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Burning Topic: Traffic

Traffic items dominate agenda of the Vienna Town Council.

A discussion of traffic issues dominated the agenda of Vienna's Town Council meeting Monday evening, as Council members debated the following items:

* The Vienna Town Council approved unanimously a resolution to support the Branch Road Project. The project entails reconstructing the road from Maple Avenue East to Valley Drive Southeast. Because the road is used as a cut-through in Vienna, the reconstruction will provide better pedestrian and vehicular safety, and it will improve storm-water drainage in the area.

By approving the resolution, the Council gives a green light to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to continue with its plans to resurface the road, starting with the acquisition of easements. The total project cost is estimated at $2.8 million, with the town matching 2 percent. If the town and the residents along Branch Road decide to construct sidewalks along the street, such as on the southwest side of Branch Road, they would pay $522 instead of $26,100, since the town would only need to match 2 percent.

Advertisements for construction would begin in late 2006. Once construction is completed, parking will not be allowed on the reconstructed road.

* The Council approved a Transportation Safety Commission (TSC) recommendation to paint lane stripes on the curve portions of Cherry Street Southeast from Park Street to the west side of the Vienna Community Center. The town will also repaint the crosswalk between the Community Center and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

The measure aims at preventing car accidents along the stretch. Since November 1995, five car accidents have occurred at the site, with Councilwoman Edythe Kelleher witnessing the one that occurred on March 15.

* Because of approval from the Town Council, the Town's Department of Public Works (DPW) will be able to purchase several pieces of equipment to alleviate the town's traffic congestion. The Council authorized Public Works director Dennis King to purchase traffic signal equipment from Atlantic Technical Sales, in an amount not to exceed $11,905.

"It will allow us to better monitor our signals and test ... our circuits," King said.

The Council also authorized the DPW to purchase Synchro Plus Simtraffic 6 Software from Trafficware Corp., in an amount not to exceed $5,500. The software, used by surrounding jurisdictions such as the City of Manassas and the City of Fairfax, would allow the Town to improve the timing of traffic signals.

In addition to traffic issues, the Town also listened to Del. Steve Shannon (D-35th) present a house resolution honoring Lillian Croy, who passed away earlier this year. Croy founded Pennywise, a thrift shop sponsored by the Church of the Holy Comforter