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Alexandria Considering Right-Hand Turn Lane from Route 1 onto Reed Avenue

Recommendation expected to come in March.

A decision to construct a right-hand turn lane on southbound Route 1 onto E. Reed Avenue could be right around the corner.

City Council addressed the issue on Saturday when it approved a new affordable housing complex at the intersection.

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“I think that right-hand turn lane study should be completed expeditiously and constructed expeditiously,” Councilman Tim Lovain said. “I’ve thought for years there should be a right-hand turn lane coming south on Route 1.”

Currently, a third lane on the southbound side of Route 1 ends just before the intersection with Reed, causing congestion during peak hours.

Dozens of residents of the E. Reed Avenue area testified before the Planning Commission this month, pleading with its members to open a right hand turn lane and conveying frustration with the current traffic situation at that intersection.

One Lynhaven resident told board members that she waited two hours to move 20 yards in her car to make a right onto E. Reed during bad weather.

Rich Baier, the director of the city’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, said Saturday a meeting about the turn lane was being scheduled for the end of February and that recommendations would be brought back to council in March.

Councilman Paul Smedberg brought up the turn lane issue in September when council approved a loan for AHC, the nonprofit behind the complex, to cover predevelopment costs.

Old Town Alexandria Patch editor Sharon McLoone contributed to this report.

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Kathlynne January 20, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Joseph is 100% correct. I hate seeing traffic backed up to Glebe (at Harris Teeter's) while the entire right lane is empty
Michael Peter January 20, 2013 at 08:47 PM
This potential turn lane would be a big boost to help those of us who live in the neighborhood actually get home. I often do not use Route 1 just because of the difficulties at this intersection. As for walkability, my 2 year-old son and I often take walks an negotiate across Route 1. As a driver and as a pedestrian, I support this turn lane.
Michael January 21, 2013 at 12:44 AM
@Joseph, not sure I really follow your train of thought about my "logic". I'm all in favor of the third lane in that stretch of Rt. 1 as it serves the very real need for a drivers turning into and coming out of The Reserve at Potomac Yards, even with a stop light at that interchange. The third lane gives those residents the ability to get home just a little quicker, and out of their complex a little easier when going south, or into Del Ray, Extending the lane to E. Reed and making it a turn lane at that point would allow the rest of us, who live in neighborhoods further down Rt. 1, but not as far as Monroe Ave an opportunity to get off the already overcrowded Rt. 1. As for walkability, how does adding a lane to north side of the intersection increase the number of lanes a pedestrian would need to cross on the south side of the intersection (where there is also a cross walk)? Given that the three proposed sites for the new Metro stations are south of Target, a pedestrian walking from say The Reserve would need to cross over either E. Reed Ave, OR the entry to Potomac Yards as well as the existing lanes. Given the additional housing and proposed offices going into Potomac Yards vehicular traffic is going to increase significantly in the very near future... giving current residents who live off Rt. 1. an easier option by extending the far right lane as a right turn onto E. Reed is a no brainer.
amy lu January 21, 2013 at 09:01 PM
While they're studying the intersection, maybe they'll take traffic counts of eastbound Reed which, according to a Lynhaven resident takes him several signal cycles to clear because of an exceedingly short right-turn lane. Would mean removing a few precious parking spaces during the A.M. rush. But if you really what to ease congestion, Council could consider connecting Commonwealth Avenue to Rt 1 and when Oakville Triangle is redeveloped, connect Swann to Stewart for greater connectivity.
Scooby's Doo January 21, 2013 at 09:58 PM
If making a right turn out of Lynhaven on Reed is a problem, the remove the culs de sac at Wesmond, Lynhaven, and Evans. When you streets are intentional blocked off it creates the same situation as a typical subdivision. Backups ensure because there are limited ways in and out.

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