Thursday, November 26, 2009

Northern Virginia Traffic Signals Ready for Black Friday Shoppers

As shoppers hit the streets this holiday weekend, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will flip the switch on its annual traffic signal timing plan for 14 major shopping centers around Northern Virginia.

Using traffic data gathered during last year’s holiday season, VDOT developed several time- and location-specific signal timing plans at 188 intersections. The plans are designed to accommodate changing traffic patterns from the increase in shoppers—minimizing backups into shopping centers and maximizing traffic flow around them.

While VDOT has been timing signals for holiday shoppers for more than ten years, two things are different about this year’s plan.

“We will adjust the timing beginning on Thanksgiving Day this year, one day earlier than usual,” said Ling Li, Operations Engineering Manager at VDOT’s Transportation Operations Center. “We’ve also added two new shopping centers to the plan—the Leesburg Outlets and Dulles 28 Centre in Loudoun County.”

Engineers will also use traffic cameras to monitor conditions around especially congested areas such as Tysons Corner and make adjustments to help keep traffic moving.

Holiday signal timing will be in effect at the following shopping centers from Nov. 26 through Jan. 1, 2010:
  • Tysons and Galleria Shopping Centers
  • Reston Town Center
  • Fair Lakes Shopping Center
  • Fair Oaks Mall
  • Potomac Mills Mall
  • Manassas Mall
  • Route 234 shopping centers
  • Springfield Mall
  • Cascades Town Center
  • Potomac Run Center
  • Dulles Town Center
  • Leesburg Outlets
  • Dulles 28 Centre

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