Pushed by McLean residents concerned about rush hour traffic, state transportation officials are considering plans to close an on-ramp from Georgetown Pike to the Capital Beltway.
But some Reston residents, particularly those who commute to Maryland, said they feel sidelined by the process, which they say would significantly increase traffic on the Beltway during peak rush hour.
“Every community would like less traffic, noise, disturbances but if we give special treatment to one community than the same should be given to another and in trying to improve traffic, this idea produces more traffic and costs to drivers and begins a program of treating communities differently,” said Kevin Sullivan, a Reston resident.
Sullivan said he was especially concerned because he feels many area residents are not aware of the possible ramp closure. He also said the closure would force some commuters to opt for routes with more tolls.
The Virginia Department of Transportation could close the ramp from Virginia Route 193 and Georgetown Pike to the Inner Loop between 1 and 7 p.m. on weekdays only. The closure would go into effect for a pilot period of four months. State officials will monitor the closure’s effect on local and Beltway traffic prior to making a final decision about the closure.
Eliani Korawajczuk, a Herndon resident, worries the closure will divert traffic onto Route 7 in order to access George Washington Parkway.
“It is already [a] painful return from Maryland… Now imagine what will happen if nobody has options,” Korawajczuk said.
“Why can we have more traffic and McLean residents don’t?” she added.
A public meeting on the proposal is set for 7 p.m. on August 2 at McLean High School. Requests for comment from Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins were not returned.