The most effective improvements to the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Bellview Road included removing overgrown vegetation and regrading the corners of the intersection to improve visibility.
Numerous car accidents, including one fatality, prompted neighbors around the intersection of Bellview Road and Old Dominion Drive to action.
“The sound of crashes and the sirens of first responders have been a common occurrence for years.”
— Robert Makheja, McLean
“The sound of crashes and the sirens of first responders have been a common occurrence for years,” said neighbor Robert Makheja.
After Makheja and other neighbors told Supervisor John Foust of their safety concerns in 2012, Foust asked the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to evaluate what could be done about the “frequent accidents.”
There were 15 reported accidents at this intersection in 2014 alone.
Of the 68 reported crashes on Bellview Road from 2010-2014, 46 occurred at this intersection: five accidents in 2010, 10 in 2011, seven in 2012, nine in 2013, and 15 accidents in 2014.
Many of these accidents were not benign. Ninety-one people were involved in the accidents, with 22 injuries. There was one fatality. “In the fatal accident, the driver failed to acknowledge a stop sign and was impacted by a second vehicle inside the intersection, according to Fairfax crash data. “Neither speed nor alcohol was a factor in this crash. The driver of the impacting vehicle was not charged with a crime.”
VDOT removed trees on public land in 2014, and vegetation, tree clearing and re-grading on private property in 2015 that cleared the view of drivers.
“This is one of the most important road safety projects we have completed during my time in office,” said Supervisor Foust.
THE NEIGHBORS organized a ceremony on Monday, Jan. 11 to thank Foust for “initiating and accelerating an important Fairfax County and State safety improvement project at the intersection of Bellview Road and Old Dominion Drive in McLean.”
“As a result of Supervisor’s Foust’s determination and persistence to solve this problem, we in our neighborhood are delighted to see a dramatic decline in accidents since the project was finished, and in fact have not seen any accidents thus far,” said Makheja.
High embankments on the intersection corners and the presence of overgrown vegetation and utility poles limited sight distance of drivers on Bellview Road and Old Dominion Drive, according to a 2012 Fairfax County Department of Transportation study.
Speed of drivers on Old Dominion Drive was also a factor. The report recommended short- and long-term changes to improve the safety at the intersection, according to Foust.
FCDOT and VDOT implemented several improvements, including improving signage and installing a no passing zone near the intersection along with trimming vegetation. VDOT also installed flashing beacons before the intersection and “headlights on for safety” signs along Old Dominion Drive to help car visibility during the day time.
BECAUSE ACCIDENTS CONTINUED, Foust pushed VDOT and County staff to implement additional solutions, which involved re-grading the corners of the intersection to eliminate berms blocking the view for drivers. He secured project funding through Commercial and Industrial Tax revenues and pressed to make the project a high priority.
“I want to thank the neighbors who provided easements for the project and the entire community for their patience during the planning and construction process,” said Foust. “I’m very pleased that we have already seen a dramatic reduction in accidents since the project was completed.