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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Seven Corners task force endorses concept for improving transportation flow


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.

Concept B
Task force members reviewed three options outlined by Kittleson and Associates, a transportation consulting firm hired by the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization. Those options were developed after the Task Force reviewed a longer list of possibilities in December.

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.

8 comments:

  1. Regardless if people do no like this proposal. Any change to this area would be an improvement. Doing nothing is not an option. The intersection of 50, 7, Wilson and Sleepy Hollow is so confusing even to locals I could only imagine how lost people get that are not familiar with the area.

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  2. I've never found 7 Corners confusing at all. Perhaps more concentrating on driving, and less cell phone yakking and texting would make it easier to navigate.

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  3. Ive been driving through Seven Corners since before cell phones, and it's been confusing the people around me the entire time. (And it confused me for the first 100 times I went through it from different directions.) If you think cell phones are the problem, you'd be wrong.

    Besides, confusing is only half the problem. Have you seen how far Route 7 backs up at peak times? Down past Koons toward Falls Church and to Sears in the other direction. And if you're on Sleepy Hollow or Wilson? Good luck.

    I don't think they'll ever build out all of these roads--but connecting Sleepy Hollow to Wilson and changing the Route 50 interchanges alone would be a vast improvement.

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  4. And how much is this going to cost?

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    1. $75-95 million just for construction costs. Acquiring right of way is a different issue. Likely it won't ever be built due to the cost of the project.

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  5. I've been driving through Seven Corners since the early 1960s, I live in Bailey's Crossroads on Route 7, and drive through there every day. So yes I am quite familiar with it. And what I see is people on cell phones trying to kill me, pretty much all the time, day and night. There's your confusion.

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    1. And as we all know, it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

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  6. People avoid 7 Corners and the shopping there (almost) at all costs. I understand the interchange but getting around is difficult and frustrating even when traffic is lighter. Drivers don't pay attention to the road signs. For example the turn from EB Rt. 7 onto Wilson Blvd and Rt. 50 (EB). The left most turn lane is left turn only onto Wilson Blvd. The other left turn lane is for a turn onto Wilson or straight onto Rt. 50. But, drivers routinely use the inside left-turn lane to continue straight onto the ramp to Rt. 50 (EB) and almost colliding with cars on their right who can also turn left onto Wilson. I've had many close calls and seen many accidents due to driver error.

    There were 3 design concepts, A-C. (http://www.fcrevit.org/baileys/7corners.htm). Concept B makes the most sense and would help traffic flow around the business district. I understand why the owner of the Seven Corners Shopping Center is opposed to the concept, but he/she needs to realize how much better his business would be if people could get to his shopping center.

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