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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Traffic roundabout planned for Ravensworth Road

How traffic moves in a roudabout. [VDOT]
The Federal Highway Administration and Virginia Department of Transportation are planning to install a traffic roundabout at Ravensworth Road and Jayhawk Street in Annandale.

The public is invited to a meeting on the project June 5, 7-8:30 p.m., at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 4801 Ravensworth Road in Annandale. Staff from the two agencies will answer questions and share displays at 7; the presentation will begin at 7:30.

The roundabout would be an alternative to a traffic signal, says Terry Yates of VDOT.


According to VDOT, roundabouts improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety. They also reduce fuel consumption and are more cost-effective than traffic signals.

The roundabout, to be installed this summer, will be a temporary, modular structure using recycled composite materials. It would be evaluated by the two agencies for installation, function, and maintenance, such as how snowplows will be able to negotiate the structure next winter.

If there are no problems, it could remain as a permanent structure, Yates says.

VDOT identified the Ravensworth/Jayhawk intersection as a candidate for the pilot project because it meets the thresholds for a traffic signal and a roundabout can be installed there without the need for new pavement, right-of-way approvals, utility relocation, or drainage work.

The roundabout at that location would be similar in scale to a mini-roundabout recently installed by the Town of Vienna at Park and Locust Streets.

12 comments:

  1. what an odd location, seems like a needless disruption of traffic flow for no reason

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    1. I was thinking the same thing. Ravensworth Rd. is very busy during rush hour and a roundabouut appears likely to turn that intersection into a large bottleneck.

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  2. Bottlenecks seem to be the goal of the traffic & street planners in this area. Maybe it could be even worse if they put 2 or 3 traffic lights within 1.5 blocks of road?

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  3. Come on, people. What's not to like about this plan? Roundabouts are an excellent solution to pre-1890 A.D. traffic volume.

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    1. And in the 21st century they work just fine in Europe, keeping traffic flowing much better than our proliferation of stop signs.

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  4. sounds about right they just paved the street and now they want to rip it up and waste some more of our tax money...way to go.

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  5. Whats up with the people running VDOT? they just paved the road and now they want to rip it and waste money on a traffic circle. How about a four way stop,how much could that cost? Oh wait, your jobs are to waste tax payer money...never mind.

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  6. Yeah, I'm not sure I see the value in this either. Traffic on ravensworth towards the LRT end is never really too bad. Occasionally there are metro busses struggling to make that left off of jayhawk but it doesnt seem to cause that much of a backup.

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    1. There are no congestion issues at this intersection whatsoever.

      What this article failed to point out is this intersection is dangerous and is particularly risky for those making left turns from Jayhawk St and from Fountain Head Dr onto Ravensworth Rd.

      Over the years, many, many homeowners complained about the inherent dangers of this intersection and the complaints were one reason why Ravensworth was restriped with a dedicated left turn lane north and southbound at this very intersection.

      However, for those of us who still have to navigate our way onto Ravensworth from Jayhawk or Fountain Head, we risk crashes as a result of poor sight lines, the large width of the intersection, and the speed at which vehicles travel along this section of Ravensworth.

      Adding a roundabout will undoubtedly help left turning traffic. Further, roundabouts keep traffic moving as opposed to having traffic stop, idle and cause backups.

      To answer some points about tearing up the new pavement, the roundabouts are being sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration to test out new modular equipment. Apparently, the FHA is paying for it and apparently it doesn't destroy the pavement and has lower construction costs.

      Finally, during the meeting, the demos indicated that buses, emergency equipment and large vehicles will be able to fit through the roundabout.

      As someone who lives in this neighborhood, making a left turn (from any point) at this intersection is zero fun. I have witnessed accidents and heard of many others. When I try to walk across this intersection, it is nearly impossible. I welcome a solution that will make it safer for pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

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  7. This makes no sense.

    What VDOT needs to do is fix the traffic backups at Ravensworth and BRADDOCK. The line of cars sitting on Ravensworth must be a mile long during late afternoons. It wasn't like that before they added the bike lanes.

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    1. The bike lanes did not cause additional congestion at Ravensworth & Braddock especially considering that no vehicular lanes were lost. There was one vehicular lane before and there is one vehicular lane now.

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