Note: Shortly before the start of tonight's Town Council meeting, at 6:30 p.m., will be a ceremony commemorating the 200th birthday of Commander William Herndon, whom the Town was named after. All are invited. It will take place in the Council Chambers, 765 Lynn St.
Read more about who Cmdr. Herndon was in our history column from this past Sunday by the Herndon Historical Society.
After a town hall and invitations for write-in public comments through surveys, the Town Council Tuesday night will hold a public hearing on a final recommended proposal for improvements to the congested intersection of Herndon Parkway and Van Buren Street.
Back in mid-July, the Town held a public outreach meeting with engineering firm Pennoni Associates during which three options were presented for making improvements to the intersection that addressed congestion and might help traffic move more quickly through the intersection, which often slows drastically during peak hours.
READ: Town Hall: 3 Options for Herndon Pkwy/Van Buren Street Intersection Presented
The three options presented in July were:
- Option 1 (Cost Estimate: $1.016 million): Adding an additional northbound right lane, and lengthening the westbound left turn lane.
- Option 2 (Cost Estimate: $2.199 million): Dual westbound left lanes and dual northbound right turn lanes.
- Option 3 (Cost Estimate: $1.287 million): Building a two-lane roundabout (which would get rid of the traffic signal).
The recommended option the Town appears to want to move forward with, nicknamed "2-C," is actually a hybrid of options one and two.
After the Town Hall meeting in July, many local residents expressed their concern that options like 2 and 2-C would actually attract more commuters who would use the town and this intersection as a "shortcut" or alternative to taking Route 28 or the Dulles Toll Road/267.
Others spoke out negatively against the idea because they said expanding an already wide intersection would move the town farther away from being a walkable town, or one that is friendly to cyclists.
According to the town's website, it received 27 write-in comments about the project in July—18 of them favored Option 2 the most, and one wrote in specifically asking for the Option 2-C hybrid mentioned during the Town Hall.
Seven wrote in asking that the Town delay the project and not move forward with any of the presented options. Only one favored Option 1, and no one favored Option 3, which involves constructing a roundabout.
The Town website says, "A plan has been developed to illustrate Option 2-C, which is a modified version of Option 2 presented at the public meeting this summer. Option 2-C will be considered by the Town Council at these meetings."
The website indicates that Town officials are taking into consideration the concerns about pedestrian and bicycle safety that have been expressed, and indicates the Town Council reviewed the comments during a work session last month.
All are invited to Tuesday night's Council meeting and public hearing on the intersection improvements. Comments from the audience will be allowed during designated portions of the meeting.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 765 Lynn Street, next to the Municipal Building.
For more information, visit the Town website at www.herndon-va.gov.
TELL US - What do you think of the proposed Option 2-C for dealing with congestion in this intersection? Do you think it will help? Are you concerned about pedestrian and bicycle safety? Weigh in, in the comments.
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