“Friend of the Occoquan” License Plate

Posted by Lou on August 18, 2014 in Announcements, Town News, Transportation

Occoquan River Communities (ORC) is sponsoring an initiative to create a special “Friend of the Occoquan” regional license plate.

The brainchild of Polka Dot Diva’s co-owner Kristyn Gleason, the effort is being led by Betty Dean, the President of ORC, and the special plate has been designed by local artist Donna Merchant.

In order to get the Commonwealth of Virginia to approve creation of the plate, ORC must collect at least 450 completed, paid applications for the plate before January 30, 2015.

Fees for the special plate are $25 for a non-personalized plate and $35 for a personalized one.  Click here to complete an application.

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Commuter Ferry Coming to Occoquan?

Posted by Lou on October 30, 2013 in Occoquan River, Potomac River, Transportation, Washington DC News

PH2009050803906Some would call the Potomac River northern Virginia’s most underused highway. But commuters may be putting that highway to work in the future. A year-long study found that four possible routes across the Potomac, Anacostia and Occoquan rivers have enough demand to support a daily water taxi service.

The study reports that approximately $30 million in capital improvements would be required for a Woodbridge-to-Washington route. The scenario assumes a base of operations from Alexandria or the airport. Longer-distance water taxis from Woodbridge, Fort Washington and Charles County would have “a much better probability of success if built from a solid base” of commuter operations.

The last time the proposed Occoquan-DC water taxi caught attention was in 2009:

According to WJLA, for the third time in eight years, Prince William County will once again be testing the viability of a ferry service from the county to the district.

There’s no single funding source that ferry proponents have identified to pay for the service, if it gets approved. County officials say that about $600 million from the federal economic stimulus package could help cover construction costs for docks at ferry stations.

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Many Trails Lead to Occoquan

Posted by Lou on October 21, 2012 in Hiking, Transportation

Occoquan Hiking Trail

Autumn is a great time to explore the great outdoors. If you live in or around Occoquan, you can take advantage of a network of hiking, biking and paddling trails that wind around and through town. In fact, there are 5 notable trails that pass through Occoquan:

U.S. Bike Route 1  is a cross-country bicycle route that runs the length of the United States eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine.

The East Coast Greenway is a developing trail system, spanning nearly 3,000 miles as it winds its way between Canada and Key West, linking all the major cities of the eastern seaboard. Over 25 percent of the route is already on safe, traffic-free paths.

The Occoquan Water Trail is a 40-mile route on two tributary waterways of the Chesapeake Bay. The water trail is best experienced as a paddling adventure, either by kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

The Potomac Heritage Trail network follows the paths explored by George Washington. You can follow the same routes toda on foot, bicycle, horse and by boat.

The Fairfax Cross County Trail connects the entire county from one end to the other, connecting hill and vale, stream, meadow and urbanized landscapes along the way.

If you are planning to explore the wild side of Occoquan, AllTrails is a great website and app to help you rediscover the outdoors with maps, reviews and photos of many trails. If you are interested in learning more about or promoting the network of trails in Northern Virginia, you should contact the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

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Navigating the Occoquan River

Posted by Lou on November 3, 2011 in Boating News, Buoys & Markers, Occoquan River, Transportation

The Occoquan River contains many aids to navigation, commonly known as buoys or channel markers, which are designed, built and maintained by the United States Coast Guard. While some Aids to Navigation are buoys, many others are day markers. The general purpose is to provide the boating public with a “sense of direction” while on the water.

Generally speaking, green markers are kept to the RIGHT when leaving a harbor and red markers are kept to the RIGHT when returning to harbor, thus coining the famous phrase: “Red, Right, Return”

Click to continue reading “Navigating the Occoquan River”

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HOT Lanes to Connect Occoquan to DC by 2015

Posted by Lou on September 30, 2011 in Redevelopment, Town News, Transportation


Occoquan Rt 95 Rt 395 HOV Lanes

Things are heating up on the $1 Billion dollar project to improve traffic on Routes 95 & 395. VDOT is currently holding “HOT lane forums” throughout the construction area.

The VA Mega Project will add a 3rd lane to the existing HOV lanes in the center portion of the highway. Also, High Occupancy Toll technology (EZ Pass transponders) will automatically bill drivers that do not meet the minimum standard: three or more people in their car, including carpools, motorcycles and transit vehicles.

An overhead sign will show the current toll price for the upcoming segment. VDOT expects tolls to be between 10 cents to about $1 per mile, depending on traffic, with the average trip costing $5 to $6.

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PWC Licenses Arrive

Posted by Lori on February 25, 2009 in Announcements, Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Occoquan River, Potomac River, Transportation

Quick public safety announcement: boating licenses are here. In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law to establish a boating safety education compliance requirement. If you’re under 20 years old, you need a PWC license this summer. If you’re under 35, you’ll need a PWC license next summer. You can find the complete rules and phase-in schedule here.

No worries though, getting your license is pretty easy. You just need to buy a DVD from the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. The DVD is only 60 minutes long, broken out into 10 minute chapters. It looked like the video was filmed by BoatU.S. in 1987. Then you have to take a 50 question multiple choice test (open book) and mail your scantron back with $5.

It took about 2 weeks for us to get our licenses in the mail. We sent a copy to our insurance company and chopped 10% off our boat insurance.

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