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More signs to deter speeding planned for Blake Lane after fatal crash

(Updated at 5 p.m.) Fairfax County is expanding an increased fine zone and installing more road signs along Blake Lane in an effort to discourage speeding and make the road safer after a fatal crash in June.

The Board of Supervisors approved a plan yesterday (Aug. 2) to put up several safety-oriented road signs in the Blake Lane corridor, including five “Watch for Children” signs and “$200 Additional Fine for Speeding” signs.

One “Watch for Children” sign will be placed on Steve Martin Drive, between Five Oaks Road and Blake Lane, while another will go near the Lidenbrook Street and Blake Lane intersection. Three more will be installed on Kingsbridge Drive near Blake Lane.

The county will pay the combined $1,100 needed for the creation and installation of these signs, which should be in place in about two to four weeks, Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik’s office says.

Drivers who break Blake Lane’s 35 mph speed limit will now face an additional $200 fine between Sutton Road and Route 29. The county already approved an enhanced fine on a 0.8-mile stretch of the corridor from Jermantown Road to Sutton last year.

The $500 needed for the new signs to Route 29 will be paid by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

A “prompt installation” of all the signage is expected, but a county spokesperson was unable to provide a more exact timeframe for when all the signs will be up.

The signs come after two Oakton High School students were killed on June 7 while walking on a sidewalk near the intersection of Five Oaks Road and Blake Lane. The driver who hit them was allegedly going around 81 mph and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The signs are part of the county’s Residential Traffic Administration Program (RTAP) that “works directly with communities to decrease the impacts of traffic and enhance safety in area neighborhoods.”

For signs of this nature, particular criteria need to be met. For the $200 fine, it must be a road with a local or minor road with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less and have at least 600 cars per day, with 85% of them driving at least 10 mph over the speed limit.

“Watch for Children” signs can be installed at neighborhood entrances or locations with “an extremely high concentration of children.” This includes playgrounds, daycare centers, and community centers.

Besides signs, the program can also install traffic calming measures, cut-thru mitigation, and through-truck restrictions.

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