FALLS CHURCH, VA — From the notorious Seven Corners to traffic impacts in construction areas, Falls Church readers sounded off on their traffic concerns in a Patch survey.
Patch surveyed readers on traffic in the Falls Church area from midday Tuesday, Aug. 1 to noon Friday, Aug. 4. We received over 100 responses, with 82.9 percent indicating they drive in the Falls Church area daily.
Driving is the main way respondents get around, with 99.1 percent saying they drive, while 53.8 percent walk, 17.1 percent use Metrorail, 12 percent bike and 8.5 percent take the bus.
The survey found more respondents have a positive opinion of traffic outside rush hour. On a scale of 1 to 10, the most readers (24.8 percent) rated Falls Church rush hour traffic with a 3, followed by 4 (16.2 percent) and 5 (15.4 percent). For non-rush hour traffic, the most readers (17.1 percent) rated it with a 7, followed by 8 (16.2 percent) and 3 and 4 (13.7 percent each).
When asked what major area was the worst for traffic, 47.9 percent of respondents chose Seven Corners.
In the comments section of the survey, some readers shared their frustrations with the complex intersection of Leesburg Pike/Broad Street, Arlington Boulevard, Hillwood Avenue and Sleepy Hollow Road. Traffic safety was also a concern for drivers encountering others entering and leaving the Eden Enter on Wilson Boulevard.
“Seven Corners is unsafe. I was hit by a box truck in 2015, which totaled my car. Just lucky I wasn’t killed,” one respondent shared.
Others shared concerns about confusing signage and lanes, as well as traffic signal timing.
“Seven corners lights and lanes are not logical and don’t match traffic patterns. How there is not an accident there hourly is a mystery,” one respondent said.
Another respondent added, “7 corners area and how the lanes merge and the inconsistency of the traffic signals. The traffic that gets backed up in rt 7 and broad street due to the inconsistencies with the traffic signals in 7 corners.”
Not far from Seven Corners, Arlington Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive was identified as another problematic intersection.
“The left turn yellow light is too short and the red too long so people go through the red while turning left,” one respondent said. “This is very dangerous as there are also pedestrians – many who jay walk and beggars who go into traffic.”
Fairfax County has been conducting a study for years to plan for improvements at Seven Corners, including a ring road around the intersection.
Route 7 and Other Areas of Concern
The second top choice for the worst traffic was Route 7, which is named Broad Street within the City of Falls Church and Leesburg Pike in Fairfax County. There were 32.5 percent of respondents who chose Route 7 in the survey.
In the comments, respondents shared concerns about specific intersections like Leesburg Pike/Broad Street and Haycock Road, West and Broad Street, and Washington and Broad Street. One recurring theme was concerns about traffic safety in construction areas, and all three of those areas have development projects under construction.
“Construction/development along Route 7 is making travel hazardous as well as frustrating,” said one respondent. “Lanes are often closed off. Construction detritus harmful to vehicles/tires. Falls Church is a little city; it shouldn’t take 15 minutes to travel from the eastern border of the city to the Fairfax County line.”
At the Haycock Road intersection, one respondent said, “the construction slows down traffic, causes jams and endangers pedestrians.”
Another respondent shared concerns with both intersections, saying, “I have witnessed kids on bikes and people with baby strollers having to travel right next to moving construction vehicles. There is little to no signage regarding safe walkways and no covered walkways for pedestrians. This is [an] urgent liability and needs to be addressed immediately. Kids are returning to Meridian this week for preseason sports.”
Others brought up the blinking traffic light at Lincoln Avenue and Great Falls Street, which has been out of commission for months. That has resulted in a temporary four-way stop, and wait times can build up at busier travel times.
“The lack of working light at Great Falls and Lincoln Ave is going to get someone injured or killed,” one respondent shared.
According to the city, a new cabinet for the traffic signal is on order.
Concerns were also raised about pedestrian safety.
Regarding the Broad and West Streets intersection, a respondent said, “Almost every light change there are left turn on red and through intersection red light runners. We need to go back to traffic camera-issued tickets before someone dies in an accident.”
Another respondent mentioned an intersection with significant pedestrian activity: “Maple and Park Avenue in Falls Church City has five entrances and is especially unpleasant for people walking and on bikes.”
Pedestrian safety concerns were also raised on Leesburg Pike between Seven Corners and Bailey’s Crossroads.
“No pedestrian crossing bridges, hills, many residents who are on foot,” said one respondent.
Others mentioned cut-through traffic as a hazard on neighborhood streets.
“The worst traffic is the increased cut through traffic on local roads that put children and families lives at risk,” said one respondent.