Neighborhoods seek to reduce speeding on residential roads
Speed humps will be installed along Woodley Drive — a residential road near Mount Vernon High School — potentially in the late spring or early summer time frame, according to a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT). FCDOT provided “On the MoVe” with a projected timeline following the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ (BoS) Feb. 8 approval of a related traffic calming resolution.
Community efforts to address the persistent speeding problem along Woodley Drive began in early 2021, when 20 residents of the Woodley Hills neighborhood banded together, signed a petition and sent it to Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck, requesting traffic calming measures in accordance with the county’s Residential Traffic Administration Program process. Soon thereafter, FCDOT determined that Woodley Drive was eligible for its Traffic Calming Program and conducted an engineering review, traffic count and speed survey of the area. One of the requirements for program participation was having a posted 25 mile per hour speed limit.
FCDOT’s 24-hour traffic study of Woodley Drive, conducted Wednesday, April 28, 2021, found that of the 1,063 vehicles traversing the road, the average eastbound speed (toward Old Mount Vernon Road) was 40 miles per hour, while the average westbound speed was 34 miles per hour. All in all, Woodley Drive traffic fell in the 85th percentile for speed. 76% of drivers exceeded the posted 25 mile per hour speed limit. A total of 39 vehicles exceeded 45 miles per hour — considered reckless driving under Virginia law — and 16 vehicles drove in excess of 55 miles per hour.
Based on these findings, FCDOT put together a traffic calming plan for Woodley Drive residents, recommending the installation of four speed humps between Old Mount Vernon Drive and Mount Zephyr Drive. Unlike speed “bumps” found in parking lots, humps are 12-feet wide and three inches high at their center, and are easily traversed at 15 to 20 miles per hour. Woodley Drive residents heard about the proposed plan at a virtual community meeting in November 2021 and voted to approve it, leading to the BoS endorsement this week. According to BoS documents, $30,000 in funding is required for the speed hump installation, and the funds are available through the Traffic Calming Program.
The Virginia Department of Transportation already has approved the traffic calming plan for Woodley Drive, said an FCDOT spokesperson, so the next step is for Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services to schedule installation. That is expected to take place once the weather is warmer and other pending traffic calming projects have been completed.
Woodley Hills isn’t the only neighborhood along the Richmond Highway corridor seeking to reduce speeds in residential areas. On Feb. 24, the New Gum Springs Civic Association (NGSCA) is holding a virtual community meeting with representation from FCDOT and Supervisor Storck’s office to hear about a proposal for three speed humps along Fordson Road. The speed humps would be located between Sherwood Hall Lane and Dunbar Street.
Queenie Cox, president of NGSCA, said the association has been trying to get speed humps on Fordson for years and is looking forward to making the road safer, particularly for children walking to the community center and recreational facilities. “Hopefully this will slow the speeders down,” she said.