Mark Center traffic fixes reviewed
Eighteen months and $750,000 in studies later, Alexandria's BRAC-133 Advisory Group had the chance Wednesday night to see several new short- and mid-term roadway improvement possibilities for the area around the Mark Center.
The group has been working to determine how to get some 6,400 new federal employees from the Washington Headquarters Services and other Department of Defense agencies into the already traffic-tied west end.
Representatives from the Virginia Department of Transportation presented six locations for improvements spread between the intersections of I-395, Mark Center Drive and Beauregard Street at Seminary Road.
The proposed improvements include adding two lanes of through traffic and two left-turn lanes onto Seminary Road from the northbound I-395 ramp; adding triple right turns onto Seminary from Mark Center Drive; adding a pedestrian bridge over Seminary; and dedicated lanes for left-turning vehicles to I-395 and Seminary from northbound Beauregard Street.
Those six improvements were combined into five alternatives that the transportation agency plans to study for cost, effectiveness, configuration, need for right-of-way acquisition and other factors.
Funding and construction scenarios have not been determined, though Donna Fossum, one BRAC Advisory Committee member said, "We are potentially facing the disruption factor when the monstrosity opens. . . We'll be gridlocked to Miami."
The Department of Defense has agreed that Alexandria's DASH bus system could provide a new express bus route from either the King Street or Franconia-Springfield Metro stations to the site. Proposed King Street runs begin on page 12 here.
Four routes from each Metro station are in the process of being tested. The King Street runs are averaging about 30 to 45 minutes round trip in both morning and afternoon rushes. The Franconia-Springfield runs are averaging those same times going one way.
The long-term solution of a flyover ramp from the HOV or HOT lanes to the site is about to be studied, Alexandria transportation officials said.
City and state transportation officials are seeking comments until Wednesday on the possible improvements. Contact Alexandria's BRAC coordinator David Grover at 703-746-4061.
-- Christy Goodman
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