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03-26-09, 07:58 AM
Relief to commuters

3/26/2009 By Lance Cpl. Christopher Duncan , Marine Corps Base Quantico

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —Security Battalion officials credit recent changes to traffic patterns during the evening rush hours with reducing the travel time from the traffic circle in front of Lejeune Hall to the South Gate about 50 percent.

Security Battalion’s operations officer, Capt. William Tomaszek, explained the reduction was accomplished by dedicating two outbound lanes from the Marine Federal Credit Union on Russell Road to the northbound on-ramp to U.S. Route 1.

Drivers were also restricted from entering or exiting the Russell Road from the McDonalds, the gas station, exchange and commissary.

“Traffic is flowing much more smoothly now, with little stop and go,” said Tomaszek. “The only days the traffic seems to back up is when it rains or snows because drivers use more caution — which is exactly what they should do.”

Additional changes were implemented during the morning commute in an attempt to alleviate backups on Route 1. While Security Battalion does not have a way to measure the success of those changes, the deputy provost explained they have reduced the backups as much as the base infrastructure will allow.

“We’ve done as well as we can with the roads and the number of lanes available,” said Maj. Joseph Riley.

However, Riley explained that commuters can assist the process by using the merge lanes more effectively.

Two instances are I-95 North at exit 148 and the point where the lanes converge on Russell Road between the Marine Mart and the credit union.

“Merge lanes move the traffic forward,” explained Riley. “By merging immediately and not using the entire merge lane, drivers cause delays to form behind them that are the lengths of the merge lanes.”

Both Tomaszek and Riley encourage commuters to be alert to traffic patterns and to pay attention to military police who are directing traffic.