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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Seven Corners transportation alternatives proposed for further study

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.


  1. "Alternative #2: There would be two new overpasses on Route 50."

    Oh, ho ho! Oh, ha ha!

  2. It's great to here they are finally looking at real options here. The new proposed Elementary school on Rt 7 near Sleepy Hollow will only make traffic worse in the near term.

  3. Susanna Schnably12/17/13, 12:05 PM

    I think another hitch in the plan could be the City of Falls Church's cooperation, or lack thereof, regarding traffic on Roosevelt Boulevard. That road is currently blocked from traffic during rush hours, and it seems to me that would have to change to make these plans workable.

  4. Can't the designers come up with anything better than the ones picked? I agree with the Task Force Chair that going through neighborhoods and knocking down buildings is the most expensive way to go and is a non-starter. If we can only do one thing, let's put a traffic circle at the Seven Corners interchange and align the roads.

  5. First, I rather enjoy the challenge of going from SH to Aspen, up the access to "the 7 corners" across 3 major highways to Wilson then Roosevelt and Lord knows where else in 3 minutes; then back. Second, you don't need Suduko if you can explain this route verbally to an out of towner!

  6. Of the three plans remaining, they all will make Sleepy Hollow Road a main north/south thoroughfare. As it is now, you can only turn right from SHR onto 7, isn't that right? I never go that way. But the new designs will make SHR open to Wilson, going north/south, so traffic on SHR will really increase. Or will it just make it flow better?

  7. Traffic on SHR is already insufferable. One traffic light, the private school, the public school and the trim us at Columbia pike need further study. I see nothing in the proposals to tunnel under Patrick Henry drive. What option addresses getting from rye 50 to SHR without going through the Home Depot pkg lot?