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Traffic & Transit

Traffic
Old Bridge Road such a hot topic, we need a drink

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Residents, experts to talk transportation fixes at Waters End Brewery on Wednesday, March 8

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — For Lake Ridge residents, it’s no secret that a quick jaunt down Old Bridge Road to Interstate 95 is a thing of the past. There’s only so much room on the four-lane road, and couple that with a growing population, and rush hours seem to go on longer than expected.

Folks at the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Prince William County hear the complaints about the traffic and are looking for solutions, even if it means extending a turn lane or adjusting the timing on a particular traffic signal. These are low-cost fixes that benefit the motorists to some extent but are not the magic pill that everyone is looking for.

“It’s a congested corridor,” said Richard Burke, VDOT Transportation and Land Use Director. “There’s only so much we can do. “The suggestions help red flag certain parts of the problem, but any action needs “a little more analysis.”

Diverting the traffic to a lesser used route is one fix that VDOT has utilized in the past, and they are now looking at it for the Old Bridge Road corridor as well. For Prince William Parkway traffic coming in from the northwest, a sign was erected near the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Old Bridge Road in February to entice motorists bound for I-95 to stay on Prince William Parkway and not use Old Bridge Road. (more…)

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Pedestrian bridge being built on east side of Route 1 crossing over Powell’s Creek

Submitted by Lynda Silverstrand, of the Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civic Association: 

A safer way to walk on Route 1 at Powell’s Creek is coming soon.

A new pedestrian bridge is currently being constructed on the east side of Route 1 crossing over Powell’s Creek. They are currently installing a larger water pipe as they wanted to do an upgrade while construction was being done in the area.

They will test the pipes after installation for leaks, pressure, and bacteria before the footbridge construction. We will be able to use the bridge by the end of the summer.” 

Traffic
I-95 Overnight lane closures in Prince William County

DALE CITY – The two right lanes of northbound and southbound I-95 between Cardinal Drive and the Dale City cars-only rest area will be closed the night of Tuesday, Feb. 28 between 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. for inspection of the bridges over Neabsco Creek, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Crews will first close the two right lanes and shoulder of northbound I-95 between 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., then close the two right lanes and shoulder of southbound I-95 between 1:30 and 4:30 a.m.

Drivers should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes. The I-95 Express Lanes will not be impacted by this work.

Follow VDOT Northern Virginia on Twitter: @vadotnova

Traffic
Updated: Stafford County car crash victim was a 23-year-old man

From the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office: 

On February 23, 2017, at approximately [2:40 a.m.], a single vehicle accident occurred on Poplar Road between Mount Olive Road and Stefaniga Road.  When Stafford County Deputies and Fire and Rescue personnel arrived on scene, they found the lone occupant deceased.  The vehicle involved, a Hyundai, had stuck two trees and the driver was partially ejected.  The vehicle was traveling northbound.      

The cause of the one-car accident has not yet been determined as the investigation is ongoing.  It appears from the large debris field that excessive speed was a factor as the engine of the vehicle was located almost two hundred feet from the point of impact.  It also is likely the driver was unrestrained.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the name of the victim until the next of kin is notified of the incident.  

Update 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, 2017

From the Stafford Couty Sheriff’s Office: 

The investigation revealed a 2015 Hyundai sedan was traveling north on Poplar Rd at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The Hyundai crossed the double yellow lines and struck several trees as well as a stone wall on the opposite side of the road before eventually coming to rest.

The operator, 23-year-old Raymond Marqus Miner Reynolds, who was the only occupant of the vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Mr. Reynolds was unrestrained at the time of the accident.  

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Accident Reconstruction Team is continuing the investigation.  

 

Traffic
PRTC submits proposed FY18 budget

From the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission:

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) Board of Commissioners voted February 9 to submit the agency’s proposed FY18 budget to its six member jurisdictions for their consideration. The member jurisdictions are Prince William, Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties and the Cities of Manassas, Manassas Park and Fredericksburg.

PRTC provides commuter and local buses and ridesharing services in Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park. PRTC also operates the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), serving all six member jurisdictions. (more…)

Traffic
Old Centreville Road down to one lane over Bull Run

From VDOT: 

Old Centreville Road has been reduced to one lane on the bridge over Bull Run to allow for rehabilitation work behind a concrete barrier, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Bridge traffic is now alternating each way via temporary signals. Drivers should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes.

The traffic pattern will be in place for the duration of the project, which is scheduled for completion in fall 2017.

Traffic
PRTC service for Presidents’ Day

From PRTC: 

In observance of Presidents’ Day, PRTC bus service will operate as follows on Monday, February 20:
OMNIRIDE COMMUTER BUS – NO SERVICE
METRO DIRECT – Regular service
OMNILINK LOCAL BUS AND CROSS COUNTY CONNECTOR – Regular service

No counter transactions will be processed at the PRTC Transit Center on Monday, February 20.
In preparation for the three-day weekend, PRTC will have a few extra PM OmniRide buses available for potential overflow on Friday, February 17.

Because PRTC experiences a significant increase in mid-day and early afternoon OmniRide passengers on the day before a three-day weekend, to avoid overcrowding you may want to consider taking Metrorail or other regional bus services and transferring to a Metro Direct bus to complete your commute.

For more information, call our Customer Service office at 703-730-6664 or send an email to Omni@OmniRide.com. Schedule information is available at www.PRTCtransit.org.

Traffic
‘Pile driving will occur along Route 1’ in Woodbridge

Photo by Prince William County

From VDOT: 

image004Beginning Friday, Feb. 10, pile driving will occur along Route 1 for construction of the new bridge over Marumsco Creek just north of Marys Way for approximately two weeks, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The pile driving will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. All work is weather permitting.

Crews will be monitoring noise levels associated with the pile driving in order to minimize disruption to nearby businesses and residences.

The work is part of the Route 1 widening project, which will add a third lane in each direction between Marys Way and Annapolis Way. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2019.

Traffic
Woodbridge motorcyclist killed on I-95

According to Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler, a Woodbridge man died yesterday on Interstate 95 when he lost control of his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and struck a guardrail in Stafford. 

Allen Lee Franklin, 26 of Woodbridge, was traveling Northbound Wednesday February 8, 2017 at approximately 2:28 a.m. when he ran off the road, struck a guard rail and was ejected from his motorcycle. Despite wearing a helmet Franklin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe that excessive speed was the cause, and do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Traffic
School closings and delays for Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

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VRE wants to hike Amtrak step-up fares

From VRE: 

The VRE Operations Board considers fare increases every two years to offset expected increases in operating costs.   This year, we are proposing a three percent fare increase to help pay for increased costs associated with rising track access fees, labor and maintenance costs, and other contractual obligations.

 Any new fare increase would become effective July 2017 and must receive approval by the VRE Operations Board, the Northern Virginia and Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commissions, and individual jurisdiction members of VRE.  (more…)

Traffic
Updated: Train collides with car in Nokesville

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Photos by Tim at Nokesville Tire

NOKESVILLE, Va. — A train collided with a car on railroad tracks today in Nokesville at 10:56 a.m. 

One person was said to be inside the car and suffered serious injuries. Rescue crews said the victim would be flown to a local hospital.

It appears the train collided with the vehicle and pushed it east down the track toward Manassas. 

Train traffic was stopped along the rail line owned by Norfolk-Southern.  The crash should not impact Virginia Railway Express service. 

More as we have it. 

Update from Prince William police: 

An elderly female appeared to be suffering from a medical emergency when she strayed onto the tracks where they cross Fitzwater Dr in Nokesville around 11AM. A freight train traveling north struck the vehicle in the rear pushing it north a short distance along the tracks.

The driver was subsequently flown to an area hospital as a precaution. No serious injuries were reported. The train suffering little to no damage and continued on its journey a short time later. The vehicle was totaled. The train crossing at Fitzwater Dr was not impacted as the trained cleared the crossing before it was able to come to a stop.

 

Traffic
McPike drops bill that would require HOT lanes to post estimated travel time with toll price; State says it’ll address later

Submitted by Virginia State Senator Jeremy McPike’s office: 

Senator McPike asked me to share a few pieces of information as it relates to his efforts to improve commuter fairness in Northern Virginia.

He introduced Senate Bill 1536, a bill to require operators of dynamic tolling facilities in Northern Virginia to included the estimated travel time, along with the price, for each posted destination. Consumers need all the information to make an informed choice about whether a high fare is worth it for them. Nothing is worse than paying the high toll and then getting trapped in gridlock in the facility.

After introducing and presenting the bill to the Senate Transportation Committee this week, Senator McPike struck the legislation with the guarantee from Secretary Layne that VDOT would work to address this issue in the coming year.  If it is not addressed, Senator McPike intends to introduce this legislation again next year.
From the letter: 
“…I have directed the Virginia Department of Transportation to evaluate and experiment with implementing portions of your proposal in a manner that would not create a compensation event with our private partners on I-95, I-495, and I-66.

VDOT will provide the public with information regarding travel times in the general purpose lanes compared to the travel times in the parallel express lanes to similar destinations. “

Traffic
VDOT explains (in Tweets) why some roads got salt brine and others did not

Photo by Flickr user Virginia Department of Transportation

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Surovell’s bill targeting ‘left lane bandits’ passes House

Photo by Flickr user Doug Kerr 

RICHMOND, Va. — House of Delegates has approved a bill that would impose a mandatory $250 fine for driving too slowly in the left lane on highways.

HB 2201 was introduced by Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, and co-sponsored by Democrats Del. Kaye Kory of Falls Church and Sen. Scott Surovell of Fairfax to show bipartisan support for the measure. O’Quinn said this is something that affects all Virginians, regardless of which side of the aisle they align themselves with.

“It doesn’t matter which corner of the commonwealth you come from,” he said when addressing the bill on the House floor Monday. “It doesn’t matter which interstate or four-lane highway that you have going through the districts you represent. I guarantee you are going to encounter this many times, even if you’re on the highways for just a few minutes.”

“Left lane bandits,” as they are often known, have become a “particularly pervasive and ever-growing problem” on Virginia roadways, O’Quinn said.

(more…)

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VDOT’s take on the new Haymarket DDI at I-66

Photo by VDOT Northern Virginia

From VDOT spokeswoman Ellen Kamilakis:

I’ve loved working on this project because it has so many up sides. Safer, faster, cheaper! We knew we would have to fight the misconceptions of it being dangerous, and how people wouldn’t understand, but so far they have. Since it is not completely done (still need to open third lane, finish multi-use path, overhead signs, mast arm signals, concrete islands) it’s hard for people to conceptualize the finished product. I for one didn’t grasp that I was on temporary pavement, and when it was complete in the spring, the intersection lines would be longer and leaner that what is there now.

I have followed the news articles and read the comments (looking for misconceptions that I can address), and all we have left are people that claim, despite all of the studies, that this will somehow be a dangerous intersection. The only thing to refute that is time, so we watch and wait.

I found this to be an interesting exchange on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VaDOTNOVA/status/82552774911269274

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A busy day for police at the new Haymarket DDI intersection

Photo: VDOT Northern Virginia

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HAYMARKET, Va. — The first Diverging Diamond Interchange in Northern Virginia opened Saturday at Route 15 and Interstate 66 in Haymarket.

The interchange is unlike others in the state because it removes the need for drivers to make dangerous left turns across oncoming traffic. It also puts traffic on the opposite side of the street as drivers pass through the interchange. 

The new interchange is quickly becoming the standard in the state with another one planned at Interstate 95 and Courthouse Road in Stafford.

The new street configuration and traffic pattern changes today in Haymarket led to some confusion today, and police want drivers to be aware of the changes.

From Haymarket Chief of Police Kevin Lands: 

Here are some observations the Haymarket Police Department observed and handled during today’s rush hour traffic at the DDI. Any help getting the word out would be helpful. Thanks. 
 
VDOT detail- monitored A.M. rush traffic at the diversion diamond interchange. No crashes to report at this time. However other items of note were observed.
 
1) Incorrect use of the traffic pattern-
Three motorists claimed to be confused while entering or exiting the diamond on the Heathcote side. Two drivers stayed to the right while attempting to travel south on Rt.15 on a northbound portion. They were stopped prior to the I-66 eastbound ramps. Both drivers claimed to be confused and attempted to just stay right. The third driver was traveling north on Rt.15 and attempted to exit the diamond and ended up in the southbound lanes but was then able to correct.

(more…)

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