The Seven Corners Land Use and Transportation Task Force tentatively endorsed a proposal April 8 to improve traffic flow around the severely congested area by adding more road connections.
Whether anything gets done is an open question, however, and the process of determining the specific elements in the plan, obtaining approval from the Board of Supervisors, carrying out public outreach, getting funding, determining how the project would be phased in, and completing the construction would take many years.
Task force members unanimously supported “Concept B—two half diamonds,” although several of them have major concerns about some of the details.
Concept B would relieve congestion where Arlington Boulevard (Route 50), Leesburg Pike (Route 7), and Wilson Boulevard meet by creating an outer ring around that intersection.
Roosevelt Boulevard would be extended via overpasses over Route 50 and Route 7 to Castle Place, said Zach Horowitz of Kittleson. A new road would extend Castle Place via an overpass over Route 50 to Hillwood Avenue, to East Broad Street (Route 7) and to Roosevelt Boulevard.
Another new road would connect Wilson Boulevard to Sleepy Hollow. The existing ramp on westbound Route 50 to Wilson would be eliminated. Instead there would be two new ramps connecting Route 50 to the new ring road in both directions. There would also be another new road connecting Route 7 to Wilson between Peyton Randolph Drive and Patrick Henry Drive. An additional grid of smaller streets is proposed for the area between Route 50 and Wilson.
The task force generally agreed that improving the transportation network in Seven Corners would spur redevelopment in the area. Several members, however, had strong reservations about specific aspects of Concept B, including the feasibility of cutting through the Seven Corners Shopping Center, which the owner of that property opposes, and the exact location of the overpass over Route 50.
Concept B would improve access to the East Falls Church Metro station. It would also include new trails and sidewalks to improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The construction cost for Concept B is estimated at $75 million to $95 million, Horowitz said. That doesn’t include the costs for design, maintenance, or the taking of property. About five miles of new road would be added.