How Much Have We Lost?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Possible Kings Crossing Intersection Improvements

Ever since the new Walmart opened at Kings Crossing, there have been daily backups at the intersection of South Kings Highway and North Kings Highway due to southbound traffic queing down the hill in the short left hand turn lane for Walmart. The intersection is pictured below (click on the image to enlarge).


Unfortunately, the County could not require any significant traffic improvements as part of the Walmart development because it was a "by right" development and could be accomplished within the existing zoning classification.

About six months ago, I contacted VDOT to talk to them about the problem and whether it could be fixed. Before I called, they had adjusted light timing in order to fix the problem, but it had not solved the problem. Unfortunately, there is not much room in the current right of way to fix the problem. Since then, I have continued to receive emails from constituents unhappy about the traffic situation.

Recently, the owner of the property JBG has begun the process of trying to redevelop the front of the property. To achieve their objectives, this time they need the County's approval and the County can require transportation improvements as part of the redevelopment process.

Last week, I received the following email from VDOT regarding traffic improvements on the site.


[W]e had just completed a meeting with JBG Companies who want to develop pad sites in front of the WalMart store. The meeting proved to be very fruitful. Agreement was reached that the developer would commit to the following with their By-Right Site Plan entitled Kings Crossing Phase 2 parcels 1&2, Fairfax County Plan No. 16636-SP-001, pending concurrence with WalMart regarding impacts to their property.

1. Extend the existing left-turn lane into the site by reducing the dual left-turn lanes onto North Kings Highway. Our Traffic Engineering Section did not feel that this would have any serious impact on the existing left-turn movements onto North Kings Highway, but would certainly help the situation regarding the PM Movement into the WalMart site.


2. Provide alternative right-turn movement into the site by eliminating the service drive across the frontage of the property. This would reduce congestion and safety issues at the signal, and might even add a few more seconds of precious green-time by moving the outbound stop bar forward.

Obviously it may take some time for the plans to be prepared, submitted and approved. Unfortunately these changes would also increase congestion during the construction process, but the end result should provide a marked improvement.

As you have stated, the ultimate solution would be to rebuild the entire roadway, including realignment and/or closure of the connection to North King/South King Highway at this intersection.

If these improvements are required and accomplished, this will provide some relief. I am not confident that it will completely fix the problem, but it will certainly improve the situtation.

3 comments:

  1. One word: Overpass. Three words: Build an overpass.

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  2. I have my doubts that taking out part of the dual-left turn lane onto Kings Hwy will not significantly impact northbound traffic, especially in the morning. Seems to me a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    If the intent is to eliminate the service road, as suggested in point #2, use that right of way to shift northbound US 1 to the right and thus be able to expand the left turn lane into Walmart while preserving the left turn lanes onto Kings Hwy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for keeping on top of this. So far, the improvement in light timing has helped my commute, but I think I just lucked out this one time. I look forward to seeing final plans for improvement.

    ReplyDelete

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