Most business owners in Falls Church agree that traffic congestion along Broad Street is a problem and that the four-lane section of Leesburg Pike that cuts through the city's main business district can use some improving.
But a survey by the city's Business and Professional Development Commission released earlier this week indicates that the majority of the 860 business owners who responded to the survey do not think much of a proposed plan to install a raised median strip along a portion of the road.
The commission asked for reactions to a proposed plan to widen a half-mile stretch of Broad Street from Haycock-Shreve roads to West Street. The plan, expected to cost $2.3 million and begin in the summer of 1987, is the first phase of a four-part plan by the city and the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation to improve Broad Street from Haycock Road to Fairfax Street.
The proposal to improve the half-mile stretch, submitted by the state highway department, calls for an additional foot to be added to each of the street's four lanes to accommodate the width of 11 feet required by the state. In addition, a 13-foot-wide center lane would serve as a raised median that would become a left-turn lane at certain points.
Of the 170 business owners directly located along the stretch, only 22 percent said they favor the installation of a raised median strip. Those against the raised median said it would hinder access to their businesses and discourage customers from coming to their stores. Of the 690 business owners scattered elsewhere throughout the city, only 44 percent indicated they are in favor of the median.
The majority of the 860 business owners said they are in favor of widening the strip to include a left-hand turn lane, particularly at the Haycock-Shreve roads and Broad Street. Most also indicated they are in favor of improving the already existing left-hand turn lane at West and Broad streets.