|Route 7 in Seven Corners on a weekday afternoon.|
The consultant working with the Seven Corners Land Use and Transportation Task Force has developed six alternatives for rerouting traffic through the heavily congested Route7/Route 50/Wilson Boulevard interchange and has narrowed them down to four options for further study.
Zachary Horowitz of Kittleson & Associates presented the alternatives to the task force Dec. 17. He said the goal is to move traffic through Seven Corners more efficiently by reducing congestion and making the area more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists.
The options developed by Kittleson are based on the preliminary land use concepts discussed by the task force, the results of the transportation design charette held by the task force in August, feedback from the public, and input from Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization staff.
Kittleson evaluated the six options according to a list of criteria, such as whether they improve mobility, align with the Seven Corners task force’s ideas for land use, and impact on neighborhoods. As a result, three of the options were considered not viable.
Kittleson recommended the remaining options for further study:
- Alternative #2: Split diamond with couplet on Route 7—A new route parallel to Route 7 between South Street and just west of Patrick Henry Drive would allow for one-way traffic on both roads. Roosevelt Boulevard would be extended to Sleepy Hollow Road. Wilson Boulevard would be terminated in a cul-de-sac before reaching the Seven Corners intersection. There would be two new overpasses on Route 50. Several smaller roads would be added to create a local grid network. (More details and maps are available online.)
- Alternative #4: Two half-diamond interchanges—A ring would be created around the Seven Corners interchange, and Roosevelt Boulevard would be connected to Sleepy Hollow. Two ramp terminals would provide additional overcrossings on Route 50, and there would be a third new overcrossing. Some Route 7/Route 50 traffic would be diverted away from the Seven Corners interchange, and the interchange would become the intersection of Route 7, Wilson Boulevard, and Sleepy Hollow Road.
- Alternative #6: Jug handle configuration—The Seven Corners interchange would become the intersection of Route 7 and Wilson Boulevard/Sleepy Hollow Road with a new road cutting through the Buffalo Hill neighborhood. Access to and from routes 50 and 7 would primarily be via right turns at at-grade ramps outside of the interchange area. Hillwood Avenue would connect to local streets and westbound Route 50 via South Street.
The task force asked Kittleson to also consider Alternative #5. It would connect Wilson Boulevard with Sleepy Hollow Road and a network of streets. It's the least costly option, said task force co-chair John Thillman, and “it’s the only one that doesn’t knock down a lot of buildings and cut through shopping centers and neighborhoods.”
Thillman suggested the final plan will likely be a hybrid combining elements from more than one option. He likes the idea of connecting Roosevelt Boulevard with Route 50, but doesn’t think a proposal to cut through neighborhoods will have much of a chance. “I don’t want to come up with a plan that will never get built,” he said.