Residents: Danger on Davis Ford Road

Every seat in the McCoart Administration Center was filled Tuesday night with residents who wanted to say something about traffic problems on Davis Ford Road.

Solutions to the problem ranged from lowering the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph, to adding traffic lights and to making it a toll road.

Supervisor Mary K. Hill, R-Coles, held the town meeting because so many people had complained about traffic congestion and safety.

Accidents, near misses, people not being able to turn into their driveways and a fatality in 2001, were the list of objections she has heard, she said.

Hill said she had received a petition by about 70 area residents who want to lower the speed limit.

Catherine Monroe, who lives on Davis Ford Road, said she and neighbors are sometimes awakened in the night with the sound of car crashes, and bloody people appearing at their doorsteps.

Prince William County and Virginia Department of Transportation officials are studying the problem.

But some of the solutions residents wanted either were unfeasible for a road that isn’t residential, could not be enforced or have so far been proven undocumented as to safety concerns.

One thing is known: most of the traffic on Davis Ford Road isn’t coming from those who live near the road.

A county survey of license plates showed that 90 percent of the motorists using it don’t live in the area, but are using it to cut through to Yates Ford Road and head to Fairfax County, said Steve Stevens with Prince William County.

One woman who didn’t identify herself suggested installing a red arrow at Hoadly Road so motorists would be encouraged to use Prince William Parkway instead of Davis Ford Road.

Others said a shorter light at Yates Ford Road, or a four way stop at Yates Ford and Davis Ford roads would do the trick.

But, if traffic is pushed off Davis Ford Road it will end up on Yates Ford Road and the same problem will exist, residents there said.

“A lot of this is aimed at punishing people into using [Prince WIlliam Parkway]” one man said. “But why is Davis Ford your road?”

Since a traffic light went up at Bacon Race and Davis Ford roads, traffic has diminished, another resident said. “Yea for the light,” he concluded.

The parkway has helped to ease congestion. It was completed in the late 1990s, and runs parallel to Davis Ford Road.

There were 27,000 cars on Davis Ford prior to the parkway being built, county officials said. Davis Ford Road now carries 9,000 cars a day and is projected to carry 13,000 by 2020.

Martin Jeter spoke against changes to existing conditions other than possibly left turn lanes or turnout lanes.

“These are extreme measures,” he said, “and there’s nothing to show that Davis Ford is more dangerous than any other road.”

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