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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Speed humps proposed for Wayne Drive

Plans are under way to gage community interest in installing two speed humps on Wayne Drive in Annandale’s Broyhill Crest neighborhood as a “traffic calming” measure.

At a community meeting at the Mason District Government Center Dec. 9, residents reviewed the conceptual plan drafted by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT). Residents of affected streets will be given a chance to vote on the proposal, and if they approve it, it will go to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for a final decision.
The proposed Wayne Drive traffic calming plan calls for two speed humps between Gallows Road and Murray Lane. One would be at 7313 and 7314 Wayne Drive, which is just before the first Crest Drive intersection as one enters the neighborhood from Gallows Road. That is a short block from the Lacey site, where a new school is under construction. The other speed hump would be at 7215 and 7216, about half way between the second Crest Drive intersection and Murray Lane.

To be eligible for traffic calming measures, a residential street must have a daily volume of between 600 and 4,000 vehicles a day and either an average speed of 30 mph or be in the 85th percentile in terms of vehicles traveling at 35 mph or more. Wayne Drive’s volume is 1,265. Average speed was clocked at 26 mph, and it’s 85th percentile speed was 35 mph. The posted speed limit is 25 mph.

The community vote would include all residents who must use Wayne Drive to get to their homes. Each house would get one vote. At least 50 percent of households in the ballot area must vote, and at least 60 percent of the ballots must favor the traffic calming proposal for it be approved.

According to FCDOT, the speed humps would be 12 feet long and 3 inches high. FCDOT says “research has found these dimensions to be the best compromise between being severe enough to slow most vehicles, yet forgiving enough to not unduly impact emergency response times.” A speed hump can slow fire trucks and other emergency vehicles by about 3 to 10 seconds.

FCDOT also says speed humps that are only 3 inches high would not hinder snow removal but could lead to increased noise level “where the total percent of heavy truck traffic volume is 20 percent or greater.”

“There is no evidence to suggest that traffic calming measures either raise or lower residential property values,” FCDOT says. “It is likely that for every person who feels they detract from the value of a property, there is another who feels their safety benefits add to the value of a property.”

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