Joan Morris 703-259-1799


July 11, 2013

VDOT responds to motorists' concerns

Westbound Route 7 at East of Magarity.
View project schematic.

FALLS CHURCH—The Virginia Department of Transportation has come up with a fix for a traffic trouble spot on the westbound lanes of Route 7 approaching the Capital Beltway.

“This area has had an unusual lane configuration since the 495 Express Lanes opened.  The contractor made a change to the markings this spring that helped, but we see and hear from motorists that this area continues to be a source of problems,” said VDOT traffic engineer Randy Dittberner.  “By reconfiguring the markings and slightly narrowing the lanes we should be able to eliminate the confusion and aggravation motorists are encountering.”

Weather permitting, the work will be completed over two nights next week with the new configuration in place the morning of July 18.  

  • Currently, motorists on westbound Route 7 approaching the traffic signal at Magarity Road use the right lane only to turn right on Magarity Road or Lisle Avenue. After the change is made, motorists destined for I-495 northbound will use this lane as well.
  • Past the Magarity Road signal, the right lane will drop onto the ramp to northbound I-495.
  • Adding this new “drop” lane will require the travel lanes to be narrowed to 11 feet, but this width is about the same as motorists are accustomed to on other parts of Route 7.
  • Motorists headed for the I-495 Express Lanes or the I-495 southbound lanes will not notice any changes as a result of the new marking layout.

“The signing and pavement markings will clarify the new layout, but any time a change of this nature is made it takes drivers time to get acclimated.  During the first few weeks after implementation, drivers should use extra caution and be prepared for unexpected lane changes,” said Dittberner.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: July 12, 2013