VDOT News - Northern Virginia



VDOT - Marshall M. Herman 804-692-2134
804-652-9689 Marshall.Herman@vdot.virginia.gov
RSF – Lon Anderson 202-679-4020

Nov. 28, 2017

Virginia's 'Instant Roundabout' Honored with Prestigious National Roadway Safety Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently received national honors in a ceremony on Capitol Hill for the success of its “instant roundabout” that reduced crashes at a dangerous Northern Virginia intersection by 89 percent and provided an immediate safety benefit inexpensively while VDOT studied a more permanent solution.

Virginia was one of nine states to receive the prestigious 2017 National Roadway Safety Award, a biannual awards program sponsored jointly by the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The awards recognize roadway safety achievements that move the United States toward zero deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways.

The instant roundabout, which was installed at the intersection of Poland Road and Edgewater Streets, was built in less than a week using off-the-shelf products and at a much lower cost. Crashes dropped immediately by 30 percent, with injury crashes reduced by 89 percent over a three and one-half year period.

“Our team put their heads together for an innovative solution that not only provided the best level of service, but at a much lower cost and on a timeline that could quickly improve safety and traffic,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “After reducing injury crashes and eliminating delays, the roundabout was so well-received that the community asked that it be made permanent.” 

Motor vehicle crashes are still among the nation’s leading killers, costing more than 35,000 deaths and 2.4 million injuries in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“These awards recognize real and innovative solutions to some of the nation’s biggest safety challenges,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson. “We commend Virginia for its efforts in saving lives and reducing injuries on our nation’s roads, and invite others across the country to put such life-saving solutions to work.”

“It’s because motor vehicle crashes still take such a tremendous toll, that we’re here: to honor the people who created and implemented these outstanding roadway safety projects that are addressing infrastructure problems innovatively and applying the latest technologies,” said Greg Cohen, Roadway Safety Foundation Executive Director. 

“There’s no question that addressing safety deficiencies on our nation’s roads can reduce crashes and save lives,” Cohen continued. “And identifying and fixing those deficiencies are the difficult but critical challenges the Roadway Safety Awards program addresses.”

“This awards program also gives us the opportunity to recognize the unsung heroes who plan, engineer and implement the innovative solutions to the very challenging issues that contribute to crashes,” Cohen noted. “We honor those who labor every day to make our roads safer and who are rarely recognized for their important contributions.”

The National Roadway Safety Award applicants were evaluated on three criteria: effectiveness, innovation and efficient use of resources. The program honors outstanding projects in two categories: infrastructure and operational improvements, and program planning, development and evaluation.

The awardees were selected by an expert panel of judges that consisted of: King Gee, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Mike Griffith, Federal Highway Administration; Bruce Hamilton, Roadway Safety Foundation; Bernardo Kleiner, Transportation Research Board; Jennifer Smith, Michelin North America, Inc.; Marie Walsh, Louisiana Local Technical Assistance Program, Louisiana State University, and Terecia Wilson, Institute for Global Road Safety and Security, Clemson University. 


AASHTO Transportation TV coverage of the Washington D.C. ceremony can be found at https://youtu.be/9DcOlnSk2TA.

About VDOT
Virginia’s transportation system is a vital element in the state’s economy, providing the safe and efficient movement of people and products throughout the Commonwealth. VDOT’s mission is to plan, deliver, operate, maintain and support a transportation system that is safe, enables easy movement of people and goods, enhances the economy and improves our quality of life.

About The Roadway Safety Foundation
The Roadway Safety Foundation is a 501(c) (3) charitable and educational organization. Our mission is to reduce the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities through improvements to roadway systems and their environment.


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: Feb. 14, 2020