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The Traffic Calming Initiative for 2014-2015

The PHCA is happy to announce the the 2014-2015 traffic Calming initiative is well under way and we are making significant strides in our effort, but the biggest challenges still lay ahead. Below, we would like to share with you some background about what it is exactly that we are doing, where we are in the process, and how YOU can help us make our streets safer.

Background

Out of a growing concern over the increasing volume and speed of traffic through our neighborhood, the PHCA has formed the Traffic Calming committee in an attempt to address this growing issue. As many of you are likely aware, because our neighborhood is conveniently situated between or near many major thoroughfares (Route 7, Route 123, I-66, I-495), our streets suffer from a disproportionately high volume of "cut-through" traffic. As a result, our streets are plagued by drivers who zip through our neighborhood with little regard for the safety of its homeowners and, most importantly, our children.

It is clear that something needs to be done about the situation immediately, and we, the PHCA Traffic Calming Committee have taken action by engaging the local Fairfax County government on this issue. In May of 2014, the PHCA sent a formal request to Fairfax County to address this issue. Our neighborhood has since been working with Fairfax County, under the R-TAP program which is aimed at addressing Traffic-related problems for residential areas. 

Current Status

The implementation of traffic calming measures is a multi-step process that must be initiated by the neighborhood Citizen's association. In our case, we, the PHCA have been pushing this process forward for several months now. Below is a table that shows where we are in the list of steps that are must be followed before any resulting measures can be implemented:

DONE 
(As of May 2014)
1. A request is made to the district supervisor by the Home Owners Association (HOA), with the names and contact information of 4 to 5 residents who can serve on a task force to review a conceptual traffic calming plan.
DONE (As of June 2014)
2. The district supervisor forwards the request to Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT).
DONE
(As of September 2014)
3. A traffic count, speed survey and engineering review of the road is conducted by FCDOT.
DONE
(For Pimmit Dr North ONLY. As of April 2015)
4. If the road qualifies FCDOT develops a conceptual traffic calming plan. Task force reviews and approves the conceptual plan. UPDATE: Affected Resident signatures completed for Pimmit Dr. North, submitted and accepted by FCDOT (4/22/2015). Pimmit Dr. North plan amended to remove proposed speed hump on 1700 block.
DONE
(For Pimmit Dr North ONLY.)
5. A community meeting is held to provide information on the proposed traffic calming plan.

UPDATE: Community meeting to be held on May 19, 2015 @ 7:00PM - 8:00PM at the Pimmit Hills School Main Multi-purpose room. The presentation is available in electronic format at this link: Pimmit Drive Community Informational Meeting
DONE 
(For Pimmit Dr North ONLY.)
6. A vote via ballot is taken by residences in the petition (not impacted) area to approve the traffic calming plan.
DONE - Success! (For Pimmit Dr. North)
7. The Board of Supervisors approves the traffic calming plan.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, Oct 6th, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors formally endorsed the installation of the speed humps on North Pimmit Dr.

As posted on Facebook by Supervisor Foust:

"The Board of Supervisors joined me today in endorsing a traffic calming plan developed by Pimmit Hills Citizens Association Taskforce for Pimmit Drive between Lisle Avenue and Friden Drive."

We are grateful to all for your participation in this effort. We are all looking forward to the installation of these much-needed traffic calming measures. Special thanks to the office of Supervisor John Foust for facilitating the process!


NOT STARTED 8. FCDOT installs the measures.

As shown in the table above, as of September 2014, FCDOT (Fairfax County Department of Transportation) has just completed the traffic counts (step 3 above) for the streets named in the original request and shared this data with us.

The data collected, as received from FCDOT is as follows:

 Pimmit Drive
 Friden Dr to Magarity Ave
Lisle Avenue Pimmit Drive
Rt 7 to Friden Dr
Griffith Road Patterson Road
Total Volume 1357
Northbound Average Speed   30
mph
Southbound Average Speed  28
mph
Northbound 85th Percentile Speed 38
mph
Southbound 85th Percentile Speed 35
mph

Posted Speed Limit: 25 mph
Meets Qualifications? YES
Total Volume 1421
Eastbound Average Speed  29
mph
Westbound Average Speed  28
mph
Eastbound 85th Percentile Speed  35
mph
Westbound 85th Percentile Speed  34
mph

Posted Speed Limit: 25 mph

Meets Qualifications? YES
Total Volume 2254
Eastbound Average Speed  29
mph
Westbound Average Speed  29
mph
Eastbound 85th Percentile Speed  35
mph
Westbound 85th Percentile Speed  36
mph

Posted Speed Limit: 25 mph
Meets Qualifications? YES
Total Volume 1781
Northbound Average Speed  32
mph
Southbound Average Speed  33
mph
Northbound 85th Percentile Speed  39
mph
Southbound 85th Percentile Speed
 40
mph

Posted Speed Limit: 25 mph
Meets Qualifications? YES
Total Volume 1156
Northbound Average Speed  23
mph
Southbound Average Speed  24
mph
Northbound 85th Percentile Speed  28
mph
Southbound 85th Percentile Speed
 34 
mph

Posted Speed Limit: 25 mph
Meets Qualifications? NO

The Qualifications for our roads (designated as "local roads") acceptance into the traffic calming program for all roads mentioned above are:

  • Average speed of 30 mph OR 85th percentile speed of 35 mph
  • Volume between 600 and 6,000 vehicles per day

As shown above, 4 out of the 5 of our requested streets have met the eligibility criteria to proceed with the traffic calming program. (YAY!)

 UPDATE November 2014: We are happy to announce, as part of the request, we were able to get the watch for children signs installed on several of our neighborhood streets! As no ballot was require for such an action, the signs were installed by FCDOT in late October 2014.

We are now at Step 4, working with FCDOT to draft a conceptual plan for the implementation of traffic calming measures for the identified streets. As of December 2014, we the Traffic Calming committee, have scheduled a meeting with FCDOT on January 7, 2015 to discuss the Conceptual plan. Upon review and acceptance by FCDOT and the PHCA, the plan will then be presented to the neighborhood at large to solicit feedback.

Once that's all done, then comes the real hard part: the neighborhood residents for the affected streets will need to be balloted. A 50% response rate is required, and the majority of the responses must be in favor to implement the measures. Moreover, the County will only accept PAPER ballots at this time, making it extremely difficult for us to get the responses we need. 

This is where we desperately need YOUR help. It will be extremely difficult to get the responses we need - from the paper ballots - given the size and fragmentation of our neighborhood. However, we are hopeful that we could offset this difficulty by raising awareness about this important issue, so that when the ballot comes, we will get the number of responses needed.

Below are images, provided courtesy of fairfax county, that show the areas of the neighborhood that will be balloted:

 Pimmit Drive North
Friden Dr to Magarity Ave
 Lisle Avenue
 Pimmit Drive
Rt7 to Friden Dr
Griffith Road
Pimmit Drive North - Proposed Measures and Ballot Map 
Lisle Avenue Ballot Area (Click to Enlarge)   Ballot Area Pimmit Dr South (Click to Enlarge)  Ballot Area Griffith Rd (Click to enlarge)

How YOU can help

Talk to your neighbors to let them know that it is important to respond to the ballot(s). Let them know about the urgency and importance of this issue to for our neighborhood's streets. If we get just one or two people from each block of the balloted areas above to spread the word and let their neighbors know to look out for the ballot(s) coming their way (sample below) we stand a much better chance of getting the measures being implemented.


 Visit the Ballot Page for the Pimmit Drive North Traffic Calming Ballot

 Download the Pimmit Dr North Traffic Calming Ballot Here

 

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1927 Pimmit Drive, Pimmit Hills, VA 22043
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