George Mason Boulevard Extension Opens Friday

Posted: June 18, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: June 17, 2009 at 6:40 pm

By Dave Andrews

On Friday, June 19, the City of Fairfax will open the new George Mason Boulevard extension between University Drive and downtown Fairfax to all traffic.

The city’s new road works to Mason’s advantage – it provides a more strategic and aesthetic approach to the north side of campus. The advantage will become more apparent when Rappahannock River Parking Deck opens this fall. Thousands of cars will be entering and exiting the area, requiring more tactical traffic patterns.

The only university money used for the project has been put toward creating a right turn lane on University Drive turning north onto the connecting portion of George Mason Boulevard. The added turn lane should ease the amount of traffic exiting campus. However, this turn lane will not be complete when the main portion of the road opens Friday.

University Drive at the city/campus property line was permanently blocked off last month. Mason has taken the initiative to curb the area and will create a grassy, park-like section, even though the land belongs to the city. At the other end of University Drive near Armstrong Street, large planters will be placed to channel traffic onto George Mason Boulevard.

City officials are confident that although the traffic pattern shift will take some getting used to, George Mason Boulevard will improve traffic for both the city and the university.

Parking along Armstrong Street will remain temporarily prohibited. CUE Bus stops had been moved temporarily from University Drive to Route 123. New CUE Bus stops are already in place, and will go into operation on Friday, June 19.

For questions specific to campus traffic patterns, contact Mason’s Office of Parking and Transportation. For further information about the overall project, contact the City of Fairfax Public Works Department at 703-385-7889.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu