Alexandria residents say new markings on high-traffic road causing confusion

Some people living in the City of Alexandria are sounding off about what they say are newly painted road markings that are confusing and distracting.

The area in question is on Commonwealth Avenue near East and West Oak and King Streets.

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The project, which has been under construction for the past year and a half, includes brightly painted curb extensions, high visibility crosswalks and black and white painted reflective bumps to help slow down traffic.

Hillary Orr, Deputy Director of Transportation, said that most residents wanted it for safety reasons.

"Safety concerns take markings and we are trying to accommodate people walking. There’s a school nearby, a lot of people are walking with their children and had issues trying to cross the streets and that’s why you are seeing these brightly marked crosswalks and this is one of our highest used bike routes in the city," Orr said.

Orr explained that the city did not remove any lanes and that Commonwealth Avenue is basically the same as it was before except for some reconfiguration of some intersections for safer crossings.

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"I think sometimes when things are new, it’s a little confusing at first but it’s a lot of local residents who use these streets and they will get used to it so when we see a new traffic pattern. It takes a little bit of time," said Orr.

But some residents, most of whom are talking on social media, say the markings are just too much.

They say the markings are distracting and confusing and people can’t figure out where to drive on some of them.

Resident Linda Holland wrote that a car ran into a telephone pole in front of her house as it was coming west from East Linden Street, T-boning the other car on Commonwealth Avenue.

Holland and some other residents told FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan that while the new markings are confusing, they don’t believe the markings contributed to the crash, but they say that the intersection is still dangerous.

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"We will give it a chance and see what happens and you better believe that if it’s not working the city will hear, because we are all very active," said Holland.

"I think it’s going to be a tough challenge," said Jol Silversmith, President of the Rosemont Civic Association.