Friday, September 17, 2010

Letter to VDOT regarding Franconia Road

Lee District Supervisor McKay sent out the following message to his constituents regarding a letter that was sent to VDOT regarding the need for better bicycle and pedestrian safety measures on Franconia Road. Let's hope the message gets through that our roads serve all citizens, not just those in cars:
Dear Lee Neighbor:

I wanted to keep you apprised of my efforts after the recent tragic death of Rebecca Johns. Senator Barker, Delegate Sickles, and I have sent the attached letter requesting safety improvements along Franconia Road to Governor McDonnell. It’s not enough to only regulate traffic; we also need safety measures for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Supervisor Jeffrey C. McKay
6121 Franconia Road
Alexandria, VA 22310
(703) 971-6262
Here's the text of the message:
September 16, 2010

The Honorable Robert F. McDonnell
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Dear Governor McDonnell:

On August 30, at the intersection of Cannon Lane and Franconia Road, a car and a child on a bicycle collided with tragic consequences. The community now grieves the loss of a bright, happy, intelligent, and engaging nine-year-old girl. (The police news release is attached)

There is a long history between the Virginia Department of Transportation and the community regarding traffic control and the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as motorists along Franconia Road between Rose Hill Drive and Telegraph Road. Since the accident, we have received many suggestions for safety improvements in this largely two-lane section of Franconia Road. We are not traffic engineers and need your assistance to evaluate these suggestions. We do know this section of Franconia Road to be quite congested. The road is a primary residential thoroughfare and fronts heavily used athletic fields, churches, and a middle school. While there are some sidewalks and trails there are no crosswalks, making it treacherous to cross the road.

We ask VDOT to conduct a detailed review of Franconia Road and its side streets between Rose Hill Drive and Telegraph Road to identify improvements to pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The review should also revisit the earlier request from the Wilton Woods community for a traffic signal at Franconia Road and Clermont Drive. VDOT has previously studied this location and concluded that the most effective safety solution at this intersection would be a dedicated east-bound turn lane onto Clermont Drive rather than a signal. Please reevaluate the studies of this location and include the results in the evaluation of the Rose Hill/Telegraph segment. The review should, however, focus on pedestrian and bicyclist safety and not only on ways to more efficiently move cars. [Emphasis added]

We thank you for your time and attention to this critical matter. We look forward to hearing whatever suggestions you find may be appropriate and stand ready to assist you in sharing this information with the community.

Sincerely yours,

Sharon Bulova
Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Jeffrey C. McKay
Supervisor, Lee District

George Barker
Senator, 39th District

Mark Sickles
Delegate, 43rd District

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