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Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 10/18/2010

A long wait for safety on Route 234

By David Alpert

A traffic signal and crosswalk were already planned for Virginia Route 234 at the very spot a man was killed Friday in Dumfries (an accident I wrote about on Friday). The signal had been promised for spring 2010, but hasn't yet been installed.

The man was crossing between a McDonald's and a commuter bus lot near Route 1, where Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) buses travel to the Pentagon and downtown D.C.

The pedestrian danger there is nothing new. According to TBD, people often cross here on foot. It's not just people eating at the McDonald's; this is the main way to enter the lot as a pedestrian, including when transferring from other buses.

There are no crosswalks at the intersection of 234 and Route 1, and along the side of 234 adjacent to the lot, there was not even a sidewalk until recently. As part of a large expansion of the lot, Prince William County and VDOT planned a new sidewalk along the edge and a signal at the McDonalds/commuter lot entrance on 237.

The lot has since been expended and the sidewalk added, but not the light. According to information obtained by Greater Greater Washington, Prince William officials said in December that VDOT was scheduled to install the signal by the spring. However, installation was subsequently stalled, waiting for parts.

WTOP reports that VDOT is now promising the signal by "mid-November." If the agency had gotten it done within even six months of the promised date, however, Miguel Zelaya-Jovel would probably be alive today. And if a crash were to happen in that spot, Prince William police wouldn't so cavalierly dismiss the issue.

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By David Alpert  | October 18, 2010; 11:51 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Prince William County, Virginia, traffic  | Tags:  Dumfries pedestrian death, Miguel Zelaya-Jovel  
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