Sharp angles and poor line-of-sight make the Balls Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive intersection one of McLean’s worst road hazards.
But after rescheduling due to poor weather conditions, a community meeting will be held later this week to discuss drastic changes to the intersection. The meeting will be held this Wednesday (Nov. 28) at 7:30 p.m. in Cooper Middle School (977 Balls Hill Road).
The intersection is one of the most crash-heavy intersections in McLean, with 29 total crashes around the intersection from 2010-2015. More development planned for the area, including nearby subdivisions Mehr Farms and Summerstone, are likely to make road conditions worse.
But all three of the proposed intersection changes could have a negative impact on either the surrounding developments or other nearby traffic intersections.
According to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, there are several traffic alternatives being considered for the site:
- T-Intersection: This would solve queuing issues at the site while having a relatively small footprint. But this shift could also have an impact at the Balls Hill Road intersection with Dulany Hill Drive nearby.
- Roundabout: This would allow the intersection to maintain the historic look of the intersection and maintain the state standards of design at the lowest cost. But roundabouts have been shown to have a substantial learning curve for drivers. The intersection would also have to undergo significant topographical changes and it would impact three homes currently under construction at the Mehr Farms development.
- Dedicated Left Turn Lanes: This would be lower in cost than the T-Intersection and have a smaller footprint than the roundabout, but the turn onto Old Dominion Drive would be a quasi U-turn. The new turn lanes would also significantly impact the nearby Korean Presbyterian Church and the Mehr Farms development.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation staff will give a formal presentation at 7:45 p.m., followed by a question and answer period. Comments on the project can also be made online.
The planned intersection improvements are part of a broader series of transportation projects planned throughout McLean.
Live Fairfax is a bi-weekly column exploring Fairfax County. This recurring column is sponsored and written by Sharmane Medaris of McEnearney Associates. Questions? Reach Sharmane at 813-504-4479. There are so many fun things…
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