunity to enjoy the park at no cost, may result in backups on Old Dominion Drive from the park entrance.
U.S. Park Police will be at the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Georgetown Pike and will close the road once the park nears capacity. Residents should check social media, including Waze, https://www.511virginia.org, https://wtop.com/traffic/, etc., and plan their route accordingly.
The National Park Service (NPS) will be turning 103 on Sunday, August 25th (Founders Day). To celebrate the occasion, the entrance fee to national parks across the country, including Great Falls National Park (GFP), will be waived.
While NPS is increasing its staff at GFP on Sunday and U.S. Park Police will be assisting with traffic management, the predicted sunny weather and milder temperatures, along with the opportunity to enjoy the park at no cost, may result in backups on Old Dominion Drive from the park entrance. Based on experience, a backup could reach the intersection of Georgetown Pike and Old Dominion Drive, thereby impacting through traffic on both roads.
NPS will be providing updates on the park via social media. Residents should check Waze, https://www.511virginia.org, https://wtop.com/traffic/, etc. and plan their route accordingly.
Please join VDOT in early May to learn more about the Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project, including the latest on the project design and schedule. VDOT staff will be present to answer questions on stormwater management, right-of-way, environmental issues, traffic engineering, and sound barriers. An overview of the upcoming construction work in 2019 will also be provided.
During construction, VDOT will periodically hold "Pardon Our Dust" meetings to share upcoming work phases and schedules.
VDOT’s 2016 plan for a partial interchange on Route 7, with an underpass for the eastbound lanes at Baron Cameron Avenue, is being abandoned due to a lack of funding. Unfortunately, the estimated cost and approved budget for the project were lower than the bids received and VDOT has determined that this intersection would be the one sacrificed. VDOT is now working with its contractor on an at-grade intersection with three left turn lanes from westbound Route 7 onto Baron Cameron Avenue. However, it is felt that this solution will not sufficiently address traffic flow at this intersection over the long-term.
The Baron Cameron intersection is currently one of the most congested along Route 7. During rush hours, drivers waiting to turn left off of Route 7 onto Baron Cameron lead to back-ups in the westbound through lanes. Back-ups also occur in the eastbound lanes as drivers wait for those turning left onto Baron Cameron as well as those traveling north and south across Route 7. The originally planned underpass would allow eastbound Route 7 traffic to continue without stopping for a light, thereby reducing wait times. It would also improve traffic flow between Great Falls and Reston.
Given the state’s process for funding transportation projects, GFCA understands that it will be at least 2028 before Fairfax County can submit an application to fund the originally planned partial interchange on Route 7 at Baron Cameron. If you feel that taxpayers shouldn’t have to wait another 10 or more years, then contact your elected representatives for Virginia – Senator Barbara Favola (email@example.com ) and Delegate Kathleen Murphy (DelKMurphy@house.virginia.gov) – to voice your concerns and support for funding VDOT’s 2016 design plan NOW.
(A rendering of the originally planned interchange can be found on the project website: http://connectroute7.org/documents/baron_cameron_rendering.pdf).
VDOT representatives, along with 20+ other agencies and 60 response vehicles, will be there to meet with the public and give demonstrations, including those involving K-9 skills, patient extrication, towing recovery, drone crash reconstruction, and tree removal. Fairfax 1, the Crash Reconstruction Unit, VDOT's Traffic Response Vehicle and helicopter will all be showcased.
For further information and demo schedule, see http://vdotopenhouse.eventbrite.com.
Reminder: Information on weekly lane closures on Route 7 are being posted on the Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project website: http://connectroute7.org/news_information/traffic_alerts.asp.
Notice from Supervisor John Foust's Office:
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host the second of two community meetings on efforts to identify potential congestion solutions for neighborhoods near the Beltway on October 18. VDOT and County staff will give an update on input received since the first community meeting in early August, and be available to answer questions.
Thursday, October 18, 7:00 p.m.
McLean High School
1633 Davidson Road, McLean
Over the last year, VDOT and the County have been working with residents as part of a traffic study to address neighborhood access and congestion concerns. The study examined potential short-term, intermediate, and long-term improvements. Recent short-term improvements made include additional signs, pavement markings, traffic cameras, and shoulder improvements for police enforcement.
VDOT is seeking input on one of the proposals, a potential pilot project that would evaluate limiting access from Georgetown Pike to northbound I-495 during weekday afternoon/evening periods. The proposal would only move forward if enough support is received.
Visit the study page for more details and meeting materials. Residents and commuters are invited to send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 12 and are asked to include "McLean Area Traffic Analysis" in the subject line.
Please feel free to share this information with your friends and neighbors.
The following message was received from Shirley Contracting, the company hired by VDOT for the Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project:
Anticipated lane closures on Route 7 for the week of October 9-13, 2018 are shown in the attached document. RT 7 WEEKLY LANE CLOSURES 2018-10-09 REV3.pdf: Night work along the bridge over Difficult Run (between Carpers Farm Way/Colvin Run Road and Middleton Ridge Road) is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13.
All work is subject to change based on weather and schedule. A list of anticipated lane closures can also be found on the Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project web site at connectroute7.org/news_information/traffic_alerts.asp.
Please note that Washington Gas crews are also working behind barriers along the corridor as part of the concurrent pipe replacement project weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This work will not require lane closures.
For the latest information on travel conditions and work zones, please visit 511virginia.org or download the Virginia511 app.
The opinions expressed on these pages are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the Great Falls Citizens Association
Great Falls Citizens Association
PO Box 27 • Great Falls, VA • 22066