Neighborhood Traffic Programs
VDOT offers various programs that neighborhoods, acting through their local governing bodies, may use to address certain traffic problems on their local streets. They include “Through Truck Restrictions”, “Watch for Children” signs, “Additional $200 Fine” signs, the “Traffic Calming” program and the “Residential Cut-Thru Traffic Program.”
The Through Truck Restriction Program provides that a locality may request a restriction of through trucks on streets maintained by VDOT where such requests conform to the requirements and procedures in the “Guidelines for Considering Requests to Restrict Through Trucks on Primary and Secondary Highways” as prescribed by The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).
Restrictions proposed under this program apply to trucks (other than a pickup or panel truck) or truck-trailer combinations (including tractor-trailers) that are using streets as through routes where such streets cannot safely or adequately accommodate such truck traffic (e.g. due to narrow pavement widths, poor alignment or where the surrounding area is not compatible with such traffic such as in a residential area).
As prescribed in the CTB guidelines, the local governing body, after due notice and a proper public hearing, makes a formal request to VDOT according to the requirements stated in the guidelines. Requests that do not adhere to the requirements will be returned as stated in the guidelines. The guidelines also state that proposed restrictions not meeting the criteria in the guidelines will generally be rejected.
Where the request submittal, as well as the proposed restriction(s), meet the appropriate criteria in the CTB guidelines, further study will be conducted by VDOT and a decision to approve or deny the request made by VDOT or the CTB, as appropriate.
VDOT is mandated to act upon a request within nine months and incurs all installation and maintenance costs for posting signs for an approved restriction.
The Watch for Children Sign Program provides a process for a county or town to purchase, install and maintain “Watch for Children” signs on their local streets that are maintained by VDOT. The signs alert motorists that children may be at play nearby. §33.2-251 provides that a county or town may enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Highways (VDOT) to install and maintain these signs , and that “the cost of the signs and their installation shall be paid by the county or town.” Also, VDOT does not install these signs on its roads or on behalf of a county or town.
To initiate the installation of signs, the representative of the town or county fills out the agreement included in VDOT’s guidance document and indicates the location(s) of signs to be installed. Signs may be installed on streets at the major entry points within a subdivision where the speed limit is 35 mph or less and where they do not conflict with other VDOT signs.
Secondary roadway construction or maintenance funds or any other VDOT monies may not be used by the locality to purchase, install or maintain these signs. The average cost to purchase and install a single such sign is $850.
VDOT’s “Guidance on the Installation of Watch For Children Signs lays out the complete process and requirements to be followed by the locality for requesting and installing these signs and the agreement document that should be used.
Upon VDOT’s authorization for the installation of signs on VDOT’s right-of-way, the locality may then install the requested signs.
The Additional $200 Speeding Fine Program provides a for a county or town to request the installation of signs on certain residential streets maintained by VDOT indicating that an additional $200 fine applies where a documented speeding problem exists, in accordance with VDOT’s policy.
The policy describes the criteria and requirements that must be met for the installation of signs. Generally, the signs may be installed on streets within a residential development, neighborhood or community where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less and there is a documented speeding problem.
Further, the street must have the residential units facing the street and provide driveway connections or curbside parking for a majority of the residential units.
Upon a formal request by a county or town and supporting data as stipulated in the policy, VDOT staff will review the assembly and approve or deny the request as appropriate.
If approved, VDOT will install the requested signs. Signs may be funded by the county or town, or from the secondary or primary road allocation to the respective county.
The Traffic Calming Program, as laid out in VDOT’s “Traffic Calming Guide for Neighborhood Streets”, provides communities with guidance and procedures to implement traffic calming on their neighborhood streets, where appropriate.
The intent of traffic calming is to slow vehicle speeds on neighborhood streets where operating speeds are 10 mph or more over the speed limit. The measures provided in the traffic calming guide can also alleviate other issues such as cut-through or through truck traffic.
To be eligible for consideration under VDOT’s traffic calming program the street must be in the state system of highways, within a residential area where the residences face the street and are connected to the street by driveways (not reverse-frontage) with a speed limit of 25 mph or less.
To initiate traffic calming the neighborhood Home Owners Association (HOA), Civic Association (CA) or group of homeowner’s work through their board of supervisors to conduct the traffic calming process, secure community support, and develop the traffic calming plan.
A proposed traffic calming plan must be approved by 50 percent or more of the affected households in the community and endorsed by the BOS or Town Council.
VDOT confirms the appropriateness of the proposed traffic calming plan and considers the implementation, subject to funding and other project priorities.
Funds for the construction and maintenance of traffic calming measures may come entirely from the locality or VDOT funds that may be available., or some combination thereof. The type and extent of funds that may be utilized should be discussed with VDOT.
The Residential Cut-Through Traffic Program provides communities with guidance and procedures to identify and address issues with cut-through traffic in residential areas. “Residential cut-through traffic" refers to vehicular traffic passing through a residential area without stopping or without at least an origin or destination within the area.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board’s "Policy and Procedures for the Control of Residential Cut-Through Traffic” prescribes the requirements a town or county should follow to address cut-through traffic issues.
To pursue action under the program the county or town makes a request to VDOT, along with supporting data verifying that the street meets the criteria for consideration and has community support.
To be eligible for cut-through traffic measures, the street must secondary road in in the state system of highways that provides mobility only within a neighborhood or residential community and gives direct access to residential driveways within a neighborhood. Additionally, the street must have cut-through traffic of 150 vehicles or more in a single travel direction for at least one hour of the day that comprises 40% or more of the total traffic, have an identified alternate route and be supported by 75% of the households in the affected area.
VDOT evaluates the request, conducts the necessary studies and conveys its recommendations to address the issue to the county/town.
The county/town then conducts a public hearing for citizen input on the VDOT findings and recommendations and conveys a summary of the results, along with a resolution approving the recommendations of the desired actions, to VDOT.
Proposals that meet the criteria are fully funded with state secondary road funds with concurrence from the local boards of supervisors. There are provisions for VDOT funding up to 50% of the cost (locality provides remaining 50%) on local, residential streets classified as a collector or where the minimum cut-through volumes are not met
Requests for the above programs are made through the VDOT Resident Engineer except in Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun counties, where the request is made to the VDOT District Traffic Engineer. For further information, contact your local VDOT office.