Braddock Road Widening Project Considered
Significant congestion relief could soon be
coming to Braddock Road. Fairfax County will soon begin seriously looking
at long-standing plans to widen Braddock Road from Guinea Road to the
Beltway, including HOV-Bus lanes from Burke Lake Road to the 495 Express
Lanes. This effort is moving forward due to last year’s landmark
transportation funding bill.
To begin the process, Supervisor Cook will hold an informational meeting on February 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lake Braddock Secondary School's Lecture Hall. The meeting will allow the County to outline the project, collect public feedback, and introduce a citizen’s committee that will have a key role in planning.
The County proposal combines three projects, two of them expected to be funded, that have been part of the Comprehensive Plan for many years. One project could add one more lane in each direction from Guinea Road to Burke Lake Road. The second would add one HOV-Bus lane in each direction from Burke Lake Road to the Beltway. Both projects are expected to receive approval and funding when the Board of Supervisors approves its next six-year transportation plan next year. A third related project is not funded but will be considered during the planning effort – a transit center (parking garage and bus stops) along Braddock Road in back of the Kings Park Shopping Center. That center could be a key location for express bus service to Tysons, using the new 495 Express Lanes.
There is no current design for these projects. A citizens committee will work with County transportation staff over the next year to draw the specifics of the projects. Supervisor Cook plans to ask leaders of the civic associations of the communities along this route to name members of this committee. The committee will be chaired by Kevin Morse, who is the Braddock District appointee to the Transportation Advisory Committee and vice-chaired by Tom Kennedy, the Braddock District appointee to the Trails and Sidewalks Committee. There will be extensive opportunity for citizen participation in the design and consideration of these projects.
Funding for the projects could come from several sources but is made possible by the significant state funding contained in last year’s transportation bill. The projects scored high on a recent County cost-benefit analysis. This part of Braddock Road currently handles approximately 70,000 automobile trips a day, and is one of the more congested corridors in the County. Last year the County launched new bus service from the Burke Centre VRE station to Tysons with stops on Braddock Road near the Burke Lake Road intersection. The creation of HOV-Express Bus lanes is a key component to making that new bus route successful.
Supervisor Cook urges residents to attend the February 19 meeting and play an active road in moving this project forward in a way most friendly to the adjoining communities.
Fairfax Board Modifies Noise Ordinance
After a public hearing held on December 3, the Board of Supervisors authorized amendments to the Fairfax County Noise Ordinance to add a new category for “excessive sound generation in residential areas and dwellings.” This will enable the police to effectively respond to calls complaining about sound caused by loud parties. Fairfax Police responded to approximately 150 such calls for such events each month in 2012. The new ordinance will enable to the police to issue a summons for a such a violation which is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
The noise must be audible to the complainant
within their own home with doors and windows closed. Exemptions are
granted for construction activities, trash trucks, lawn care or tree
maintenance equipment, band performance activities and bells, carillons
and other calls to worship that do not last longer than five minutes. For
more information on the noise ordinance, go to:
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/code/noise/. For a full text of the
amendment, go to the following website:
and scroll to page 370.
The Department of Planning and Zoning is currently working on a comprehensive revision to Chapter 108 of the Zoning Ordinance, and this new chapter is considered to be an interim solution to a Virginia Supreme Court decision in 2009 that invalidated a Virginia Beach noise ordinance as unconstitutional.