Fairfax County has some ideas for short-term fixes that could ease congestion on Dolley Madison Blvd. through McLean, but if traffic grows significantly further down the road, a more substantial overhaul may be needed.
For the first time in almost three years, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation returned to the community with updates on its efforts to address gridlock in the corridor between the Dulles Toll Road and Old Dominion Drive.
At a meeting on May 11, county staff shared revised traffic data and recommendations that they said take into account the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on people’s travel habits as well as infrastructure projects, like the Jones Branch Connector, designed to divert traffic from local roads.
According to the presentation, traffic in the D.C. suburbs is near pre-pandemic levels, with average daily volumes since July returning to about 90% of where they were in 2019, FCDOT project manager Maggie Qi reported.
However, aside from noticeable dips in March-April 2020 and this past January, traffic volumes have stayed relatively level over the past two to three years, and the county anticipates that people working from home will continue to slow growth, at least in the near-future.
“At some point, the ultimate solution would wind up being an interchange, but if we can find a way to keep volumes steady, we may be able to avoid that,” Qi said.
Building off of a 2010 Tysons Neighborhood Study, the Dolley Madison corridor study has been underway since 2017 — long enough that its definition of “short term” has shrunk from 10 to five years, with 2027 as the end of the planned timeframe.
Identifying the Lewinsville Road/Great Falls Street intersection as the corridor’s most problematic, particularly during afternoon peak hours, FCDOT has developed eight possible solutions, six of which come from the last community meeting in 2019:
- Concept 1: Three continuous lanes on eastbound Dolley Madison, providing additional capacity with a new lane after the Dulles Toll Road
- Concept 2: Builds on the first concept by extending the three lanes through Lewinsville/Great Falls
- Concept 3: Eliminate left turns from Balls Hill Road onto Lewinsville, which could get another lane
- Concept 4: A “partial jughandle” with restricted left-turns from Dolley Madison onto Old Dominion in both directions and onto Ingleside Avenue for eastbound traffic
- Concept 5: Widen Lewinsville/Great Falls to add two exclusive left-turn lanes, allowing the traffic signal timing to become more efficient
- Concept 6: Three westbound travel lanes on Dolley Madison from Old Dominion to Lewinsville
Though staff said that it would significantly reduce congestion, the sixth concept is no longer being considered after residents expressed strong opposition, since it would limit access to adjacent neighborhoods from Dolley Madison.
In its place, FCDOT has proposed two new concepts:
- Concept 7: An “option” lane from westbound Dolley Madison that enables drivers to either continue west to Tysons or take the on-ramp to the Dulles Toll Road
- Concept 8: Extend westbound Dolley Madison’s far-right through lane approaching the Lewinsville/Great Falls intersection
FCDOT combined the proposed concepts into two scenarios: the one that appears to be favored by the community, based on past feedback, and one recommended by staff that includes a modified jughead concept, retaining the Old Dominion left-turn restrictions while dropping the one for Ingleside.
“If we don’t include any improvements at Old Dominion Drive, the benefits realized at Great Falls Street and Lewinsville Road are negated by longer queues and delays at Old Dominion, particularly in the eastbound direction,” Qi explained.
According to Qi, both scenarios would improve traffic compared to not doing anything, but the staff-preferred proposal would make a bigger difference, cutting average westbound queues in the afternoon from about 4,000 feet to 200 feet and reducing the travel time from Ingleside to Anderson Road from over eight minutes to around four.
A 30-day public comment period on the study is now open through June 10. Qi said that anyone who needs more time can contact her directly at Maggie.Qi@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Photo via Google Maps
With the Silver Line Phase II opening still in flux, Fairfax County is being asked to pay another $40 million. At its transportation committee meeting on Friday (Sept. 30), the…
Fairfax County is seeking public input on plans that could put Trailside Park (6000 Trailside Drive) in Springfield in a new light and add more utility to the location. A…
This Tuesday is National Taco Day and Neighborhood lists some local favorites to grab tacos at.
Recent violent incidents around Vienna included a confrontation between a man and two others leaving his apartment and a battle between a local resident and an Amazon delivery truck. The…
Looking for a more convenient way to work out?
On the Go Fitness Pro offers in home personal training. We bring the gym to you, so you can save time and skip the hassle of going to the gym. Plus, our trainers are certified and experienced, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible workout.
We provide all the equipment needed for a great workout or we can use the equipment that you have.
Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.
Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.
Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.
Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.
Join us on Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 1 pm to 3 pm where it all began in 2012 at the Hartke Building parking lot. We coalesced around a common vision, and purpose and have moved forward with unwavering community