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Author Topic: Funding possible for 16 Northern Virginia road and 26 transit projects  (Read 1921 times)

cpzilliacus

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WTOP Radio: Funding possible for 16 Northern Virginia road and 26 transit projects

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FAIRFAX, Va. - The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is one step closer to deciding which projects will get funding in July from the state's newly passed transportation package.

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The group developed a list of 16 roadway projects and 26 transit projects that could get money immediately.

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"We believe it is imperative that we get as many projects underway this year as possible," says Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton.

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"The people have to see visually the improvement. People are willing to pay the necessary price if they see the benefits of it."
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D-Dey65

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VRE stations for Haymarket and Gainesville? I had to look those up, and they're pretty close to each other. In any case it has me speculating what kinds of road improvement projects they're actually planning.

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1995hoo

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I know Fairfax County wants some funding for the proposed interchange at Van Dorn and Franconia. I'm not sure what I think about that even though I live right nearby. It's a nice idea in theory if done properly, but it won't solve the real problem in the mornings, which is the backup on the Alexandria part of Van Dorn up to Pickett Street. Several problems through there:

(1) Van Dorn narrows to two lanes at the Beltway.

(2) Assholes drive down the left-turn lane to the Beltway and then try to shove across the striped area into the thru lanes. Worse, some other assholes are all too happy to let them do it, which just encourages them to do it again.

(3) Left-turn lane to the industrial area at the bottom of the hill near the train tracks (Farrington Avenue) is too short for large trucks, but it can't be extended due to the support pillar for the Metrorail overpass.

(4) Traffic going from southbound Van Dorn to eastbound Eisenhower is allowed to make a left turn at the light. There is no reason to allow this because there is a loop-around ramp on the right that takes you around the other side of the townhouses to meet Eisenhower by the Metro station. Getting rid of the left-turn cycle would decrease the red light time for northbound Van Dorn traffic. The City of Alexandria refuses to consider banning the left turn there, however.

(5) Eastbound Eisenhower to southbound Van Dorn could be changed in the same way as #4, but it might not work as well because it would introduce the problem of merging onto Van Dorn in a short amount of space.

(6) The light at the asphalt company (Courtney Avenue) sometimes cycles even when the industrial property is closed or when nobody is coming out of there. It ought to be a trip signal that activates on demand only.

(7) There is no right-turn lane from northbound Van Dorn to Pickett Street, meaning people turning right have to slow to a crawl to get around the corner, holding up the thru traffic; also, there's always somebody going straight, so people can't really go right on red there. Adding a right-turn lane might require a bit of regrading, but it wouldn't be a huge project.


In other words, the interchange at Van Dorn and Franconia will just speed the progress of people headed into the existing backup. From my house it's not that unusual for it to take half an hour in the morning to go from that intersection to the Van Dorn Metro (so we don't bother; we go to Springfield instead).

On the southbound side, I'd be happy to see the intersection replaced because there are so many morons who can't figure out how the lanes work and who try to go straight out of the left-turn lanes or who drive in the left lane and want to go right. (As to the first of these, VDOT is partly at fault: There's no sign on the LEFT warning that the left lane becomes left-turn-only. As to the second, it's typical Virginia driver dumbassedness.) On the other hand, I wonder if we'd soon start seeing people doing 70 mph under the new overpass. That's a problem with the 35-mph zone in Kingstowne that leads up to a traffic light at the next intersection to the south.
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cpzilliacus

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I know Fairfax County wants some funding for the proposed interchange at Van Dorn and Franconia. I'm not sure what I think about that even though I live right nearby. It's a nice idea in theory if done properly, but it won't solve the real problem in the mornings, which is the backup on the Alexandria part of Van Dorn up to Pickett Street.

I come through there somewhat often, and it seems like there is always a tremendous amount of traffic desiring to make a left.  A properly-designed interchange should help matters, and make it easier for pedestrians to get through there.

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(1) Van Dorn narrows to two lanes at the Beltway.

And that is a steep, steep grade (downhill north, uphill south). 

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(2) Assholes drive down the left-turn lane to the Beltway and then try to shove across the striped area into the thru lanes. Worse, some other assholes are all too happy to let them do it, which just encourages them to do it again.

Though I have seen (at other places) the Fairfax County Police on rectal-opening detail, where they are on the lookout for persons operating motor vehicles in rectal-opening mode.  Something never seen in the District of Columbia.

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(3) Left-turn lane to the industrial area at the bottom of the hill near the train tracks (Farrington Avenue) is too short for large trucks, but it can't be extended due to the support pillar for the Metrorail overpass.

I wonder if there was an assumption that the industrial activities would move away once Metrorail got there?

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(4) Traffic going from southbound Van Dorn to eastbound Eisenhower is allowed to make a left turn at the light. There is no reason to allow this because there is a loop-around ramp on the right that takes you around the other side of the townhouses to meet Eisenhower by the Metro station. Getting rid of the left-turn cycle would decrease the red light time for northbound Van Dorn traffic. The City of Alexandria refuses to consider banning the left turn there, however.

Maybe they see that left turn as a way to discourage Fairfax County residents from driving into their city?

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In other words, the interchange at Van Dorn and Franconia will just speed the progress of people headed into the existing backup. From my house it's not that unusual for it to take half an hour in the morning to go from that intersection to the Van Dorn Metro (so we don't bother; we go to Springfield instead).

Yeah, that sounds like a smarter way to reach the Metro from a large swath of Fairfax County. 

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On the southbound side, I'd be happy to see the intersection replaced because there are so many morons who can't figure out how the lanes work and who try to go straight out of the left-turn lanes or who drive in the left lane and want to go right. (As to the first of these, VDOT is partly at fault: There's no sign on the LEFT warning that the left lane becomes left-turn-only. As to the second, it's typical Virginia driver dumbassedness.) On the other hand, I wonder if we'd soon start seeing people doing 70 mph under the new overpass. That's a problem with the 35-mph zone in Kingstowne that leads up to a traffic light at the next intersection to the south.

It's also a typically huge Northern Virginia intersection that frequently  fails - especially because of the left turns, which consume massive amounts of intersection capacity.
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Opinions expressed here on AAROADS are strictly personal and mine alone, and do not reflect policies or positions of MWCOG, NCRTPB or their member federal, state, county and municipal governments or any other agency.

 


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