Transportation Issues and Investigation Requests

To report an issue with existing traffic-control devices, signs, markings and parking meters, visit the Service Request/Report a Problem formSTOP Sign

Before requesting – at the bottom of this page – a traffic investigation for new signs, signals and/or markings, explore the frequently asked questions directly below. 

Speeding and Traffic Calming Concerns

How do I request traffic calming measures?

Here are two ways to pursue assessment for traffic calming measures on neighborhood streets:

 

Multiway Stop

How does the County determine where to place a multiway stop?

The County follows national standards set forth by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and conducts studies to recommend installation of multiway stops on arterial streets. Warrants include: Criteria for vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle volumes; intersection visibility constraints; reported collision trends within a 12-month period.

What do all-way stops warrant?

Criteria are more relevant for higher volume streets, therefore for neighborhood streets, the County adopted its own warrants based on guidance from MUTCD. The warrants give special consideration for pedestrian and bicycle volumes and proximity to existing traffic control measures.

Do pedestrians and cyclists receive special consideration?

Yes. When conducting multiway stop evaluations, pedestrians and cyclists are weighted higher when considering volume warrants to reflect greater injury potential in collisions.

Can the County install a multiway stop even if warrants are not met?

The County will not recommend installation of a multiway stop that is unwarranted. Studies have shown that drivers tend to ignore unwarranted traffic controls or obstacles that they view as unnecessary, resulting in an increase in potential collisions.

Can the County install a multiway stop to slow down speeding vehicles?

Stop signs are traffic control devices used to assign the right-of-way at an intersection, not to control speeding. Multiway stops are recommended when data supports a situation that compromises the safety of roadway users. Research has shown that drivers tend to increase speed between stop signs to make up for what is perceived as “lost time.”

Can the County install a multiway stop at a location where a resident witnessed a collision?

County staff recommends installing multiway stops at locations where the collision warrant is met. This occurs when a 12-month crash history shows that there is a trend in collision types, demonstrated by five or more reported crashes, which may be correctable by a multiway stop installation.

Turn Restrictive Signs

Can the County install restrictive signs (i.e. “No Left Turn,” “No Right Turn” or “Do Not Enter”) to deter excess traffic from entering my neighborhood?

Turn restrictive signage was installed prior to 2000 to address concerns for excessive traffic or cut-through traffic on neighborhood streets. In 2000, the Neighborhood Traffic Calming (NTC) program prohibited such restrictive measures as a method of traffic calming. In 2011, the County Board adopted a policy to “maintain and enhance a grid-style street network” in the Streets Elements of the County’s Master Transportation Plan. In support of this policy, transportation experts are not recommending street closures, restricting traffic flow to one-way, or implementing turn restrictions with the intent of lowering traffic volumes on specific streets. In 2013, the NTC program transformed into the Neighborhood Complete Streets (NCS) program to ensure that streets are designed for all users of the roadway network.

 

Converting Yield Signs to Stop Signs

Why are yield signs being converted into stop signs?

Arlington County’s Transportation Engineering & Operations (TE&O) Bureau has initiated an ongoing effort to convert existing yield signs to stop signs at intersecting neighborhood streets.  Yield signs and stop signs are intended to assign right-of-way at intersections.  Following guidelines from the Federal Highway Administration and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), engineering judgment dictates whether an intersection is controlled by a stop sign or a yield sign.  County engineers found that yield signs installed at intersections sometimes create uncertainty for drivers especially when they are expected to yield to bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles within the intersection.  To enhance safety and assign right-of-way, transportation officials continue to identify and convert existing yield signs to stop signs at intersecting neighborhood streets where conditions warrant such a change.  In special cases, yield signs will not be replaced with stop signs.  These rare instances may require data collection to assess the overall operations and safety of the intersection.  If the transportation professional determines that the conversion would significantly impact operations, access and/or safety, the yield sign will remain as is.

Marked Crosswalks

How are new crossing locations evaluated for a marked crosswalk?

The Transportation, Engineering and Operations (TE&O) Bureau has developed guidelines to justify installation of new marked crosswalks. The guidelines are based on nationwide best practices with specific guidance from the Virginia Department of Transportation and other jurisdictions similar in population density to Arlington County. Proposed new locations undergo preliminary evaluations to include the mandatory presence of accessible ramps compliant with the current requirements of the Americans Disability Act (ADA), curbs and gutters, sight distance assessments and consideration for existing lighting.

Why isn’t there a newly marked crosswalk at a location I’ve requested?

The location is still under consideration or did not meet the minimum requirements outlined above or in the County’s Crosswalk Marking Guidelines.

Convex Mirrors

Does the County install convex mirrors?

The County does not install convex mirrors. Research has shown that when convex mirrors are installed collisions increase as drivers misinterpret the reflections in the mirror.

I have seen convex mirrors on the public right-of-way. How are these allowed?

A couple of locations in Arlington still have convex mirrors on the public right-of-way. These mirrors will not be replaced when broken or missing.

Can convex mirrors be installed on private property?

Yes, at the owner’s discretion.

“Children at Play” or “Watch for Children” Signs

Can we have “Children at Play” signs?

The County no longer installs “Children at Play” or “Watch for Children” signage. Research has found that the signs do not reduce collisions and have no effect on speeding. In addition, the Arlington County Code § 14.2-24 does not allow children to play in the streets. As such, the signs were found to be inconsistent with County Code and potentially confusing to drivers.

Does the lack of new “Children at Play” signs follow national guidelines set forth in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)?

“Children at Play” or “Watch for Children” signs are not supported in the MUTCD. The MUTCD recommends that warning signs be kept to a minimum because as they increase in number, it is likely that each sign becomes less effective.

Can I install signs to remind drivers to watch for children?

Signs can only be installed on private property outside of the County’s right-of-way. Any signs installed within the County’s right-of-way will be removed immediately by authorized County staff.

Street Name Signs

Why are street name signs being replaced with a different style of sign?

In the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) updated the standard concerning the sign lettering style for names of places, streets and highways (§2D.05). Formerly, names on signs could either use all uppercase lettering or only capitalize the first letter. Recommendations from the 2009 edition of the MUTCD eliminated the option of using only uppercase lettering because studies indicate that mixed-case lettering is easier to read and react.State and local transportation agencies are required to implement the new lettering style as they install new signs or replace existing signs. In July 2014, Arlington began using the new lettering style on street name signs as part of the Transportation Engineering & Operations (TE&O) Bureau routine maintenance initiatives. As federally mandated, street name replacement in Arlington is an ongoing effort until all signs have been upgraded or until the standard lettering requirement is revised.If your street name sign is damaged, faded, or broken and needs replacement, submit your request via the Report a Problem Application.

Painted Curbs

Does the County paint curbs to show parking restrictions?

Arlington County is responsible for curb space management and does not paint curbs to indicate parking restrictions. While there are guidelines for installing paint on curbs, there are no consistent national industry standards that designate a particular color for a particular restriction and/or purpose. Alternatively, the County installs “No Parking” signs to indicate parking restrictions. Generally, in residential areas, signs are installed at the appropriate height and clearance distances with consideration for sign visibility, vehicular activity, pedestrian activity and overall aesthetics.

Request a Transportation Investigation

Make a Transportation Investigation Request

Please use the "Transportation Investigation" issue type. The DES Transportation, Engineering and Operations Bureau conducts investigations that can lead to changes in a location regarding traffic signs, signals and/or markings. Submissions are reviewed and investigated in the order they are received. Due to high, variable volumes, investigation timelines can vary greatly.


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