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Frederick County/City of Winchester – Route 50 (Northwestern Turnpike/Amherst Street) STARS Study

Project at a Glance
Begin Date
November 2022

Est Completion Date
Winter 2024



Brad Reed, AICP

Overview of Study

The US-50 STARS study is a collaborative effort between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the City of Winchester, Frederick County, and the Winchester and Frederick County Metropolitan Planning Organization (WinFred MPO) to evaluate transportation needs and develop recommendations for a 1.2-mile section of US-50 with numerous roadway segments and intersections designated as having a Potential for Safety Improvements (PSI).  PSI locations are determined annually by VDOT using the previous 5 years of crash data.  When the number of crashes exceeds anticipated crashes based on roadway characteristics, the location is identified as having a Potential for Safety Improvement.

The study location begins at the intersection of US-50 (Northwestern Turnpike) and the VDOT Area Headquarters entrance in Frederick County and ends at the intersection of US-50 (Amherst Street) and Keating Drive in the City of Winchester.  The goal of this STARS (Strategically Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions) study is to identify improvement recommendations to enhance safety and mobility for all users of the transportation system.

The study will evaluate existing and future transportation conditions along the study corridor. VDOT is serving as the project manager for the study with ATCS as a consulting partner for developing the study, supporting analysis, and improvement concepts. The study team is also composed of technical staff from the City of Winchester, Fredrick County and the WinFred MPO.  Final study recommendations will be considered by the city and county for advancement through state transportation funding programs.

Learn more about VDOT's Strategically Targeting and Affordable Roadway Solutions (STARS) study program here.

Study Documents

Study Kickoff Presentation – December 2022

Existing Conditions Report – March 2023

Benefits of Study Recommendations

  • Evaluate and improve study segment and intersection operations and safety.
  • Enhance non-motorized facilities at the study locations, including pedestrian crossing improvements.
  • Reduction of conflicting turning movements through the consideration of Innovative Intersections and Access Management where appropriate.
  • Recommendations will consist of strategic short-term and long-term transportation improvement projects that can be prioritized by the city and county and phased over time relative to available funding.

Study Timeline

  • Traffic data to support the study was collected in November 2022.
  • A study team meeting to review existing operational and safety conditions and preliminary improvement alternatives was held in March 2023.

Next Steps

  • An online survey was available May 1-15, 2023, for public input on the needs in the study area. The survey brought in over 800 participants, providing valuable information to the study team on existing issues faced by travelers. Public feedback will be used to inform development of alternatives to address identified problems.
  • A second public survey will be released in the fall to request feedback on corridor treatments proposed by the study team.
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Page last modified: May 26, 2023