Fairfax County Parkway: Would HOV or HOT relieve congestion?

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

FAIRFAX, Va. – With the Fairfax County Parkway carrying nearly as much traffic as an interstate highway, one county supervisor thinks the state should study the possibility of widening the parkway to add High Occupancy Vehicle lanes or High Occupancy Toll lanes.

Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity wants the Virginia Department of Transportation to study the issue.

“We need to understand how we can relieve congestion so that our residents can get where they need to get to,” says Herrity.

The study would look at widening the highway to three lanes and grade-separated interchanges, similar to those recently built along Va. 28.

The 35-mile parkway, finished in 2012, runs from Fort Belvoir at Route 1 to the Loudoun County line.

The highway currently carries 50,000 to 80,000 cars a day, which is close to interstate volume. Projections for the road show that traffic could go up to 100,000 cars per day by 2030.

Some members of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors worry that asking the state for the study now might delay some planned improvements, including a partial widening project already in the works.

Herrity says the study should outline long-term solutions to alleviate traffic congestion along the corridor.

The Board of Supervisors’ transportation committee plans to take a closer look at the study proposal at its next meeting.

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