Task Force Backs Road Improvements

Task Force Backs Road Improvements

Widenings and realignments recommended.

Mount Vernon District's Area Plan Review Task Force acted on the first five proposals under its review.

The task force will make recommendations regarding nominations to amend the Fairfax County comprehensive plan.

It dealt with the following subjects and brought forth recommendations:

ADDING INFORMATION regarding transportation goals for the Lower Potomac Planning District that pertain to the Route 1 corridor. The task force approved the staff alternatives, which included the following changes to Richmond Highway over the next 20 years:

* Widen to six lanes from Fort Hunt Road to Franklin Street in Alexandria.

* Develop and implement a Service Road Design Plan and Map between the Capital Beltway and the Occuquan River.

* Establish regular bus service between Huntington Metro Station and the Lorton commuter rail station.

* Widen to six travel lanes from Buckman Road/Route 235 intersection to the Prince William County line. Limit access to Route 1 between the Capital Beltway and the Occuquan River to signalized intersections, grade separation interchanges, slip ramps and service roads to the maximum extent possible.

* Provide trails within the public right-of-way and sidewalk access between the Capital Beltway and Occuquan River to serve adjacent residential and commercial development.

* Connect all traffic signals to a centrally controlled and performance monitored computer system while minimizing the addition of new traffic signals at any intersection currently without signals.

* Construct grade separated interchanges to accommodate major turning movements only where they will not adversely impact adjacent commercial or residential development and/or historic areas.

* To pay for transportation improvements create an impact fee, contribution formula, a special tax district or other mechanism to assess fees on any new commercial and residential projects along the corridor that involves an increase in density from present levels.

IN THE SERVICE ROADS section under transportation goals for the Route 1 Corridor, the task force approved the following staff recommendation:

* Develop and implement a Service Road Design Plan and Map for Richmond Highway between the Capital Beltway and the Occuquan River. Consider developing one-way versus two-way service roads. "Until such a Service Road Design Plan is adopted, all development or redevelopment of properties fronting on Richmond Highway should provide or should dedicate land for a service road, with appropriate setback from the main roadway at signalized intersections."

IN CLARIFYING the nature of the intersection improvements recommended, the task force approved the nomination, which recommended improving the alignment of the Old Mount Vernon Highway/Mount Vernon Highway intersection.

This would improve the alignment so that northbound Old Mount Vernon Road traffic will turn onto Mount Vernon Highway at a right angle.

RETAINING THE ADOPTED plan rather than making additions to provide for Old Mill Road to be designated a historic by-way. They based their decision on the following facts:

* Old Mill Road "is functionally classified as a collector roadway and does not have a Virginia scenic byway or historic byway designation."

* To be so designated "a historic byway designation would first need to be approved and adopted by the Virginia General Assembly" and "the county transportation plan does not make such recommendations, but merely acknowledges the designation once it has been adopted by the legislature."

IN DEALING WITH HOOES Road between Ox Road and Silverbrook Road, the nomination sought to remove requirements that the road be studied before it is widened to four lanes and that the study be contingent upon completing all other planned transportation improvements in the area. The task force voted to retain the adopted plan. Their rationale included:

* The original impetus for this recommendation was concern that Hooes Road would develop into a cut-through route" in advance of other improvements being made in the area.

* The Laurel Hill Transportation Study, scheduled for completion this spring, demonstrates a need for a four-lane Hooes Road by 2015. "However, funds have yet to be programmed for construction of arterial roadway improvements in the Laurel Hill area."

* Improvements to Hooes Road should be phased in three sections with Hooes Road from Route 123 to Furnace Road should be improved to four lanes in conjunction with Route 123 improvements.

The second phase would allow Hooes Road from Silverbrook Road to Fairfax County Parkway to be improved to four lanes to accommodate traffic generated by existing development.

The third phase would create a four-lane right-of-way to be reserved for future development from Furnace to Silverbrook Roads "when the Lorton Reservation is proposed for redevelopment." Prior to that time "consideration should be given to improving the existing substandard two lane road to VDOT standards." Making this section of Hooes Road four lanes "should only be considered after the completion of other planned major arterial improvements in the area."