Thursday, November 27, 2014

VDOT to Help Make Holiday Shopping Easier with Signal Timing at Major Shopping Centers

Annual holiday traffic signal timing plans set for 13 shopping centers

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is timing signals to help move motorists through major shopping centers around northern Virginia.

Using traffic data gathered during last year’s holiday season, VDOT developed time- and location-specific signal-timing plans at 208 intersections.

“The goal is to accommodate the changing traffic patterns expected around the shopping centers as efficiently as possible,” said Ling Li, Operations Engineering Manager at VDOT’s Transportation Operations Center.

Engineers will also use tools such as traffic cameras and traffic sensors to monitor conditions and make adjustments in real time, even on holidays, to help keep traffic moving in especially congested areas such as Tysons Corner, which recently saw the opening of the Metro Silver Line and widening of Route 7. Real-time signal timing adjustments will also occur in such locations as the Virginia Gateway Shopping Center and Fair Oaks mall areas.

Holiday signal timing will be in effect from today, Thursday, Nov. 27, through Jan. 1, 2015 at the following shopping centers:
  • Leesburg Outlets
  • Dulles Town Center
  • Dulles 28 Centre
  • Tysons and Galleria Shopping Centers
  • Reston Town Center
  • Fair Lakes Shopping Center
  • Fair Oaks Mall
  • Potomac Mills Mall
  • Manassas Mall
  • Springfield Mall
  • Cascades Town Center
  • Potomac Run Center

Traffic conditions around the Virginia Gateway Shopping Center in Gainesville will also be monitored and, if needed, timing adjustments will be made. However, given the ongoing construction activity on Route 29 near the shopping center, no special timing plans are being developed.

In addition to timing signals, VDOT offers shoppers the following tips for staying safe and avoiding traffic:

  • Put down the cell phone, especially while exiting/entering a shopping center and angling for a parking space.
  • Avoid multiple trips to the mall. Consider getting shopping done all in one day, with an early start around 8 a.m. or 9 a.m.
  • At Tysons Corner, check out traffic, bus and Metro schedules, and real-time transit information before leaving the mall on any of five TV screens located near the movie theatres, Barnes and Noble and Macy’s.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

VDOT Lifts Lane Closures for Thanksgiving Travel

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is prepared for increased traffic that's expected during the Thanksgiving holiday.
 
VDOT is suspending highway work zones during the five-day peak Thanksgiving travel period to reduce congestion on interstates and highways. Lane closures will be lifted on most major roads in Virginia from noon today, Wednesday, Nov. 26, until noon Monday, Dec. 1.
 
"All travelers should do their part to drive safely during this Thanksgiving holiday by limiting distractions, obeying speed limits, sharing the road and taking breaks to rest at one of our many Safety Rest Areas," said VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick. "We want everyone to reach their destination safely."
 
Northern Virginia High Occupancy Vehicle Schedule:
  • High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) restrictions – HOV restrictions on interstates 66, 95 and 395 will be lifted on Thursday, Nov. 27. Normal HOV restrictions will be in place on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 28.
  • Direction schedule for I-95/I-395 reversible lanes – Lanes will run southbound from 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26, until midnight Thursday, Nov. 27. Lanes reopen northbound by 2 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 27, and will remain northbound through 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 28. Lanes will reopen southbound by 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, and remain southbound through 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29. Lanes will reopen northbound by 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, and continue northbound through 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 1.
 
To report a road hazard or get answers to your transportation questions, call VDOT's Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) around the clock.


 
 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

VDOT Crews Preparing for Wintry Thanksgiving Travel

Loudoun County drivers asked to monitor forecast and road conditions
 
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are preparing for a mix of rain and snow expected across Loudoun County and Northern Virginia tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 26 -- historically one of the busiest travel days of the year.
 
"We ask that drivers monitor the forecast closely and check road conditions before leaving for Thanksgiving travel. If rain and snow are tracking to impact your route, please consider delaying your trip," said Branco Vlacich, VDOT's Northern Virginia district maintenance engineer.
 
About 400 trucks will be staged throughout Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington counties early tomorrow morning to treat roads. Crews will continue working shifts overnight into Thursday morning to monitor and treat any refreeze.
 
As temperatures drop tomorrow afternoon and evening, drivers are asked use extra caution, particularly on bridges, overpasses, curves, hills and ramps, which become slippery first.
 
Crews will not pre-treat roads in advance as the weather is expected to begin as rain overnight tonight.
 
Resources for Drivers

Monday, November 24, 2014

Investigation of Hit and Run of Pedestrian in Lowes Island Area

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is seeking information on a vehicle involved in the hit and run of a runner in the Lowes Island area Monday morning.
 
Around 8 a.m. this morning, Monday, Nov. 24, an adult male was running in the area of Algonkian Parkway when he attempted to cross Great Falls Forest Drive. He was struck by a vehicle that was attempting to turn right on to Great Falls Forest from Algonkian Parkway. The car slowed but left the scene and turned right onto Birmingham Court, and then left the area traveling back onto Algonkian Parkway. 
 
The car is described as a newer white 4-door sedan of unknown make and model, possibly a Toyota or a Honda. The car may have possible damage to the right side front passengers door.
 
The victim received minor injuries and returned home before contacting authorities.
 
Anyone with any information regarding the identity of the possible driver or the whereabouts of the vehicle is asked to contact Investigator D. Lake of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-737-8307.

 
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Loudoun Sheriff's Office Looking for Driver who Reportedly Caused Single Vehicle Crash

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance in locating the driver of a vehicle who reportedly caused a single vehicle crash on Route 7 Wednesday night.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, deputies responded to a single vehicle crash in the area of Route 7 and Lexington Drive in the Sterling area.

A dark colored, possibly green or black, Honda Civic (Si model) two-door was driving recklessly and caused a separate vehicle to run off of the roadway. The vehicle rolled over. All three occupants were injured with the front passenger taken to Inova Loudoun Hospital and the driver taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. All occupants of the vehicle have non-life threatening injuries.

The wanted vehicle is further described as having neon green wheels and a loud, aftermarket exhaust. 

Anyone who has any information on the location of this vehicle and its driver are asked to contact Investigator S. Allen of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-737-8308.

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Upcoming Traffic Shift on Ft. Evans Road & Riverside Parkway Project

Loudoun County officials announce an upcoming traffic pattern change within the Fort Evans Phase II and Riverside Parkway project limits
The shifting for the east and west bound lanes will take place during the first week of December on Ft. Evans Road, beginning from east of Menlow Drive through the River Creek Parkway intersection into Riverside Parkway to east of Upper Meadow Drive / Kingsport Drive intersection on Riverside Parkway.
 
The work will consist of shifting eastbound and westbound lanes onto the right-most lanes on both sides in order to perform work in the median. This shift will commence Phase III of construction. Message boards will be installed and traffic routing will be adjusted to accommodate the traffic shift.  
 
The exact date will be announced through the message boards closer to the traffic shift date. 
All commuters are advised to pay attention to traffic signs, message boards and flaggers.
 
Questions about the project may be directed to the Loudoun County Construction Manager, Vikram Dogra of the Department of Transportation & Capital Infrastructure at Vikram.Dogra@loudoun.gov or 703-737-8532.
 
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sheriff's Office to Conduct Traffic Safety Initiative to Reduce Crashes Involving Pedestrians

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement agencies across the region are increasing enforcement through the month of November as part of the Street Smart campaign to reduce the number of crashes involving pedestrians.

With increasing safety concerns due to darkness falling an hour earlier after Daylight Saving Time, drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are urged to share the road and pay extra attention to one another.

Sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), the Street Smart public awareness and enforcement campaign is in its twelfth year. Its goal is to reduce pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths in the Washington metropolitan area.

Since 2013, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has worked 63 crashes involving pedestrians, four of which were fatal. The agency also worked 23 crashes involving bicyclists during the same time period. As part of the campaign, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Unit is conducting an education and enforcement campaign in areas of high traffic pedestrian and bicycle crossings.

“It is important to bring attention to pedestrian and bicycle safety and to ensure residents know the rules of the roadway,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.

Motorists are reminded that they must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian when they are within a marked crosswalk. Pedestrians must cross at appropriate locations and consider their safety first.

 The Street Smart campaign urges all commuters to avoid distractions such as cellphones, reminds drivers to slow down and yield to those on foot or on bicycles at intersections, and encourages pedestrians and bicyclists to wear light colors or something reflective to be more visible.

Law enforcement officials from across the region will be ticketing drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic safety laws.

Street Smart Safety Tips

If you're driving


  • Slow down and obey the speed limit
  • Look twice for people in crosswalks and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists 
  • Be careful when passing stopped vehicles 
  • Yield to pedestrians and cyclists at intersections when you're turning 
  • Allow three feet when passing bicyclists 
  • Look for cyclists and cars before you open your door 
  • Slow down and obey the speed limit 
  • Avoid using your cellphone and never text while driving 


If you're walking



  • Cross the street at the corner and use marked crosswalks when they’re available 
  • Wait for the "Walk" signal to cross the street 
  • Before crossing look left, right, and left again 
  • Be seen! If you’re walking after dark or in bad weather, make it easier for drivers to see you by wearing light clothing or something reflective 
  • Don’t text while you’re crossing the street 
  • If you’re on an off-street trail, obey all posted signage and approach intersections with caution.


If you're biking


  • Obey all traffic signs and traffic signals 
  • Ride in the direction of traffic, at least a car door width away from parked cars 
  • Use hand signals so drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians know what you’re going to do 
  • Always wear a helmet 
  • Use lights if you're riding at times of darkness
  •  If you’re on an off-street trail, obey all posted signage and approach intersections with caution.
Learn more at BeStreetSmart.net.

  For the latest Loudoun County traffic news and information, subscribe to Loudoun County Traffic via your favorite RSS reader, or get Loudoun County Traffic by e-mail.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sobriety Checkpoint Tonight, Friday, Nov. 14

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police will conduct a sobriety checkpoint tonight, Friday, Nov. 14, beginning at 10 p.m.
 
"By joining with the Virginia State Police on this sobriety checkpoint, we are working to raise public awareness and discourage impaired driving," said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. "We want drivers to get the message and make the smart choice, don't drink and drive," he added.
 
Members of the Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Unit and volunteers from the Loudoun Chapter of MADD will assist with the checkpoint. 

 
 

Possible Weekend Traffic Delays

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is advising residents of weekend events that may cause traffic delays in various areas of the county.
  • A 5k tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 15 in the Brambleton area will impact traffic on Northstar Boulevard, Soave Drive, Creighton Road, Olympia Drive, Ringneck Place, Courtland Park Drive, Regal Wood Drive and Legacy Park Drive. The event will be held from 8-11 a.m.
  • On Sunday, Nov. 16 a 5k race will be held in the area of Sanders Corner Elementary School. Roads impacted include Claiborne Parkway, Ashburn Farm Parkway, Farmingdale Drive and Hay Road. The event will be held from 7:30-10:30 a.m.
 
The Sheriff's Office encourages motorists to be patient, drive safely and follow all law-enforcement direction. 

 
 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

VDOT's Winter Weather Preparations


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)  has its initial budgets, materials, equipment and staffing in place in preparation for whatever this year’s weather brings to keep Loudoun County's roads clear.

Last winter proved that weather patterns pay no attention to the calendar, with snow on the ground in various parts of the state from late October into early April.

VDOT’s estimated snow-removal budget (statewide) is $145.5 million for the winter of 2014-2015. The snow-removal budget is part of VDOT’s overall FY 2015 maintenance budget of approximately $1.5 billion.

Last winter, VDOT’s preseason snow-removal budget for 2013-2014 was $157 million, a figure based on the average expenditures from the previous five winters. The agency spent approximately $350 million by the end of the season.

Materials and supplies in stock for the 2014-2015 season for snow and ice removal include:

  • 366,678 tons of salt
  • 122,766 tons of sand
  • 60,850 tons of treated abrasives
  • 564,405 gallons of liquid calcium chloride
  • 1.1 million gallons of salt brine 

In Northern Virginia, VDOT has 3,600 pieces of equipment and a $50.5 million snow budget for the coming winter.

Learn more about VDOT's snow preparations and how it will affect your winter travels.

    For the latest Loudoun County traffic news and information, subscribe to Loudoun County Traffic via your favorite RSS reader, or get Loudoun County Traffic by e-mail.