Fairfax Boulevard is planned to be a complete / green corridor connecting the four-lane West Virginia Route 9 at the intersection of Potomac Marketplace to the Commerce Corridor. It will be the only direct entrance and exit in and out of the City of Ranson without a railroad crossing. Fairfax Boulevard will provide direct access to:
- Commerce Corridor
- Jefferson Memorial Hospital
- Jefferson County Ambulance Authority
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Old Town Ranson
- Charles Town
In 2010 the City of Ranson, WV and its partner the City of Charles Town were awarded $980,000 in joint U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) TIGER Planning and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Challenge grants for a $1.4 million total project to plan and engineer a “Green Corridor Revitalization” that will link a “complete street” improvement of the main commercial roadway (Fairfax Boulevard-George Street) to a new regional Commuter Center for bus and rail transit access.
The first phase of the construction of George and Fairfax Boulevard from Washington Street in Charles Town to 12th Avenue was nearly complete in 2016. The City of Ranson began engineering to complete the next section of Fairfax Boulevard from 12th Avenue to 15th Avenue. This section of the boulevard has been affectionately called the “Peanut” because of its form. This innovative design celebrates the Lakeland Place Oval shown on Ranson’s original plat while address the alignment of the new development patterns at the edge of the City. This iconic traffic calming solution is the bridge between Ranson’s past and future.
The remaining two blocks of Fairfax Boulevard will provide the missing link of Fairfax Boulevard and a connection to Leetown Pike/ 16th Avenue. This final extension of the green corridor linking together the traditional development patterns of the City with new development, undeveloped land, and outlying areas of the City, that combines traditional neighborhood and mixed-use development with green infrastructure. Fairfax Boulevard is a demonstration project that show how small towns on the fringe of a major metropolitan area like the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area can foster sustainable economic development, clean transportation, and community livability with the right planning and infrastructure investments.
Green Corridor Plans
The historic and adjacent downtowns of Ranson and Charles Town are linked by a 1.5 mile corridor that runs along Fairfax Boulevard in Ranson, through Lancaster Circle and then merges into George Street as it enters Charles Town.
Ranson and Charles Town are committed to making this Fairfax Boulevard - George Street roadway, referred to within this narrative as the Green Corridor, the foundation of a vibrant, mixed-use downtown neighborhood that is transit-oriented, walkable and cyclist-friendly, enabling residents to live where they work and play while also providing them with easy and affordable access to regional job centers and community facilities.
Benefits and OutcomesFairfax Boulevard is a critical route that extends the existing sustainable transportation investments that link key community, housing, and economic centers along a Green Corridor. This corridor is the foundation of a vibrant, mixed-use downtown neighborhood that is transit-oriented, walkable and cyclist-friendly, enabling residents to live where they work and play while also providing them with easy and affordable access to regional job centers and community facilities.
- Advancing the Pioneering WV Effort – Phase 1 of Fairfax Boulevard is serving as a national model of transit-ready development, complete streets, community revitalization and land use-transportation integration.
- Connection to medical services. WVU Jefferson Medical Campus has announced a $25 million dollar expansion with a medical tower and patient entrance that will front onto Fairfax Boulevard. Valley Health has purchased 4.5 acres of land adjacent to Fairfax for a new medical office building. This missing link will provide a direct transportation connection to these medical facilities and Route 9.
- Smart Growth Polices and Codes – Ranson has adopted mixed-use land development regulations that key smart growth planning principles into a cohesive, user-friendly Smart Code that is creating walkable, mixed income development in the City. This vision will encourage the development of 450 homes and live-work units adjacent to Fairfax Boulevard.
- National Model – The Ranson’s green corridor project has demonstrated how a transportation investment can be transformative to a community by attracting revitalization and investment into an existing community. Phase 2 will be the model to demonstrate how these principles can be applied to greenfield development adjacent to existing small, rural communities on the fringe of major, sprawling metropolitan areas to achieve a sustainable community.
- Opportunity Zone investments. This census tract has been designated as an Opportunity Zone. the transportation investment into Fairfax Boulevard provide a catalyst and anchor to Opportunity Zone investment.
- Transportation Choice. These last two blocks of Fairfax Boulevard will connect the eastern panhandle’s Regional Bus service. Eastern Panhandle Transit will now have a direct and shorter regional connection from Charles Town the VA Hospital. In addition, expanding regional bus service will also have a center stop on Fairfax Boulevard connecting Martinsburg to the Ashburn, VA Metro Station.
- This last segment of roadway will attract over $70 million dollars of new home development and over $300 million in mixed-use development adjacent to Fairfax Boulevard on vacant land between 12th Avenue and Route 9.
Project Reports and PlansThis project is a regional priority and has been included on the Long Range Transportation Plan of the Hagerstown / Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
The following reports and plans have been developed to memorialize this bold vision for the City:
- The Green Corridor Revitalization Concept Plan
- Ranson Charles Town Green Corridor Revitalization
- Ranson Charles Town Green Corridor Revitalization TIGER II Award
- Fairfax Boulevard Phase 1 Engineering
- Fairfax Boulevard Extension Alternatives Memo
- Fairfax Boulevard Phase 2 Engineering
- Fairfax Boulevard Medical Access Route