ALEXANDRIA, Va. — I have been critical in the past of the lack of signs along state numbered highways in the city and Northern Virginia region. Generally speaking, Alexandria does not post numbered routes with any regularity, especially the 400 series. Did you know that at least portions of Van Dorn Street, Quaker Lane and Seminary Road are all primary state highways? They are routes 401, 402 and 420 respectively. If you drive along them, you may not because the route markers are not posted with any way that is useful for navigation. Those numbers appear on maps though:
From the Virginia Official State Transportation Map, Virginia Cities In Detail page. Used without expressed written consent of the Commonwealth of Virginia but paid for with my tax dollars
Having the routes appear on maps, but not on the roads is pointless because it can lead to motorist confusion. Now, for the first time that I am aware of, there are marker signs posted for VA 420 (Seminary Road) due to a detour for construction in the Mark Center development.
I’m not sure how useful having the route marker for these detour signs is because it isn’t used elsewhere. Also, I believe the only part of Seminary Road that is actually under Virginia Department of Transportation jurisdiction is the overpass over Interstate 395, due to the blue “BEGIN VDOT MAINTANENCE” sign on the approach.
I would appreciate it if Alexandria, other Northern Virginia municipalities and VDOT could get serious about using route signs, so if this is a baby step in the right direction, I’ll take it.
Lastly, the detour sign shows Route 420 in a circle which is incorrect. Route 420 should be in a shield, as there are no secondary numbers below 600 in Virginia.
Highway markers courtesy of Shields Up!