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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

HOV lanes considered for Braddock Road

Heavy traffic on Braddock Road at 7 p.m. on a weekday.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is considering several options for relieving congestion on Braddock Road, including high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, intersection improvements, and a transit center to allow more bus service.
Residents check out maps showing options in the Braddock Road study.
Officials from FCDOT gave a presentation on the Braddock Road study for a large crowd of residents at a meeting hosted by Braddock Supervisor John Cook April 25. A citizens task force appointed by Cook in 2014 is also exploring traffic improvements for Braddock Road, and its recommendations are being reviewed as part of the FCDOT analysis.

The study area covers Braddock Road between Guinea Road and Ravensworth Road. (The changes under discussion are not related to the current work underway on Braddock Road.)

If no changes are made, traffic delays through the corridor area would increase by 144 percent during the morning rush hour and 260 percent during the evening peak period by 2040, according to a presentation by FCDOT transportation planner Michael Guarino.

Improvements are being considered for 10 intersections: Guinea Road, Rolling Road, Burke Lake Road, Kings Park Road, Grantham Street, Danbury Forest Drive, Wakefield Chapel Road, the beltway, Port Royal Road, and Ravensworth Road.

For most of those intersections, FCDOT is looking at making them right-turn only for drivers entering Braddock Road. People trying to turn left onto Braddock would have to make a U-turn. At the beltway, the plan calls for the southbound I-495 ramp to Port Royal Road to be relocated and the northbound I-495 ramp to eastbound Braddock Road to be realigned.

According to Guarino, there would be significant traffic improvements if the intersection improvements are made whether or not an additional lane is added to Braddock Road. The HOV lanes won’t work, however, unless the intersections are improved, too. 

The option for widening Braddock Road calls for an additional general purpose lane or an HOV lane between Burke Lake Road and the beltway. As a result, Braddock would go from three to four lanes in each direction.

There are two options for the HOV lanes: on the inside of the road next to a grassy median or on the outer edge of the road. Both options call for a bicycle lane on the outer edge separated from  the traffic lanes by a grassy median.

If a decision is made to widen Braddock Road between the beltway and Burke Lake Road, Guarino says, it won’t be effective unless an additional lane is also added between Burke Lake Road and Guinea Road.

According to FCDOT Director Tom Biesiadny, the right of way along Braddock Road is so wide, the additional lanes can be created without tearing down any homes.

There are four options for a transit center: on the western side of the Northern Virginia (NOVA) Training Center, the eastern side of the NOVA Training Center, the Kings Park Shopping Center with surface parking, and the Kings Park Shopping Center with garage parking. The NOVA Training Center, a state agency, closed in March. The property is likely to be redeveloped at a some point.

A transit center would allow more bus routes, including connections to local bus service and transfers to express buses, and improved access to Metro stations. It would have commuter parking, a kiss-and-ride area, bicycle storage, safe pedestrian and bicycle access, and a ticketing booth.

According to Cook, the county has funding to complete about 75 percent of the Braddock Road project. Funding for extending an additional lane to Guinea Road is not available.

Next steps include more in-depth traffic modeling on the Braddock corridor, an analysis of the traffic impact at the transit center sites, and development of preferred alternatives. There will be another community meeting in November.

FCDOT is soliciting feedback from the public. Submit comments online.


  1. Adding more lanes is not going to solve traffic congestion. People need to learn how to merge into traffic. But we will keeping wasting money and Braddock Road will forever be a mess!

  2. I'd like VDOT to install lane reflectors along Braddock and Arlington Blvds. The glare from the overhead lights make the white lines difficult to see on rainy evenings.

  3. Do the proposed roads get the pot hole feature ever other road here has?

    1. Exactly! I'm still driving through potholes from two winters ago. Where do they get all the money to keep building new roads when they can't take care of the ones we already have.

  4. There needs to be express buses
    from the Annandale area to Tysons and
    Dunn Loring, as far a I can tell,
    there are no buses taking advantage of the express lanes on the beltway north of Braddock. You may correct me if I'm wrong.
    The Americana Dr, Heritage Dr area in Annandale especially could use
    an express bus, there is no way to get to the subway stations fast, and they are only about 5-6 miles away, but no way to get there.

    1. I agree! The good news is that the 495 Fairfax Connector express bus goes from Burke VRE to Tysons Corner! (See for the schedule.)

      The route has a couple stops along Braddock Rd before entering the 495 express lanes.

      More people need to know about this since it could benefit those commuters going to and from Burke/Springfield and Tysons.

    2. Now that I re-read your post, you mentioned an express bus going from Annandale to Tysons. I concur 100%.
      Currently, there is the not-so-express Fairfax Connector 401/402. When I ride it into Tysons, I pine for an express version.

    3. Yes, the Americana Dr. area is the most densely
      populated area in the Braddock District, solid stream of cars going in and out with basically no
      good bus option to the metro. So close but yet so far.

  5. Good grief! When will they look at relieving congestion in the Seven Corners intersection?

  6. More buses and bikes good, more widening for cars bad.