Military Road Safety Improvements


Military Road at Nelly Custis Drive, Marcey Road and Gulf Branch trail/36th Road North, Arlington, VA 22207  View Map

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In Design

Military Road & Nelly Custis Drive: In Design

Military Road & Marcey Road: Construction Complete

Military Road & 36th Street N.: Construction Complete

Military Road Nelly Custis Dr Temporary roundabout plan


Project Update - December 2023

Arlington County has reached the 60% design milestone for the Military Road and Nelly Custis Drive intersection. Below is a summary of the project at 30% design.

30% Design Overview

Interim Improvements - February 2023

Arlington County crews installed interim updates to the temporary roundabout currently in place at the intersection of Military Road & Nelly Custis Drive. The project team developed these updates following the decision to proceed with a permanent roundabout at this location, to ensure continuity of experience for users at this intersection and to maintain the improvements in safety metrics measured during the pilot. We also incorporated feedback received during public engagement in summer of 2022 to reduce visual clutter, encourage improved yielding behavior to vehicles within the roundabout, and reduce perceived confusion for all intersection users.

Roundabout Paint Diagram

Updates to the roundabout include:

  • Center and median islands of the intersection will be installed to curb height with asphalt
  • Sloped apron around circumference of center island to encourage drivers to slow down, while still accommodating larger vehicles
  • Removal of plastic pylons after other improvements are in place
  • Painting these new features using colors that meet federal standards for structures in the roadway

Installation of these improvements will begin in February or March as weather allows, and will take approximately a week to accommodate painting and pavement marking. Work is dependent on the presence of appropriate weather. Work hours will be between 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM.

About the Project

The Military Road Safety Improvements Project will implement safety improvements at three intersections on Military Road: at Nelly Custis Drive, at Marcey Road, and at 36th Road North. These intersections were originally identified in a 2004 Arterial Transportation Management Study that suggested several recommendations to improve safety for all modes of transportation in the Military Road corridor.

Vehicle Volumes on Military Road

Below are the vehicular volumes on this section of Military Road from 2016 to 2019.

  • 2019 - 11,000 (Vehicles per day)
  • 2018 - 11,000 (Vehicles per day)
  • 2017 - 11,000 (Vehicles per day)
  • 2016 - 11,000 (Vehicles per day)

Military Road current posted speed limit: 30 MPH    


Intersection of Military Road & Nelly Custis Drive

Safety improvements will focus on:

  • Driver yield rates
  • Shortening crossing distances for people walking through the intersection
  • Providing predictable turning movements
  • Reducing vehicle speeding

A temporary roundabout was installed in 2021 as a pilot to quickly and inexpensively implement the roundabout option, allowing the project team to test its performance and effectiveness at meeting project goals. Observations and data collected from the pilot installation informed the selection of a permanent roundabout as the final design alternative.

Final Concept Design(PDF, 2MB)

Intersection of Military Road & Marcey Road Intersection

Safety improvements included upgrading all pedestrian ramps to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and installing a curb extension on the southeast corner, along with Transit Stops improvements.

This work was completed in December 2020.

Project diagram

Intersection of Military Road & 36th Street North

Safety improvements included eliminating the mid-block crosswalk and building a median pedestrian refuge with a high visibility crosswalk and ADA-compliant ramps. The sidewalk and bench at the bus stop also were improved.

This work was completed in December 2020.

Project diagram


Public Process 

The project team has engaged with the community in various aspects of the improvements planning for this corridor.

Fall 2022 - Open House and Preferred Concept

On November 29, County staff hosted host an open house event to discuss plans and collect feedback on projects on Nelly Custis Drive, Military Road, and Lorcom Lane, including the Nelly Custis Drive/Military Road roundabout. The open house was held at Dorothy Hamm Middle School on Tuesday, November 29.

At this meeting, the project team shared plans to advance the design of a permanent roundabout as the Final Recommended Design for this intersection. This decision was made using guidance from County Board-adopted transportation plans, data from the pilot project, crash data and public input received during engagement in Summer 2022.

Spring 2022 - Pilot Project Public Engagement

In May 2022, County transportation staff hosted a community open house to share more about the Military Road Safety Improvements Project, gather feedback on the pilot roundabout project being tested at the intersection of Nelly Custis Drive and Military Road, and review the options for a preferred alternative for construction at the intersection.

An online feedback form was made available to collect feedback from the community on their experiences with the pilot safety project. This feedback was reviewed and and summarized (see below), to be used alongside operational data, crash data and site considerations to determine the next steps for the capital project at this intersection.

Engagement Resources


Summer 2021 - Pilot Project Announcement and Updates

A virtual community meeting was held on June 10, 2021. Staff presented information about the completed construction along Military Road at Marcey Road and 36th Street North, and discussed the feedback received and studies performed for potential design treatments at Military Road and Nelly Custis Drive. The project team also announced a pilot safety project at the intersection and shared more information about the design and timeline for the pilot. The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session.

Fall 2017 - Concept Design Engagement

A community meeting was held on Sept. 27, 2017, at Taylor Elementary School, with participation from members of seven surrounding civic associations.

Following the public meeting in September 2017, the community was asked for feedback on design concepts for the three intersections. The comment period was open from October through November 2017:

  • The majority of responses supported changes at all three intersections to increase safety for all modes – view a summary of the feedback
  • Some respondents provided comments in addition to answering the feedback questions; the comments included support for and opposition to the design alternatives.

Meeting Boards






Roundabout Pilot at Military Road and Nelly Custis Drive

In October 2021, the project team installed a temporary roundabout as part of a pilot safety project. This facility, constructed with quick curb, pavement markings and bollards, was intended to improve intersection safety, increase vehicle yield rates at crosswalks and to gather data to inform future decisions for this project.

View the pilot roundabout plan

The pilot project, in conjunction with the Vision Zero transportation safety program, tested the effectiveness of a roundabout for operational performance during peak hours, improving pedestrian safety and reducing vehicle speeding at the intersection. Refer to Vision Zero pilot projects for more information.


  • Pilot installed October 2021
  • Monitored pilot over 1 year with multiple data collection points 
  • Gather community feedback on the pilot near the end of a year
    • Public engagement opportunity conducted in May-June 2022


Project cost will be shared between Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).