Neighborhood Traffic Programs
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) offers options under the umbrella of a Residential Traffic Management Program, that neighborhoods, through their local governing bodies, may use to address various traffic problems on their local streets.
The Through Truck Restriction Program provides that a locality may initiate a restriction of trucks on certain 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” 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. narrow lane widths, poor alignment) or where the surrounding area is not compatible with such traffic (e.g. a subdivision or other residential area) and thus presents a safety or operational concern such as the case where tractor trailers are using a subdivision street to bypass a nearby congested highway.
As generally prescribed in the CTB guidelines, the local governing body, after due notice and a proper public hearing, makes a formal request to VDOT along with the appropriate supporting documentation (see Guidelines).
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.
Submittals by the local governing body or proposed restrictions that clearly do not meet the CTB criteria will generally be rejected (as stated in the CTB guidelines).
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 implements a process through which a county or town may purchase, install and maintain “Watch for Children” signs alerting motorists that children may be at play nearby on certain streets maintained by VDOT, in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Virginia section 33.2-251 and VDOT requirements.
The code section states that the governing body of any county or town may enter into an agreement with VDOT to install and maintain the signs as specified in such agreement, and that “the cost of the signs and their installation shall be paid by the county or town.”
Secondary roadway construction or maintenance funds or any other VDOT monies may not be used.
The average cost to purchase and install a single such sign is $850.
In order to accommodate the provisions of the law, VDOT’s “Guidance on the Installation of Watch For Children Signs was developed, which lays out the process and requirements to be followed by the locality for the installation of these signs, and the agreement that should be used.
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.
To initiate the installation of signs, the representative of the town or county fills out the agreement included in the VDOT guidance document and indicates the locations of all signs to be installed.
The agreement also describes VDOT specifications for the type of signs and materials and requirements for the placement, installation, and maintenance of such signs.
Upon agreement and signatures by VDOT, a Land Use Permit Application LUP-A is completed and submitted by the locality which provides authorization for the installation of signs on VDOT’s right-of-way.
The Additional $200 Speeding Fine Program describes procedures by which a county or town can request the installation of signs on certain residential streets maintained by VDOT indicating that an additional $200 fine applies in order to address speeding problems, 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 typically install the requested signs within 60 days of the date the request is approved. 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, through the “Traffic Calming Guide for Neighborhood Streets”, provides communities with guidance and procedures to identify and implement various traffic control measures on neighborhood streets, where appropriate.
The intent of traffic calming is to slow vehicles on neighborhood streets where there is frequent and significant pedestrian activity.
The various measures proposed in the guide may also serve to alleviate other issues, such as cut-through traffic or through trucks.
The county, acting through its board of supervisors or the town, acting through the town council, will initiate and conduct the traffic calming process which includes scheduling and facilitating meetings, developing and documenting community support, and developing the traffic calming plan etc.
VDOT will confirm the appropriateness of the proposed plan, provide technical support, and implement/install the traffic calming plan, subject to departmental policies and priorities.
After developing the initial traffic calming plan and upon confirmation of its suitability by VDOT, the locality presents the plan to the community at a public meeting where a ballot survey is conducted.
Upon approval of the proposed plan by 60 percent or more of the affected households in the community, and endorsement of the plan by the board of supervisors or town council, as appropriate, the locality notifies VDOT of the endorsement action and requests installation of the devices, or approval for implementation of the plan.
Where agreed by VDOT, the locality may take on a larger or smaller role in the traffic calming process, depending upon the level of expertise as judged by VDOT staff.
Funds for the construction and maintenance of traffic calming measures may come entirely from the locality, the county’s Secondary Six Year Plan roadway funds, or some combination thereof.
Maintenance will be funded through the county's secondary roadway maintenance funds.
Requests for the above programs are made through the VDOT Resident Engineer (except in Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun counties, where the request is to the VDOT Regional Traffic Engineer). To locate your local VDOT resident engineer or for further information, contact your local VDOT office.