HD64 - The U.S. Route 1 Corridor Study in Fairfax and Prince William Counties

Executive Summary:
This document summarizes the findings to date of the Route 1 Corridor Study. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has completed the first phase of the study: an assessment of existing and future conditions in the Route 1 corridor. Ongoing and subsequent phases of the study include:

• Development and identification of alternative concepts to improve transportation in the Route 1 Corridor
• Selection of a package of improvements
• Development of a phased implementation plan
• Documentation of the study recommendations.

The study is scheduled for completion in October, 1997.


The Study Team assessed conditions in the corridor based on field observations, technical analyses, and discussions with local citizens familiar with the corridor. The problems identified to date in the corridor are:

Physical Roadway Conditions

• Inconsistent cross sections and discontinuous service roads exist where the roadway has been widened in a piecemeal fashion.
• Roadside traffic hazards such as the inadequate setback of piers at four bridges over Route 1 and at some utility poles.
• Poor conditions and non-standard width of shoulders, ditches and roadway surfaces.
• Inadequate roadway lighting in terms of uniformity and lighting levels.

Traffic Operations and Safety

• Currently, traffic bottlenecks occur during peak periods at several intersections with Route 1 including:

- Telegraph Road/Pohick Road
- Route 123 (Gordon Boulevard)
- Fort Hunt Road
- Longview Drive
- Woodlawn Road

• Traffic is projected to increase 15,000 to 35,000 vehicles per day, by 2020. Without transportation improvements to Route I beyond those currently funded, Route 1 will have an almost continuous series of congested intersections during peak periods.
• When 1-95 is congested in Prince William County, traffic diverts onto Route 1. This slows traffic and restricts access to transit stations, businesses and neighborhoods.
• Backups onto Route] from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the City of Alexandria restrict access to the Capital Beltway and businesses in the vicinity of the Capital Beltway.
• Operational and safety problems are caused by numerous access points, poorly delineated driveways, and uncontrolled parking areas abutting the roadway.

Transit/Ridesharing Facilities and Services

• Gap in transit service in Lorton area; no connections between OmniRide and OmniLink bus service sponsored by Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) and Fairfax Connector buses or Metrobus service in the corridor.
• Lack of convenient suburb-to-suburb transit services.
• Many bus stops in the corridor are in poor condition; are inconvenient; are in potentially unsafe locations; have unpaved waiting areas; lack connecting sidewalks; and lack amenities such as route maps/schedules, benches, and shelters.
• By 2020, traffic congestion on Route 1 will impede the movement of buses and increase transit travel times.

Pedestrian Accommodations

• Inconsistent and discontinuous sidewalks along Route and between adjacent neighborhoods and businesses.
• Pedestrian crossing of Route 1 is difficult due to roadway width and high traffic volume, especially in inclement weather and at night.

Land Use and Urban Design

• The Route 1 Corridor presents a poor appearance due to deteriorated building stocks, underdeveloped parcels, and a chaotic visual environment (signage and overhead wires).
• Limited connections are available for vehicles and pedestrians between adjacent land uses.

Economic Conditions

• The development community has a negative image of portions of the Route] Corridor due to poor appearance, obsolete development patterns, and perceived crime problems.
• There is competition for the retail market in portions of Prince William County from the Potomac Mills/Prince William Parkway shopping areas.
• There is a constrained retail market in northern portions of Fairfax County due to limited east-west connections.
• Opportunities for (re)development of small parcels are restrained by difficulties in property consolidation and limited property depths.


The study team identified potential immediate action improvements based on observations made during inventory and assessment work. These improvements are intended to be low-cost actions that would be beneficial and can be quickly implemented. That is, minimal design work would be needed, little additional right-of-way would be required and the projects could be implemented over the next one or two years. These actions are not "short-term" improvements .which will be identified in subsequent phases of the study. Short-term improvements will be developed that are consistent with the recommended long-range plan and would have a three to seven year implementation timeframe.

The projects listed in Table E-l should be pursued as immediate action improvements.