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MCA Issues Letter Commenting on Proposed Dolley Madison Transportation Projects

Glenn Harris | Published on 7/29/2022

The stretch of Dolley Madison Boulevard between Anderson Road and Elm Street and the adjoining intersections are often a source of traffic backups and frustration for residents of the McLean Area.  The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (“FCDOT”) has proposed a number of projects to improve traffic flow along this corridor.   On July 8, 2022, the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) sent a letter to FCDOT, expressing support for certain proposed intersection improvements, but also voicing concerns about several other proposed projects.

The MCA letter resulted from an evaluation of the intersection proposals that was undertaken by the MCA Transportation Committee.  The MCA expressed support for intersection improvements FCDOT is considering that would expand lanes and capacity on Dolley Madison in the vicinity of Great Falls Street/Lewinsville Road, add capacity to Lewinsville Road near this intersection, and provide two exclusive left-turn lanes from Lewinsville Road and Great Falls Street onto Dolley Madison.  These improvements should help improve traffic flow along what is often a congested stretch of Dolley Madison, particularly during the rush hours.

MCA, however, expressed its opposition to several other FCDOT proposals that appeared likely to inconvenience and burden residents living in certain local neighborhoods.  One such proposal would have prevented drivers from turning left onto Lewinsville from Balls Hill Road.  This change, the MCA advised, would likely cause significant inconvenience to those who wished to exit Balls Hill, particularly during periods of increased traffic such as when numerous people are voting at the Government Center or going to and from the soccer fields or the Little Langley school.  Additionally, the MCA opposed a proposal prohibiting left turns from Dolley Madison in either direction onto Old Dominion and that would bar left turns from Great Falls heading towards Dolley Madison onto Chain Bridge Road.

Finally, the MCA urged FCDOT to implement improvements at either the intersection of Dolley Madison Boulevard and Ingleside Avenue or the intersection of Dolley Madison Boulevard and Elm Street.  The MCA recommended the installation of a traffic signal at one of these intersections, or, if a signal is not feasible, installation of a pedestrian hybrid beacon, along with enhanced crosswalks, at either intersection.  Provision of a traffic signal or beacon with enhanced crosswalks would improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing Dolley Madison Boulevard in order to access the McLean Central Park, the McLean Community Center, and the Dolley Madison Library from downtown McLean, and would help integrate these facilities with the McLean Community Business Center.  The MCA also suggested that FCDOT evaluate the feasibility of a pedestrian bridge over Route 123 in this area as a longer-term solution, but recognized that there may be cost or other feasibility concerns with construction of such a bridge in this location. 

The FCDOT responded to the MCA letter, expressing appreciation for the MCA’s detailed comments and stating that the MCA’s comments are valuable to FCDOT and will be taken into consideration when it makes final recommendations.  On August 10, 2022, Dranesville Supervisor John Foust notified the MCA that he had notified FCDOT of his support the MCA’s recommendations.

The MCA letter can be viewed here: MCA Letter to FCDOT re Dolley Madison Corridor Study 7.8.22
The FCDOT presentation on the Dolley Madison Boulevard Corridor Study from its May 11, 2022 public meeting can be viewed here:  FCDOT Dolley Madison Slideshow May 11, 2022