Virginia traffic officials seek public input on dangerous stretch of US 50

The Virginia Department of Transportation is seeking public input for a safety review of U.S. 50 in Falls Church, including an intersection where a Fairfax County police cruiser hit and killed a man early on Sunday morning.

The crash that took the life of Carlos Romeo Montoya, 40, remains under investigation. But it happened at Arlington Boulevard and Graham Road, which is within a 3-mile stretch where both VDOT and Fairfax County hope future projects can boost safety and reduce congestion.

“All of the intersections in the corridor have been challenging, but Graham has had its own challenges,” said Tom Biesiadny, director of the Department of Transportation in Fairfax County.

“We have done some upgrades with VDOT already, but we’re looking for some other opportunities to continue to improve that intersection.”

VDOT estimates that the area, which extends from Wilson Boulevard to Jaguar Trail, averages 51,000 vehicles a day. The study includes an examination of crashes, including severe and fatal crashes.

Falls Church residents turned out Monday night to a community meeting where VDOT shared some ideas for boosting safety including pedestrian enhancements, signal operations changes and even innovative intersection designs.

“There are things that they can do that can make it a little bit better and that’s why I’m here, because I don’t want to see anyone else killed,” said Judy Connell, a Falls Church resident who said she has at least nine ideas to boost safety and improve traffic flow along the busy roadway.

VDOT is in the midst of a $280,000 study of the roadway and is asking residents in the area and drivers who use the roadway to participate in an online survey.

“They’re the ones who live around here, drive on this corridor on a frequent basis and can maybe tell us some things that they experience every day,” said Allison Richter, VDOT director for Transportation and Land Use for Fairfax and Arlington counties.

The study is expected to be completed in the spring of 2020.

“Early next year, we’re hoping to have recommendations back from the study. Those will be prioritized, and then we’ll look for funding for those,” said Biesiadny.

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