Traffic is already starting to back up as commuters head home early to avoid slick roads from today’s snow.
Traffic is heavy on the Beltway and along I-66 in the Tysons area as of 3:30 p.m., according to Google Maps. Leesburg Pike (Route 7) west of Tysons and the Dulles Access Road (Route 267) west of I-495 appear less congested.
A Winter Weather Advisory is currently in effect. Forecasters are warning commuters to be aware of slick areas on the roads and to allow extra time getting back in the evening.
On social media, people are sharing photos of the first snow of 2020:
— Alexa Waub (@weatherwaub) January 7, 2020
— Julieta Valls Noyes (@JVNoyes) January 7, 2020
I just got off the Beltway at Route 7 in the Tysons Corner area where wet snow is coming down at a pretty good clip, but there’s little accumulation. THis is WB Leesburg Pike @WTOP @WTOPtraffic #snowpatrol pic.twitter.com/rHB63MAqHQ
— Michelle Basch (@mbaschWTOP) January 7, 2020
Image via Virginia 511, map via Google Maps
The Fairfax County supervisors representing Tysons and McLean voiced support for a proposed change that would allow residents to access roads with restricted turns during peak-hours.
Currently, a joint program from the transportation departments for Virginia and Fairfax County restricts access to neighborhood roads during peak-hour traffic — including the residents.
Fairfax County has three cut-thru restrictions in place. Four additional ones are at various stages, including:
- Dead Run Drive/Carper Street in McLean
- Electric Avenue/Williams Avenue/Overlook Street in the Tysons area
- Allen Avenue in the Falls Church area
Earlier this year, Virginia General Assembly passed a law allowing local jurisdictions to create a program to issue permits or stickers to residents to make turns into or out of a designated area during certain times of the day when those turns are not allowed.
Now, Fairfax County is considering creating the program with permits.
“Permits would not be available for visitors, caregivers, service providers, non-resident owners, relatives, or other non-residents,” according to a presentation to the Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday).
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has submitted a budget request for fiscal year 2021 to pay for the change.
“We have not received any funding to pay for this,” Henri Stein McCartney, a transportation planner for FCDOT, told the board.
While the supervisors mostly agreed that cut-thru traffic is — as Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay called it — a “bad problem” made worse by navigation software like Waze, they disagreed on whether or not to pursue the proposed change.
Chairman Sharon Bulova said that she is worried about not allowing people who need to get to the homes in the cut-thru area but aren’t residents.
Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross echoed Bulova’s concerns, saying that the program would create an “equity problem.”
“I don’t see anything that is broken here that needs to be fixed,” Gross said.
Gross also said that she does not support the “enormous” cost of the $230,000 software needed for the change.
Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust argued that residents should have access to the cut-thru areas, saying that the proposed change would allow more people in instead of keep more people out of the areas.
“Not being able to turn into your own neighborhood is what keeps neighborhoods from doing [the cut-thru program],” Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said. “We need to have some sort of selectivity here.”
Other supervisors, like McKay, voiced indecision on the proposal.
FCDOT now plans to work on a draft ordinance for a Board of Supervisors public hearing.
Photo via Facebook
Westbound Georgetown Pike by the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is closed after a brush fire broke out.
All of the westbound lanes are closed on Georgetown Pike near Swinks Mill Road, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Fairfax County sent out an alert about the lane closures at 3:15 p.m.
Traffic has already backed up severely along Georgetown Pike as of 3:30 p.m., according to Google Maps.
Map via Google Maps
Drivers heading on Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) could face significant delays in the Vienna area due to a crash.
Chain Bridge Road by Flint Hill Road just outside of the Town of Vienna is currently closed.
Fairfax County police tweeted about the closure at 4:43 p.m. “Crews will be on scene repairing a utility pole for an extended period,” the tweet said. “Please avoid the area and use an alternate route.”
“The north left lane, center lane, and right lane are closed,” according to Virginia 511. “The south left lane, center lane, and right lane are closed.”
Google Maps shows traffic severely backed up along Chain Bridge Road and surrounding roads.
Map via Google Maps
Botched Bolts Behind Metro Mishap — “A Metro train pulled apart on the tracks last year because the agency was using the wrong parts, installing parts that were used incorrectly, and not checking to ensure things were done right… The 51-page report approved Thursday by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission details a litany of failures that led up to an eight-car Silver Line train bound for D.C. coming apart outside the McLean Station on Aug. 25.” [WTOP]
New School Rules — “The new Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, which was approved by the board on Thursday, includes more than two dozen changes meant to standardize the way discipline is handed down in the school system.” The changes go into effect this fall. [WTOP]
County Seeking Tysons Traffic Solutions — “A number of options to relieve traffic congestion around McLean and Tysons were presented at a previous community meeting. Fairfax County’s transportation department is seeking feedback on those options, and the deadline for comments has been extended to July 31.” [Patch]
Large Music Library in Falls Church Home — “A long-time local resident who is once again kicking off the Creative Cauldron’s summer cabaret series also happens to curate one of the most interesting home collections of the Tin Pan Alley era of music.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Virginia Nabs Top Spot on CNBC List — CNBC ranked Virginia #1 on its recently released “America’s Top States for Business” list. [CNBC]
Firework Sparklers Behind McLean House Fire — “The garage of a McLean home caught fire on [July 3] due to firework sparklers that were improperly disposed of.” [ABC7]
Egyptian Art Coming to Falls Church — “Falls Church Arts (FCA) is excited to be the first gallery to exhibit this unique collection of Egyptian Contemporary art by these wonderful artists from the Luxor, Alexandria, and Cairo regions of Egypt. These artworks were created over the last several weeks on papyrus especially for this exhibition, the first of its kind in the U.S.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) is pushing sluglines as one solution.
Earlier this month, the NVTC unveiled that a campaign to encourage slugging along I-66 is one of its approved projects for the fiscal year 2020. One of the four commuter lots that NVTC wants to highlight in its campaign is the Park and Ride at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro
Sluglines — also known as “casual carpooling” — allow a driver to pick up non-paying passengers at designated spots in order to use an HOV lane or get a toll reduction.
Let us know if slugging is something you would do.
Updated at 2:30 p.m. — The crash was cleared at 2:26 p.m., 511 Northern Virginia tweeted.
Earlier: A crash on I-495 in McLean is causing travel delays for drivers headed toward the American Legion Bridge.
The crash is located just south of the Georgetown Pike. Around 2:05 p.m., a nearby traffic camera showed a car on a tow truck.
The north left lane is currently closed, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Drivers can expect delays, according to VDOT. As of 2:10 p.m., northbound traffic is slowly moving from Route 738 to the bridge.
Cleared: Accident: NB on I-495 at MM44 in Fairfax Co.2:26PM
— 511 Northern VA (@511northernva) June 26, 2019
Accident: NB on I-495 at MM44 in Fairfax Co. 1 NB travel lane closed.1:42PM
— 511 Northern VA (@511northernva) June 26, 2019
Image via Google Maps
(Updated 1:50 p.m.) A crash on I-66 is causing substantial delays near Vienna with one lane closed in each direction.
The crash was reported around 1:35 p.m., with one eastbound lane closed, then a westbound lane closed a few minutes later at the same mile marker.
Emergency crews are on-site assisting a vehicle in the median. Traffic is still moving in either direction, but with residual slowdowns in either direction.
Update: Accident: WB on I-66 at MM61 in Fairfax Co. 1 WB travel lane closed.1:40PM
— 511 Virginia (@511statewideva) April 15, 2019
Update at 8:20 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Wednesday.
Falling temperatures are expected to create hazardous travel conditions overnight and tomorrow, especially on secondary roads in various parts of the county. As a result, all Fairfax County public schools and offices will be closed Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019 (Cond. 1).
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) January 30, 2019
Snow accumulation is expected to lessen overnight and the temperature is going to drop. Ice will form on the roadways making driving conditions dangerous. Avoid driving if possible. If you do drive, reduce speeds and stay alert! Ice is difficult to spot. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/PZV6cOTkA8
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) January 30, 2019
Rain, sleet and snow fell, with the latter whitening the ground and untreated roads. Nearly 1.5 inches of snow had fallen on Vienna as of 4:45 p.m., the National Weather Service reported, and 2.3 inches had fallen by the time the flakes tapered off.
The early dismissal for the federal government and others led to an early evening rush hour. As of 5:30 p.m. traffic on the outer loop of the Beltway in the Tysons area was still heavy.
The snow also led to some slippery spots on local roads, and a few reported crashes, though serious weather-related traffic jams were largely avoided. With the snow ending, the concern now turns to falling temperatures and potentially icy conditions overnight.
More snowy images from around the area, and advisories from local governments, below.
Snowy afternoon in Vienna, Va. pic.twitter.com/dDQr1Vu2OG
— Patrick Seitz (@PatrickSeitz) January 29, 2019
Heavy snow and wet roads on 123 in McLean. pic.twitter.com/rkweC92pIB
— Darcy Spencer (@darcyspencer) January 29, 2019
Our officers are responding to a number of weather related crashes. If you must drive, please complete a pre-trip inspection including removing all snow and ice from your car, accelerate and decelerate slowly, and increase following distance. Stay alert and use caution. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/vqc1tbxYDb
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) January 29, 2019
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) January 29, 2019
— Town of Vienna, VA (@TownofViennaVA) January 29, 2019
SNOW UPDATES AT 4:30PM ON 1/29 :: Rec&Parks activities cancelled. Library closes 5pm, Community Center at 5:30pm. Announcement made by 6am Wednesday about Gov Operating Status, and hopefully we've heard by then about Trash/Recycling/Compost Collection. pic.twitter.com/XAB754l94z
— City of Falls Church (@FallsChurchGov) January 29, 2019