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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