Southern George Washington Memorial Parkway Safety Study Next Steps

New Traffic Pattern for Belle Haven and Belle View Intersections


Download a printable information sheet.

Intersections within roadway systems create points of conflict for motorists. Improvements to turning movements, through channelization or even physically preventing turns, can result in reductions in certain types of crashes.

To address this safety issue and to improve traffic flow, some highway designers have replaced conventional intersections with low-cost, alternative geometric strategies, including the Continuous Green T-Intersection (CGT).

A 2016 FHWA study showed that the safety of CGTs compares favorably with that of conventional T-intersections.

 
A map shows the intersection at George Washington Memorial Parkway and Belle Haven Road.  Text boxes explain how cars navigate the intersection.
Diagram shows a CGT intersection at the Belle Haven Road intersection along the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP).

NPS Image

What Is A CGT?


Intersection design where one major street direction of travel (the top side of the “T”) can pass through the intersection without stopping.

Left-turn vehicles from the side street use a channelized receiving lane on the major street to merge onto the major street. This improves safety by reducing the potential for angle crashes.

CGT intersections are characterized by a channelized left-turn movement from the minor street approach onto the mainline (major street).

 
Technical Drawing of the Belle Haven Intersection
Diagram shows the CGT intersection at the Belle Haven Road intersection along the GWMP.

In April of 2021, the National Park Service (NPS) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) completed a traffic and safety assessment on the southern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. After engaging with subject matter experts and the public, the study identified context sensitive solutions that make the road safer and protect the scenic and historic values of the parkway. The study made recommendations for the parkway based on the 3E’s (Enforcement, Education, and Engineering) model for improved traffic safety. In addition, to other engineering recommendations the study identified conceptual designs for Belle Haven and Belle View intersections. These conceptual designs included the CGT which were adopted and implemented to guide motorists through intersections, providing clear delineation for traffic movements, reducing the frequency and severity of accidents.

 
 
_________________________
 
Map of improvements to be made along southern part of George Washington Memorial Parkway
Study focus areas and recommendations for improvements on the southern George Washington Memorial Parkway

NPS

In March 2021, the National Park Service announced the results of a study on nine intersections between the city of Alexandria and Mount Vernon on the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

The resulting George Washington Memorial Parkway Traffic and Safety Context Sensitive Solutions Assessment identifies improvements to make the road safer and protect the parkway's scenery and history. The study's safety solutions are based on hundreds of public comments and expert analysis on the southern part of George Washington Memorial Parkway.

The National Park Service is considering three types of improvements:

  • Education
    • Proactively encouraging good driving behavior.
  • Engineering
    • Making improvements through design, construction and vegetation management.
  • Enforcement
    • Encouraging drivers to lower their speed.
 
What we heard - Over 700 comments from the public. 345 comments in public meeting. 250 comments online. 60 comments by mail. 35 comments by email.

NPS

 
Time line. Spring 2019 - learn about conditions. (public comments in summer/fall 2019) Summer 2019 - identify safety solutions. fall 2019 - evaluate safety solutions. 2020 - develop technical report. spring 2021 - release report. fall 2021 - next steps.

NPS

 

Next steps on the Southern George Washington Memorial Parkway

 
Computer rendering of intersection of GWMP at Morningside Lane. Shows three travel lanes with two northbound and one southbound with a turn-lane in the center of the road.
Rendering of proposed road diet at Morningside Lane

NPS

Education

  • We hosted a Virtual Neighborhood Education Event on Monday, May 10 at 7 p.m., and you can see a recording at your convenience.

Neighborhood Education Event Agenda

  • George Washington Memorial Parkway Superintendent's Presentation.
  • Safety study background.
  • Study data and outcomes.
  • Implementation steps and timeline.
  • Questions and answers.
 
Diagram of proposed changes to road lane configuration at Belle Haven Road showing proposed addition of  new infrastructure to help direct traffic with on the ground lane "channels."
Proposed road channelization at Belle Haven Road

NPS

Engineering

  • Re-striping sections of the road
    • Road diet- Parts of the Parkway from Tulane Drive to Stratford Lane
      • Federal Highway Administration engineers have evidence that road diets can reduce the difference between drivers' speeds as well as the number and severity of crashes.
  • Adding delineators (flexible posts between lanes) from Belle Haven Boulevard to Belle View Road.
    • Delineators help improve drivers' compliance with traffic laws.
  • Improving sight-lines

Enforcement

  • The US Park Police will put special emphasis on speed enforcement.
    • Our study found that high speeds contribute to crashes on the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
 
National Park Service staff speak in an auditorium to park neighbors about the southern George Washington Memorial Parkway Safety Study.
National Park Service staff speak at a Southern George Washington Memorial Parkway Safety Study public meeting in 2019.

NPS / Jonathan Shafer

Last updated: May 18, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean , VA 22101

Phone:

703 289-2500

Contact Us

Stay Connected