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Traffic & Transit

Pedestrian killed on U.S. 1

Mount Vernon, Va. –– A man was killed Saturday night in the Mount Vernon area while crossing U.S. 1.

The victim was struck by a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee at 9:52 p.m. in the area of Jana Lee Avenue.

The yet-to-be-identified victim was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

The driver of the Grand Cherokee, a 58-year-old man from Maryland, stayed on the scene, police said.

Speed, alcohol does not appear to be factors in the crash. Police also added the victim was not using a crosswalk when he was struck. (more…)

Area road work to resume

Fairfax County — Virginia transportation officials suspended roadwork on most major highway projects throughout the state in observance of the 2010 holiday season.

But the New Year means crews and equipment will soon be working again.

Here’s some info you need to get around two of the major road projects happening right now in the Potomac Communities:

BRAC/ Fairfax County Parkway Extension

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

I-95 north and south, and HOV for one mile south of Franconia Springfield Pkwy (Route 7900) overpass – Multiple lanes closed Monday – Friday nights for overhead sign work. (more…)

No VRE service Friday

Virginia Railway Express will not operate Friday Dec. 31, 2010 in observance of New Year’s Eve.

The commuter railroad will resume full service Monday Jan. 3, 2011.

Today, VRE operated trains only designated on the schedule as S.

The next time the railroad plans to modify their schedule will be Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to a press release.

New ramp on 95 opens

(File) Drivers travel past the Pohick Road overpass at Lorton on the new fourth lane that opened Friday on Interstate 95 in Fairfax County. (VDOT)

Fairfax County, Va. –– Drivers on Interstate 95 today will have a new exit ramp to use in Fairfax County.

The ramp at mile post 166B south from the highway onto Fairfax County Parkway will reopen this afternoon, making travel easier for those headed to the northern section of Ft. Belvoir Army Base.

At 9 a.m., crews will close the right lane of I-95 south between Springfield-Franconia Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway. At noon, crews will remove traffic control devices put in place in November 2009, when the ramp closed to traffic, and plan to have the improved ramp open by 1:30 p.m. (more…)

Buzzed driving could get you cuffed

Get ready to see more police officers stopping drivers this holiday season.

Police in Prince William County plan to set up sobriety checkpoints in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, Dale City, Dumfries, as well as other portions of the county, hoping to find some very worthy “buzzed drivers.”

Even if you’ve had a few to drink and then get behind the wheel, police say “buzzed” driving is just as bad as drunk driving. (more…)

95 widening to continue next 2 Fridays

Drivers travel past the Pohick Road overpass at Lorton on the new fourth lane that opened Friday on Interstate 95 in Fairfax County. (VDOT)

Lorton, Va. –– Warm weather means extended work hours on Interstate 95.

The recent string of warmer than average November temperatures has prompted crews widening I-95 in south Fairfax to plan to work two additional Friday nights, Nov. 12 and 19.

They’ll be resurfacing the southbound lanes in the Lorton area between mike post 166 and 161. Two travel lanes in the area will be closed those nights, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The High Occupancy Vehicle lanes will remain open during the closures to help move traffic along.

The additional work comes after officials last month opened a new fourth lane on I-95 south, between Fairfax County Parkway and the Occoquan River.

A new fourth lane on the northbound portion of the highway opened last December. (more…)

New Metro record doesn’t eclipse Obama inaugural

Hundreds of people line up in the parking garage of the Franconia-Springfield Metro station Saturday morning.

Franconia, Va. –– Metro set an all-time new Saturday ridership record during The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

While the public transit agency faced many issues the day of the rally, it still did not eclipse the record set during the most recent Presidential Inauguration.

Saturday’s event put on my John Stewart and the Comedy Central cable TV network drew more than 200,000 to the nation’s capital over the weekend, according to initial reports.

Metro registered 825,437 passenger trips on Saturday, making it the largest number of people ever to ride the subway on a Saturday since a Gulf War rally in 1991, according to a Metro spokeswoman. (more…)

New lane opens on I-95 in Fairfax

Drivers travel past the Pohick Road overpass at Lorton on the new fourth lane that opened Friday on Interstate 95 in Fairfax County. (VDOT)

Fairfax County, Va. –– Virginia transportation officials Friday opened a fourth lane on Interstate 95 south in Fairfax County prior to the start of the afternoon rush hour.

The newly-constructed lane runs about five miles, between Fairfax County Parkway and U.S. 1 just before Woodbridge, and is part of the $123 million effort to widen the highway to ten lanes between the parkway and the Occoquan River. (more…)

Upgrades coming for flood-prone road

Stafford County, Va. –– Things are about to improve on a road that normally closes due to flooding.

Virginia transportation officials say motorists have become used to Harrell Road closing when it rains because of a poor drainage system at a culvert where the railroad passes over the road.

Water ponds on the roadway causing drivers to find another way around the water, officials said. (more…)

State police: Fatal crash victim was 20, not 10

Update 9: 10 a.m.

Virginia State Police on Thursday morning said the victim in Wednesday night’s fatal crash on Interstate 95 was 20-year-old Breauna Woolen, of Woodbridge.

Officials originally said Woolen was 10-years-old, but amended details about the victim just after 9 a.m. Thursday.

The victim was died instantly when the SUV she was riding in flipped over and crash into a Jersey wall, police say.

(more…)

Crash claims life of passenger

Fairfax County, Va. –– One person was killed Wednesday night in crash on Interstate 95 near Springfield.

It appears the driver of an SUV lost control of the vehicle at 7:08 p.m. while traveling north on the highway, near mile post 166. The vehicle was traveling in the far right lane, flipped, and then crossed three lanes of traffic and landed on its top of the Jersey Wall on the left shoulder, said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

The passenger was killed instantly, and the driver was flown to a local hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life threatening.

There were only two people inside the SUV when it crashed, said Geller. (more…)

Metro reacts to alleged terrorist plot, requests vigilance

Washington Metro System (Courtesy: Planet Ware)

Alexandria, Va. ––  Transportation officials called for continued vigilance after federal authorities say a Virginia man planned to bomb several Metro stations next year.

Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, was arrested Wednesday after investigators said he was working with suspected members of al-Qaeda in planning multiple bombings at Metro stations.

Ahmed was indicted in an Alexandria federal court yesterday on charges of attempting to provide material to support a designated terrorist organization, collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility, and with attempting to provide material to support to help carry out multiple bombings to cause mass casualties on the Metro system, according to federal officials.

Farooque remained under federal surveillance between April and Oct. 25, and was unable to carry out any of the alleged planned attacks. (more…)

Will slugs be allowed to return to 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 20 passengers as slugs looked on.

Washington’s transportation department Tuesday is expected to release the results of a new survey of commuters who were told to relocate their Downtown Slug line.

A two-week pilot project earlier this month required the relocation of Slugs – commuters who ride in vehicles of three or more occupants – from their pick-up point on 14th Street, between H Street and New York Avenue, one block over to 15th Street.

City officials wanted to gauge whether the relocation would improve traffic flow on busy 14th Street, said District Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle.

Commuters were concerned that drivers who pick up slugs wouldn’t go to 15th Street, but instead would go to other spots in the city to pick up slugs for their drive back to Virginia. (more…)

Death prompts talk of road upgrades

Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Dudenfefer, R-Garrisonville.

Stafford County, Va. –– There is renewed talk about improving Stafford’s roads following the death of a high school student.

Every road in the county should be reviewed for safety, said Board of Supervisor’s Chairman Mark Dudenhefer earlier this month. But he focused specifically on Mountain View Road – a two-lane thoroughfare that is used to transport commuters to and from work, and students to Mountain View High School.

Though improvement plans are in the works, specific details are not yet available for public viewing.

“Obviously the county, the state, the federal government does not have all the dollars to fix all of the roads in Stafford County. But we have put together a plan, and we will aggressively follow that plan as best as we can…I look forward to the day when I can ride that stretch of Mountain View Road…and believe that we’ve done some things that made that stretch of road better,” said Dudenhefer. (more…)

Bus changes implemented today

OmniLink switch buses at the Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Center in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Changes are coming to some OmniRide and some OmniLink buses today, as part of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s fall service change.

Here’s a list of the some of the changes that will affect riders in the Potomac Communities:

OmniRide Changes:
Dale City – Navy Yard – AM D-301 trip retimed.

Montclair and South Route 1 – PM Stop at 11th before G Street no longer served due to safety concerns.

Tysons Express – New shuttle connects locations in eastern Tysons with Tysons Express buses at West Park Transit Center. Promotional fares have been extended to June 2011. (more…)

New slug line a non-starter

Photo: Mary Davidson
Photo: Mary Davidson

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

Woodbridge, Va. –– It’s a bust for a new commuter slug line from Woodbridge to Alexandria.

The new line, which was scheduled to begin Tuesday at the Virginia Railway Express station in Woodbridge, was going to the first slug line to take commuters to Old Town Alexandria.

In the morning, slugs were to stand near the Woodbridge station and wait to be picked up. For their return trip home in the afternoon, slugs were supposed to wait at the VRE station in Alexandria to be picked up and be taken back to Woodbridge.

It appears few got the message. (more…)

Speed limits going up in Virginia

The drive across some of Virginia’s highways will become faster as part of a speed limit increase mandated by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell.

After several safety reviews, and after portions of Interstates 295 and 85 saw their speed limits raised from 65 to 70 mph earlier this year, 680 additional miles of highways will see their speeds increased to 70 mph by Dec. 31, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced today.

While none of the highways in the Potomac Communities will see an increase, the speed limit on I-95 between Ashland and just south of Fredericksburg will see an increase, as well as I-66 between the I-81 interchange in Strasburg and U.S. 15 in Prince William County. (more…)

Railroad work could slow rescue response

Traffic across a rail road crossing on Featherstone Road has been reduced to one lane, as crews work to replace the crossing. It could mean a delay for fire and rescue vehicles, officials said.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Ongoing work at a Woodbridge railroad crossing means it could take longer for fire and rescue crews to get to the Featherstone Shores neighborhood.

Traffic on busy Featherstone Road has been reduced to one lane across the rail road crossing, which is the gate way to the collection of single family homes that sit on the Belmont Bay.

Crews are working this week between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to replace the crossing, and are expected to have  the work completed by the end of the week, said CSX Transportation spokesman Bob Sullivan. (more…)

Signal light being erected where pedestrian was killed

Dumfries, Va. –– The man who was struck and killed Friday near the Va. 234 commuter lot in Dumfries was working to make that area safer for drivers and pedestrians.

Miguel Zelaya-Jovel was working to install a traffic light at the intersection of a commuter lot and Va. 234, just north of U.S. 1, said Prince William County spokesman Jason Grant.

After the commuter lot was expanded by 490 parking spaces last year, officials in April noted the need for a stop light at the commuter lot entrance and had been working since that time to install the light. (more…)

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…)

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