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Traffic & Transit

Pedestrian stuck at Dumfries lot Tuesday, police don’t take report

Dumfries, Va. –– Friday wasn’t the first time this week someone was hit at the Dumfries commuter parking lot on Va. 234.

After a 38-year-old man was struck and killed there Friday morning, now word comes that Jeremiah Boenisch, a U.S. Air Force Airman who had just gotten off of an OmniRide commuter bus after a day of work at the Pentagon, was hit by a car at the lot about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

He was walking past the entrance of the lot that faces Va. 234 when a car pulled into the lot from the busy six-lane road and then hit him in the knee, injuring the Medial Collateral Ligament.

“The guy stopped and got out of the car and told me the sun was in his eyes and he couldn’t see me,” said Boenisch. (more…)

What to name a new VRE station?

Widewater, Va. –– There’s a lot of talk right now about a new Virginia Railway Express station in Stafford County.

If it’s built, it’ll be located in the Widewater Peninsula, in the northern portion of the county on the Potomac River.

But as the Free-Lance Star’s Jonas Beals reports there seems to be some disagreement on what to call the new station. (more…)

Pedestrian killed on Va. 234

Correction: Police said the driver of a white box truck in which investigators believe struck a pedestrian who died this morning at a commuter lot on Va. 234 in Dumfries may have done so without knowing he struck the victim. Police are still looking for the driver, whom  they believe could provide investigators more information on the crash.

Update 11: 20 a.m. – Police said Va. 234 near Dumfries has been reopened in both directions following a pedestrian being struck and killed there this morning.

Update 9:30 a.m.

A 38-year-old man was struck and killed this morning as he tried to cross Va. 234 in Dumfries.

It happened at 6:40 a.m., at the commuter lot at the intersection of Va. 234 and U.S. 1., police said.

Police said the man walked across the road, where there is no cross walk, and was hit by a 1999 Dodge Ram truck driven by a 47-year-old man.  That man stayed on the scene of the crash and has not been charged.

Investigators also suspect an older model box truck also hit the victim at the same time as the Ram truck, or shortly thereafter, and then fled the scene, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok. (more…)

Expect longer Metro hours Sunday

From press release –

Metrorail will stay open an additional hour on Sunday, Oct. 17, to accommodate the crowds expected to attend the Washington Redskins game at FedEx Field. The organizers have paid Metro in advance to keep Metrorail open for an extra hour and so the system will close at 1 a.m. on Oct. 18.

The last Blue Line train headed toward Franconia-Springfield will depart the Largo Town Center Metrorail station at 12:24 a.m. and the Morgan Boulevard Metrorail station at 12:27 a.m. If the football game goes into overtime, trains will be available to get fans home.

In anticipation of the crowds, Metro will place additional trains into service at the end of the game. To assist riders, additional Metro personnel will be at the Morgan Boulevard Metrorail station, which is a short walk from the stadium. (more…)

Few faces, fewer answers appear at Stafford HOT lanes meeting

By Marty van Duyne

North Stafford, Va.  — Only a handful of people trickled into the Virginia Department of Transportation HOT Lanes Environmental Assessment Citizen Information Meeting on Tuesday evening.

VDOT hosted the event to allow citizens to view documents, maps, drawings, and reports that comprise the EA for the Interstate 95 HOT Lanes corridor.

The opportunity session was listed on the VDOT web site and public notices have been published in area newspapers.

But there were only 11 visitors during the first two hours. And included in that number were three journalists, a county planning official, and three county supervisors.

Project Studies Section Head and Project Manager for the EIS Christopher Collins said, “I only received two e-mail comments prior to the meeting. One was strongly for the project and one was strongly against.” (more…)

HOT lanes to be a topic at North Stafford meeting

North Stafford, Va. –– Residents have been invited for an informational meeting about the proposed High Occupancy Toll lanes project on Interstate 95.

The meeting will be held from 4:30 until 7:30 p.m. at Moncure Elementary School, off Va. 610 in North Stafford.

The southern portion of the proposed toll lanes would be constructed between Dumfries and Massaponax in Spotsylvania County. The northern portion of the lanes would replace the existing High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, between Dumfries and the Pentagon. (more…)

Stalled frieght train affects commute

*This story has been corrected

Woodbridge, Va. –– Passengers onboard a stopped Virginia Railway Express have been told to get off at on the far track at the Rippon station.

VRE’s Fredericksburg line train had to work its way around a stalled freight train south of Woodbridge Thursday afternoon, said VRE spokesman Mark Roeber.

The train left Union Station in Washington at 4:40 p.m.

An earlier version of this story reported passengers were being forced off of the train at VRE’s Rippon station, which was incorrect.

D.C. forces slugs from 14th Street

An OmniRide commuter bus bound for Dale City on Tuesday stops at 14th Street and New York Avenue in Downtown Washington and picks up about 40 passengers as slugs looked on.

Washington –– Tensions rose Tuesday afternoon when Lake Ridge commuters were told they could no longer slug from a busy street in Downtown Washington.

About 15 slugs – commuters who ride in cars of three or more passengers so they can use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95 and 395 – were handed fliers from the Washington, D.C. Department of Transportation, stating they could no longer stand and wait to be picked up on 14th Street, between H Street and New York Avenue.

The slug line will be relocated one block over, to the less-congested 15th Street, the flier stated.

The change, which officials say will be a two-week trial as they look to see if traffic flow on 14th Street improves without drivers stopping to pick up slugs, came as a surprise for many who now fear they’ll be left without a ride home. (more…)

Mall ramps up commuter parking enforcement

Commuters on Tuesday were greeted with yellow cones and barriers as they tried to park at a crowded parking lot at Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge Va.  –– Those who arrived at the Potomac Mills mall commuter lot after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday were met with cones and barriers, and many were forced to park their cars elsewhere.

Members of the mall’s security force were out Tuesday corralling commuters, whom in recent days have apparently taken up more spaces than the mall allows.

“While Potomac Mills has an agreement with Prince William County to provide 275 spaces for commuter parking, we have been providing at least 975 spaces for several years, more than any other private property owner in the county. Also for several years, each weekday morning our security team has been placing barricades to clearly identify the 975 designated parking spaces, making it easier for commuters to understand in which spaces they may park,” said Potomac Mills spokeswoman Caroline Barry Green. (more…)

New slug line starts Oct. 19

Photo: Mary Davidson
Photo: Mary Davidson

Commuters use a busy Interstate 95 near Woodbridge on a weekday morning. (Mary Davidson)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Commuters can rejoice as a new slug line to Alexandria starts Oct. 19. in their quarterly newsletter announced the new slug line, which for the first time will take commuters directly to Alexandria.

The new line is in addition to other slug lines that take Virginia commuters to Washington, Crystal City, The Pentagon and Rosslyn. (more…)

U.S. 1 re-pavement project to finish in early Nov.

Fairfax County, Va. –– A large stretch of U.S. 1 near Ft. Belvoir now being repaved should be finished by early next month, officials said.

The 8-mile, $3.3 million project will see the re-pavement of the road surface between Mount Eagle Drive and Backlick Road in south Fairfax County comes as more than 20,000 jobs are expected to relocate to Ft. Belvoir by September 2011.

Work to repave the road began in early August, and it’s expected to be finished by the first week of August, said Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jennifer McCord. (more…)

6 injured in 95 crash, truck driver charged

Virginia State Police trooper E.D. Brown Jr., 30, was injured in a crash Monday that sent him and five others to the hospital. (VSP)

Woodbridge, Va. –– A bizarre string of events led to a crash that sent six people – including a Virginia State Police trooper –  to the hospital, and left one tractor-trailer driver facing charges.

The crash happened about 1 p.m. at mile post 159 on Interstate 95, just north of Prince William Parkway, and forced the closure of the highway for more than an hour Monday afternoon.

At all started when a white Mercedes driven by Thanh Tam Thi Phan, 39, of Woodbridge, broke down in the right shoulder of the highway, said VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

A Toyota 4-Runner, driven by Thi Hung Nguyen, 41, then pulled over to help the broken-down motorist. (more…)

One lane on I-95 reopened

A helicopter lands on I-95 in Dale City after a three-car crash forced the closure of the highway. (VDOT)

Update 3 p.m. – Highway opening back up

One lane of traffic has been reopened following a crash that injured a Virginia State Police trooper.

That lane, at exit 160 just north of Woodbridge, was reopened at 3 p.m., according to the Prince William police department.

The crash happened about 1:30 p.m., involved three cars, and forced rescue crews to take two people – including the state trooper – to the hospital with injuries that didn’t appear to be life threatening, according to officials.

The crash happened near mile post 158, at Prince William Parkway, and spurred delays of six miles or more, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. (more…)

VRE addresses Fredericksburg line delays

More delays this morning prompted Virginia Railway Express officials to once again open the Metro option for its riders, which allows VRE passengers to board Metro for free with a valid VRE ticket.

This afternoon, the commuter railroad has issued an explanation of what prompted the move.

Monday’s delays also forced the agency to hand out free rides to those who were inconvenienced. (more…)

I-95 widening continues this week

Interstate 95 south at Woodbridge. (VDOT)

There are some ongoing construction projects going on in the region, and with this helpful list of road closures and anticipated delays, maybe you can avoid sitting in traffic this week.

I-95 Widening

Nighttime work – Closures occur between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

I-95 south from Exit 166, Fairfax County Pkwy (Va.7100) to Exit 160, Gordon Blvd. (Va. 123) – Two lanes closed Monday – Thursday nights 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for  milling, paving and striping.

Weekday work – Closures occur between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

I-95 north between the Exit 160, Gordon Blvd. (Va. 123) and one mile south of Exit 166, Fairfax County Pkwy (Va. 7100) – Right lane closed Monday – Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for bridge work. (more…)

Metro option opened for riders at noon

Update – Metro option open for evening commute

Starting at noon, Virginia Railway Express riders will be able to show a valid VRE ticket to Metro station managers, who will then let them ride Metro to get home.

The Metro option was opened this afternoon after all service on VRE’s Manassas line was canceled Friday due to low-hanging power lines over the rails, and trains on the system’s Fredericksburg line this morning were delayed because of flood restrictions imposed by CSX, the railroad which owns the tracks. (more…)

Heavy rains could slow trains

Woodbridge, Va. –– A flash flood warning has prompted Virginia Railway Express to warn passengers of possible service disruptions.

A large area of rain that is associated with Tropical Storm Nicole, which is moving its way up along the East Coast over the next 36 hours, will bring a deluge of rain, forecasters said.

A flash flood watch was put into effect for the Potomac communities by the National Weather Service earlier today. But if that watch is increased to a flood warning, train speeds on VRE’s trainlines will slow. (more…)

Despite design grant, funds to widen U.S. 1 missing

The Iwo Jima statue greets visitors to Quantico Marine Corps Base in Triangle. (Mary Davidson)

Stafford County, Va. –– Everyone seems to know U.S. 1 at Quantico needs to be widened, but no one seems to know who is going to pay for it.

Earlier this year both Stafford and Prince William counties applied for $2 million in federal money for the study and design phase of widening the highway from four to six lanes, between Quanitco’s main in Triangle gate to the Quantico Corporate Center in Stafford’s Boswell’s Corner.

Stafford officials say they’ve received their portion of the money  – just over $1 million –  and say the study is a huge step forward.

But no organization has stepped up to cover the estimated $25 million that will be needed to actually widen the road. (more…)

Traffic hot spots to avoid

Get ready for some road work in our area. Here is a list pf projects and places, provided to us from the Virginia Department of Transportation, you may want to avoid if you can.

Interstate 95 Widening

Nighttime work – Closures occur between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

I-95 south from Accotink Creek to Exit 160, Gordon Blvd. (Va.123) – Two lanes closed Sunday – Thursday nights 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for  milling, paving and striping.

Weekday work – Closures occur between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. (more…)

State urges use of Woodbridge – Tysons bus

The Woodbridge – Tysons Express Bus. (Urban Trekker)

Woodbridge, Va. –– As work on the High Occupancy Toll lanes continues on the Capital Beltway, state transportation officials want more drivers use the Tysons Corner Express bus to get around traffic delays.

The bus runs between the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express Station and Tysons Corner, and is one of two state-funded buses that provide free wireless internet to riders. It uses the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95, but then uses the regular travel lanes on the Beltway to make it the rest of the trek.

“As part of our plan to keep traffic moving during this intense construction phase, we strive to move more people with fewer cars,” said Virginia Mega Projects Program Director John Lynch. “By providing vanpool incentives, express bus services and other ways to get around, commuters have more control over how they want to spend their time instead of getting stuck behind the wheel of a car.”

The push to get more people to use the bus comes while ridership numbers are going up. (more…)

Try transit, win Amtrak tickets

If you pledge to try transit this week you could win tickets to ride Amtrak.

Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s OmniRide and OmniLink buses will be participating this week as part of Virginia’s third annual Try Transit Week.

Between now and Sept. 24, if you pledge to use transit your name will be put into a drawing for a pair of tickets for use on Amtrak Virginia, which provides service from the state to the Northeast U.S, according to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. (more…)

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