Cut-through traffic policy update could help county residents access their homes during rush hour

Traffic on the inner loop of I-495 in Tysons (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

As Fairfax County starts expanding its efforts to curtail cut-through traffic clogging up neighborhood streets, a new corollary could allow local residents to skirt those limits.

Currently, there are three neighborhoods around the county with cut-through mitigation restrictions. Those restrictions involve signs that prohibit turns into those neighborhoods from major transit corridors during the morning and/or evening rush hours.

Existing cut-through mitigation projects (via Fairfax County)

While the restrictions aim to prevent local streets from getting clogged up by drivers trying to get around traffic on major highways, that also makes it difficult for residents on those streets to legally access their homes.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is considering shifting to a “residential cut-through permit zone,” which would let residents in the affected neighborhoods get permits for their vehicles. Signs that currently prohibit turns during rush hour would be changed to say “resident permit required.”

The draft ordinance would include specifications for eligibility for permits, set rules and permit fees, and provide information on enforcement and penalties for violation.

Fairfax County is also looking to expand its cut-through mitigation project to five neighborhood streets, including preventing cut-through traffic from rocking down to Electric Avenue.

  • Dead Run Drive and Carper Street in McLean
  • Thomas Avenue in Great Falls
  • Electric Avenue/Williams Avenue/Overlook Street in Tysons/Vienna
  • Allen Avenue in Falls Church
  • Hidden Meadow Drive in Chantilly

The proposal was scheduled for review at the Board of Supervisors transportation committee meeting in December but got pushed back to its next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

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