Virginia Roads - US 50/US 11/US 522/US 17

and US 11/17/50/522

Before getting to Winchester, I have to enter the state from West Virginia, through Frederick County ("VA", since there's one in Maryland) to the independent city in no county at all.

US 50 eastbound follows an intuitively straight route through Winchester. US 50 westbound doesn't - it's signed with US 522 north all the way up to VA 37, even though that's almost definitely not the official route. These photos are WB/NB entering Winchester, west of I-81, at Apple Blossom Drive. US 17 still exists here (right up to meeting US 11), but has stopped being signed.

Gerrard St. WB between Kent St. and Cameron St. This functions as a U-turn jughandle for westbound/northbound traffic.

Kent St. SB, ignoring US 522 and the nascent US 17.

Winchester's new cutouts look fantastic. This doesn't.

One more ugly assembly mixed in among the pretty cutouts, heading north into the center of the city. Let's put it this way - none of these routes is exactly following an ideal routing. One-way one-lane streets that haven't been paved in decades don't cut it, either. Winchester has full maintenance of the routes inside its boundaries, and is doing little beyond these signs. If they really want US 50 WB traffic to go this way, they should sign it more consistently.

I'm pretty sure this is only US 522 at this point.

The last westbound/northbound cutout reassurances I have for Winchester.

Now heading back south/east for more cutouty Winchestery goodness (if you count the overhead as being cutouts). These are definitely on the multiplex, so the TO is erroneous.

Gerrard St. EB (US 11 NB/US 50 EB/US 522 SB) with a choice of U-turning (and following US 11) onto Cameron St. back into the city, or else heading out of it. I think VA 7 is signed straight ahead to keep traffic out of downtown Winchester.

The unwieldy multiplex, all of which should not have TO shields, turns from Millwood Avenue onto Apple Blossom Drive (the intersections were reconfigured to leave Millwood one-way WB for a block) and then turns left onto Jubal Early Drive. There are plenty of reassurance assemblies, but they're all WRONG!

On the WB side, pointing along that one-way Millwood Ave.

Leaving Winchester, eastbound/southbound just before US 522 leaves US 50/17.

US 50 WB approaches Winchester with US 17 NB.

Somewhat outside Winchester, US 50/17 finally split and 17 gets to run alone for the first time. Seven miles later, it's multiplexed again with VA 55 and I-66. First photo courtesy Lou Corsaro.

WB through Middleburg to the US 17 junction, with an error slapping me in the face. South US 17 is left, North and West US 50 are straight. Someone had the wrong replacement shield aboard for that one. You could say they had 50/50 vision?

This bridge deserves its own caption, WB over Little River in Aldie, and original to the 19th century at the west end of the Little River Turnpike out of Alexandria. (Together with VA 236, the highway goes essentially straight from here to Fairfax, and there is no such line to be drawn to the west, continuing evidence of the onetime wagon road.)

WB through more civilized parts, though something called "West Ox" was probably out in farmland not too long ago. The VA 286 shield is patched over the original designation of SR 7100, which really should have been a primary highway all along, and the Mosby sign is in the middle of a multi-lane, high-speed interchange with VA 28, so you should limit the time you take to stop and smell this rose.

Amongst the shields dwarfed by their banners, notice the anti-RIDOT black-background I-66 shields in the first two photos. US 29 then breaks up with US 50 in the final photo, with a RIDOT-friendly white-background shield this time.

All state routes in Virginia are supposed to be signed with at least these white tags, including here the westbound frontage road for US 50, in the Falls Church area.

Shortly after entering from DC, US 50 WB passes under Courthouse Rd. while on Arlington Blvd. around Fort Myer. There is no green bridge EB because it's a left exit/entrance at the end of the road.

N. Meade St. NB at US 50, just after it left I-66, and then SB coming off of Fort Myer Dr. For traffic coming from the George Washington Memorial Parkway, this is a shortcut to the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the Georgetown area - follow US 50 West, exit immediately (the ramp comes in just to the right of these signs), make a right onto N. Lynn St. (the beginning of a one-way pair that takes traffic off of Meade) and suddenly you're at US 29.

The signs on Fort Myer Dr. are way overhead, so it may take some time to get up there and fix the VA shield error. The SB one-way road actually splits in three here, with each side going up to Wilson Blvd. and the middle diving down to tunnel under it.

I captioned this photo on the I-66 page, so go there via the link below to read more than I say here. US 50 EB is the ramp that I am taking to merge into I-66, which ends shortly thereafter in DC. The left sign appears to be put together by elves who disagree with each other and try to sabotage their work overnight.

Onto US 11 alone
Onto US 17 alone
Onto US 522 alone

Frederick-Clarke SR 723, old US 50

Into West Virginia on US 50
Into the District of Columbia on US 50
To VA 37
Onto VA 7
Onto I-81
Onto I-66
Onto VA 286
Onto VA 236
Onto VA 123
Onto US 29
Onto I-495
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