Wednesday, November 23, 2016

VDOT Hopes to Help Speed Drivers Through Holiday Shopping

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will re-time signals to help drivers enter and exit major shopping centers around Northern Virginia more quickly.


Using traffic data gathered during last year’s holiday season, VDOT developed time- and location-specific signal-timing plans at 223 intersections.

“The holiday season is always one of the busiest travel times of the year, but traffic trends can change from one year to the next,” said Ling Li, Operations Engineering Manager at VDOT’s Transportation Operations Center. “We analyze and revise plans each year to help traffic flow as smoothly as possible.”


Engineers will use 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, Virginia Gateway and Fair Oaks Mall.


Holiday signal-timing will be in effect from Nov. 24 through Jan. 1, 2017 at the following shopping centers:   

  • Dulles Town Center

  • Leesburg Outlets

  • Dulles 28 Centre

  • Tysons and Galleria Shopping Centers

  • Reston Town Center

  • Fair Lakes Shopping Center

  • Fair Oaks Mall

  • Potomac Mills Mall

  • Manassas Mall

  • Springfield Town Center

  • Cascades Town Center

  • Potomac Run Center

  • Virginia Gateway Shopping Center

Also in time for Black Friday, VDOT’s six travel information displays at Tysons Corner Mall have been refreshed with a revised, easier-to-read layout and relocated to more convenient locations throughout the mall. The screens display real-time Metrorail and bus arrivals, as well as a rotating display of bus locations, travel times, traffic cameras, road conditions and incidents near Tysons.

VDOT offers shoppers the following tips for staying safe and avoiding traffic:

  • Check or the 511 mobile app before you go for traffic conditions and locations of crashes and construction lane closures.

  • Put down the cellphone, especially while exiting or 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.


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