Wednesday: What’s the Future Hold for Hunter Mill Road?

by Karen Goff June 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm 7 Comments

 Will Hunter Mill Road change from a country road into a more significant — and efficient — traffic artery?

Find out the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s (FCDOT) progress on that at a community meeting on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 7 p.m., at the North County Government Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston).

Fairfax County has been studying traffic mitigation options on Hunter Mill from Sunrise Valley Drive to the Colvin Run Bridge for several years.

There is heavy congestion during morning and evening peak hours. The congestion is heavily concentrated at the intersections of Sunset Hills Road and the westbound Dulles Toll Road ramps at Hunter Mill Road.

Says Fairfax County:

These two intersections are closely spaced and constrained by the existing bridge. The number of vehicles using Hunter Mill Road is forecasted to increase in the future.

With the opening of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, new development anticipated in Reston, and an increase in background traffic associated with development elsewhere in the region, vehicular traffic is expected to increase in this area. This study will look at alternatives to mitigate the existing and future conditions to ensure traffic can move efficiently through the intersections.

Meanwhile, the county suggested last winter that the best place to build a septic dumping station was on Fairfax County Park Authority land that is on the much-congested route. It is estimated sewage haulers would make 22 trips a day on the two-lane road, which features a 25-mph speed limit and a one-lane bridge.

After a community outcry, the county is looking at other alternatives before moving forward in that spot.

Here’s what’s happened in the process so far:

During the first half of 2015, FCDOT conducted the Hunter Mill Road and Sunset Hills Road Study to evaluate operational issues on Hunter Mill Road between Sunrise Valley Drive and Colvin Run.

In July of 2015, FCDOT deferred the Hunter Mill Road Study at the request of the community in order to allow for new capacity analysis methodologies for roundabouts to be adopted by the Transportation Research Board in January 2016 at their annual meeting.

FCDOT is now ready to restart the Hunter Mill Road Study and apply these new methodologies to the developed alternatives, and any newly developed alternatives. The project reboot will also provide an opportunity to integrate comments heard at the last public meeting into an expanded scope of work.

At community meetings last year, residents said they did not want Wiehle Avenue traffic diverted onto Hunter Mill. They also said Hunter Mill should keep the same character, but the county should look at roundabouts as a traffic mitigation option.

See the presentation below to look at community feedback, road-widening options and other considerations.

  • Waitwhat

    The times are changing. The Hunter Mill area residents have long fought changing the character of their neighborhood, but Hunter Mill is a main route. And it floods. The bridge issues need to be addressed. One lane bridges with the population we now have? This whole area is going to be vastly different over the next 10-20 years. Better to be prepared.

    • Bethany

      Plus with that school going in down the road, that will increase traffic as well…

    • RunDMC

      Yup. Crowell’s corner/ Hunter Mill is absolutely charming but, unfortunately, traffic dictates that something’s gotta be done. I’m extremely sad that it seems like no matter what solution they impose it’s going to impact the adorable white farmhouse that’s on the SE corner of Crowell Rd and Hunter Mill road. And it’s been sad over the past 7 years that I’ve lived here to see more and more construction along Hunter Mill, Crowell Rd, and Browns Mill Road… but again, this area is growing, traffic is increasing, and at some point you HAVE to address that along arterial roads. People who don’t want to take the toll road are going to be taking Crowell Rd/ Browns Mill, or Hunter Mill to Baron Cameron to 7, or Hunter Mill to Lawyer’s, or Hunter Mill all the way to 123. Add more people to Reston and you’ll get more and more cars taking toll road alternatives.

      • Waitwhat

        It is sad. I’ve grown up here most of my life, so I appreciate the character and charm you talk about. But it is difficult to get around, and then to reach some of the enclaves, like off of Beulah Road, you have to go way around. There’s no direct road, at least coming from Reston.

  • memsy

    The roundabouts are ridiculous. No one knows how to navigate a roundabout properly. You will have people stopping in the middle of the roundabout trying to figure out which way to go and no one will be able to merge properly during rush hour. The roundabouts will not keep traffic flowing because traffic is backed up at the multiple lights going to the toll road, so you will have cars sitting in the roundabout.

    Approving that new school in an already overly congested area was a very stupid idea.

    Hunter Mill is a scenic byway with multiple historic plaques. We residents don’t want to see it changed into a damn multi-lane highway like rt 7.

    • Sam

      Disagree that no one knows how to use roundabouts. They have them in Urbana/Frederick area and I have yet to see anyone stop because they don’t know where to go. Look at Memorial Bridge in Arlington as well — that roundabout handles tens of thousands more cars a day and works effectively.

      I do agree that a roundabout would be jammed with backups from nearby Toll Rd intersections though.

  • K. Magee

    As long as the tolls continue to skyrocket on the big main roads built to handle that kind of traffic, the population will multiply exponentially on any small country road bypass they can find on the maps. If the toll situation is taken care of properly, the rest of the roads might return to normal again.


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