BRAC Raises More Traffic Concerns in Northern Virginia

3,000 employees moving to location on Route 50 in Fairfax County

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    In Fairfax County, elected leaders put the spotlight Friday on yet another BRAC facility they fear will snarl traffic. The potential trouble spot this time is a building on Route 50 near the Beltway that will house several Defense Department medical agencies. News4's Julie Carey takes a look at the concerns. (Published Friday, May 11, 2012)

    In Fairfax County Friday, elected leaders put the spotlight on yet another BRAC facility they fear will snarl traffic.

    In the coming months, 3,000 Department of Defense employees will relocate to a renovated office complex along Route 50 near the Beltway, which will house several Defense Department medical agencies.

    U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-8th District, and Fairfax County Supervisor Linda Smyth took a tour with GSA staffers and vented about the potential traffic jam ahead.

    “This is what we’ve been going through for years,” Moran said. “It shouldn’t be this difficult.”

    While a tiny gate off Fairview Park is supposed to be the main entrance, the much bigger truck entrance along Route 50 is where most workers are expected to enter. With Falls Church High School just down the street and the Pine Spring neighborhood next door, traffic could back up on Route 50, Moran said.

    “There are four lanes here,” Moran noted. “This is not where they should be because this is an area of traffic congestion already.”

    The Pine Spring neighbors have other worries, too. There is only enough parking for about 2,000 of the 3,000 employees.

    “We’re nervous about the traffic,” Pine Spring resident Ashley Lawson said. “And I think a lot of people use this area for cut-throughs.”

    “I’m concerned will there be parking in our neighborhood from the employees?” Pine Spring resident Carol Ross said.

    Neighbors also are uneasy knowing armed officers will check trucks there.

    “What does this mean if they’re putting in that kind of security precautions and taking the precautions to protect the building, what happens to the folks with kids playing in their backyards?” Smyth asked.

    Those who live alongside the security gate and parking lot say the bright lights and reflective canopy are eyesores.