Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has agreed to pay for a traffic light at the Braddock Road entrance to Willow Springs Elementary School, according to officials who attended a community meeting at the school.
In addition, FCPS has agreed to pay for a right hand turn lane from the school onto Braddock Road to improve traffic flow.
Parents and staff of Willow Springs were surprised when just week's before school started, the school safety signals at the school's entrance on Braddock Road were removed. It is unclear who ordered them removed.
Community members contacted Delegate Tim Hugo (R-40), who called a meeting at the school with Fairfax County Public Schools representatives, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Fairfax County Police and local politicians. "... Many of you are aware, the removal of the 'wink-o-matic' lights have resulted in the school’s community reaching out to me to seek additional safety measures at that intersection," Del. Hugo wrote in a letter to those concerned.
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity said much has changed since an initial traffic light study in 2010 did not support a signal for the school. "With the closing of Clifton Elementary School, 250 new students have been added to Willow Springs," said Herrity. "In addition, we've seen tremendous development in the area around Wegmans," he said.
Captain Susan Culin of the Fairfax County Police Department told the gathering a traffic light was a proper long-term solution to the mobility and traffic problems at the school, but encouraged reinstallation of the wink-o-matic safety signals until the traffic light is installed.
FCPS will now work with VDOT on the design and installation. The project could take up to 12 months to complete, according to Lauren Mollerup, Virginia Department of Transportation NOVA Transportation Land Use Director.
"Everybody's on board, everyone recognizes the problem," said Del. Hugo. "We're going to expedite this thing as much as possible."