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Pedestrian-Friendly Fairfax Circle?

Fairfax Circle, known for its confusing traffic patterns and the intersection of Routes 50/29 and Old Lee Highway, will soon be receiving some short-term improvements to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

The Fairfax City Council approved a $400,000 appropriation resolution to install some short-term improvements onto the site. Of the $400,000 project costs, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will reimburse the City $399,200, meaning that the net cost to the City will be $800.

The short-term improvements, according to a city-commissioned engineering study on Fairfax Circle, include the following:

“* Re-evaluate and implement new traffic signal timing at the Circle and at adjacent intersections (Lee Highway at Blake Lane, Arlington Boulevard at Pickett Road, Picket Road at Old Pickett Road, and Old Lee Highway at Old Pickett Road) to encourage alternative travel routes and a rebalancing of the turning traffic within the network.

* Reconfigure the intersection and traffic signals at Old Lee Highway and the entrances to Lotte Plaza and Seven-Eleven.

* Install pedestrian signal indications, pedestrian push buttons or detectors, and marked crosswalks for pedestrians.

* Construct missing sidewalks links and ADA (wheelchair accessible) ramps along Arlington Boulevard and Lee Highway.

* Re-evaluate and implement new pavement markings, directional signing and information signing to reduce driver confusion, provide better guidance through the Circle and reduce visual clutter.

* Implement a driver education program to complement the improvements, accomplished ... [through] a brochure format.”

The implementation would not start within the next six months, as the City is still interviewing consultants for the design, according to city transportation director Alex Versoza. After the design is determined, the City would then need to get approval from VDOT.