Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) at Irving Street
In an effort to address safety issues and concerns, the County, in coordination with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), has decided to prohibit left turns from eastbound and westbound Arlington Boulevard onto northbound and southbound Irving Street. “No left turn” signs will be installed on the traffic signal mast arms in 2019.
About the Project
Based on collision data from recent VDOT and County studies, the County’s Transportation, Engineering & Operations Bureau concluded that the left turn ban is warranted for public safety reasons. Arlington County Police Department supports the decision.
Safety concerns have been raised from many residents related to left turns at the intersection. VDOT first conducted a study, and the County followed up with an independent study collecting data over the past five years.
- There have been 63 accidents from January 2012 to June 2017.
- Fifty-six percent (or 35) of those collisions were caused by left-turns.
- Forty-three percent occurred during morning and evening rush hour and 46 percent occurring during off-peak (outside of rush hour).
- Because the traffic accidents are variable and not contained to peak periods, it was determined prohibiting left turns at all times was necessary for safety reasons.
Left-turn traffic volumes are low throughout the day, typically falling between 5-25 vehicles per hour compared to the typical traffic volumes along Arlington Boulevard of 1,500 to 3,000 vehicles per hour.
There are adjacent points to exit Route 50, at both Glebe Road and Fillmore Street, which provide safer movements and are recommended as alternative routes instead of turning at Irving Street.
The County’s Transportation, Engineering & Operations Bureau is in the process of identifying additional safety improvements at other non-signalized locations along Route 50/Arlington Boulevard. Any changes recommended by County staff will require VDOT’s support and approval since it is in their right-of-way.
A notice went out to the public in advance of the left turn prohibition at Arlington Boulevard onto Irving Street. The County will continue to involve the community in the coming months on safety improvements particularly prior to implementation.