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PMO officers will begin issuing tickets to motorist cutting through the commissary parking lot during the morning rush hour. Every morning approximately 4,000 cars enter the back gate.

Photo by David M. White

Commissary, Exchange parking lots closed to through traffic

23 Jan 2015 | David M. White Marine Corps Base Quantico

Last February, the Commissary and Exchange parking lots were closed during morning rush hours of 5:30-8 a.m., to prevent drivers stuck in the heavy morning traffic on Russell Road from cutting through the parking lot, bypassing traffic and getting back onto the road from Purvis Road. That restriction was lifted late last year.

Now the restriction is back and has been made permanent, with some modifications.

“Effective immediately, no through traffic is authorized in the Commissary and Exchange parking lots,” wrote Marine Corps Base Quantico Commander Col. David W. Maxwell in a message Friday.

In April 2013, a traffic study found that nearly 4,000 vehicles enter the base through the Russell Road gate between 6 and 9 every morning and about 2,840 vehicles enter through the Fuller Road gate.

“To control this last year,” wrote Maxwell, “I was compelled to place barriers at the entrances to the Commissary and Exchange parking lots forcing all traffic to the McDonalds entrance and Purvis Road light.

“Late last year we removed the barriers blocking access to the Commissary/Exchange parking lots during the [morning] rush hour, “ he wrote. “Additionally, we extended the center lane as a left-turn through lane all the way to the traffic light so that turning traffic could enter the left turn lane as soon as leaving the gate and proceed to their turning point. Since then, we have seen an increasing number of drivers cutting through the Commissary/Exchange parking lots and less frequently, drivers are going down the left turn lane and then merging back into traffic.

“Out of courtesy and consideration to others,” wrote Maxwell, “both need to stop.”

The ban on through traffic in the Commissary and Exchange parking lots will be codified in an installation policy letter and violators will be cited.

Marine Corps Base Quantico