Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News from Greater Falls Church




It seems like summer just began, and already it’s winding down. Public elementary schools on a modified calendar (including Glen Forest, Parklawn, and Annandale Terrace) began classes on Monday. Students on the modified Secondary School calendar (Glasgow Middle, Falls Church High, and J.E.B. Stuart High) will return to classes on August 18.

Drivers should remember that school speed limits apply whenever the flashing lights indicate that school is in session, so let’s be careful out there.

Placement of the pedestrian bridge across Route 50 at Seven Corners has been delayed slightly, but the prefabricated bridge should be set in place soon. The work will take place overnight on a weekend; periodic closing of Route 50 will be required, and police will direct drivers to detours via Route 7 and/or Patrick Henry Drive. Once the bridge deck is in place, the project can proceed to completion, with an opening date set for later this fall. The steel truss bridge with concrete decking is 143 feet long, with a 305-foot accessible ramp on the north side and a 271-foot accessible ramp on the south side of Route 50. The main span will be enclosed and will have handrails and lighting for additional pedestrian safety. The project also includes six-foot, vinyl-coated, ornamental fencing on both sides of Route 50, augmented with landscaping in certain locations. The bridge will link up with a future transit center planned for the Seven Corner Shopping Center. The pedestrian bridge project was initiated by Fairfax County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to improve pedestrian safety in the area.

Further west on Route 50, VDOT will be milling and paving portions of the road between Jaguar Trail and Seven Corners in the next few weeks. The work is part of the state’s regular maintenance cycle for roadways, and will improve the road surface for drivers. Some of the work in the commercial areas will be done at night in order to avoid traffic tie-ups on this busy commuter route. No night work is allowed in the residential areas on the Mason District side of the road.

The speed humps on Kerns Road are being replaced! Nearly a dozen years ago, following a community process to address traffic calming in neighborhoods, speed humps were installed by VDOT to reduce speeds on the popular cut-through road between Annandale Road and Sleepy Hollow Road. The original humps were short and bumpy, and heavy travel caused dips in the road surface adjacent to the humps, making trips even more challenging. Newer designs for speed humps make them wider and smoother for travel, while still addressing speeds. The Kerns Road humps were evaluated and VDOT agreed that they needed to be replaced with the newer design. An example of the newer design can be found on Whispering Lane, where a speed hump and a speed table were installed by VDOT last week, following a lengthy community process and approval by the Board of Supervisors.

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