A recent push to improve safety on Lee Chapel Road in Fairfax County has led to some changes along the deadly stretch on this Virginia Road, with more initiatives in the works.
Earlier this month, the Virginia Department of Transportation improved the Optical Speed Bar pavement markings — transverse stripes spaced out at decreasing distances — in the area.
On Wednesday, Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity sat down with county leaders and VDOT to discuss future short-term and long-term improvements, including rumble strips, more signage and improved lighting.
“We’re looking at taking out the hill as a middle-term solution and an eventual widening of the road as a longer-term solution,” Herrity said, adding that he is hopeful this could happen in the next two years.
Calls for change along the road came just days after a deadly crash killed two high school girls and left one with critical injuries. More than 12,000 people have signed a petition supporting safety improvements.
“I’m pretty confident that we will be moving forward with some short-term solution,” Herrity said.
I want to thank VDOT for the speed in which they implemented the first interim improvement at the site of the fatal crash Tuesday. I have spoken with the leadership at the Virginia Dept. of Transportation (VDOT—the state agency that owns this road) pic.twitter.com/5rFfmRxIzB
— Supervisor Pat Herrity (@PatHerrity) January 17, 2023
Fairfax County has laid out plans to widen Lee Chapel Road between Fairfax County Parkway from two lanes to four, but no money has been set aside to make it happen. When looking at funding from VDOT, the agency said that while it has outlined safety projects in the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), those funds have been set aside for systemic improvements with specific criteria.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners in Fairfax County to support initiatives and infrastructure to increase traffic safety,” VDOT said.
Herrity said officials will meet again later this month to discuss next steps.