Command officials here are concerned about recent reports of motorists driving on designated physical training routes at times when they are closed to traffic.
“We cannot allow this to happen for any reason,” emphasized Timothy Lawrence, garrison safety manager. “The command has asked the Provost Marshal to step up patrols as a preventative measure, and those caught violating the policy will be reprimanded.”
Put simply, the purpose of designated PT routes is to prevent the possibility of individuals being struck by vehicles while walking, running or performing other training activities. “The policy is in place for a reason,” Lawrence noted. “It doesn’t matter if it’s military or civilian – if an accident happens, it could result in a fatality. That needs to be the foremost thought on everyone’s mind.”
Fort Lee Policy 19-07, “Safety Precautions for Military Troop Movements,” applies to all organizations/units and military, civilian and contractor personnel. It lists all routes that are for PT only, joint use roadways, and streets that are off-limits for physical training activities. The policy can be found online at home.army.mil/lee/index.php/about/policies-and-regulations.
Authorized running areas on Fort Lee are routes where motor traffic (excluding emergency equipment and designated “trail” vehicles for safety purposes) is not allowed during physical training hours from 5-7:30 a.m. each regular duty day.
The accompanying map shows the off-limits and shared usage route layout. Vehicular traffic will not use green roadways (B Avenue from 38th Street north to Sisisky Boulevard, and Shop Road from 11th Street to 19th Street) during designated PT hours, or the red roadway (Flyover Bridge to Ordnance traffic circle) from 5-7 a.m.
Anyone found driving on these closed roadways is subject to reprimand. Vehicles may cross the green roadways after coming to a full stop, looking both ways and proceeding when it is safe to do so.
On blue (joint use) roadways, motorists must be on alert for marching or running troops and may only pass at 10 mph when approaching from the front of the formation. Vehicle operators will not pass from the rear of the group unless directed to do so by the formation road guard. During hours of darkness or limited visibility, under no circumstances will vehicle operators pass the formation from the rear.
Off-limit routes for troop movement are B Avenue east of Sisisky Blvd.; 11th Street from B Avenue through the Shop Road traffic circle to Quartermaster Road; Shop Road east of 11th Street; Quartermaster Road east of 11th Street; B Avenue from 38th Street east to Sisisky Blvd.; and Eisenhower Avenue east of 39th Street.
Other off-limit areas for physical training activities are the parking lots around building 11200 (DeCA), building 10500 (DCMA), building 4229 (GCSS-Army) and building 18036 (Mosier Consolidated Troop Medical Clinic). Remaining parking areas may be used prior to 6 a.m. for calisthenics, interval training, stretching and warm ups when there are no conflicts with vehicular traffic. However, as soon as employees begin to arrive, use of these areas for PT is prohibited.
Lawrence cited the most common excuse for violating the post policy – individuals running late for work or an appointment – and expressed additional concern because it likely means those individuals are not driving as cautiously as they should be during peak troop training hours.
“Another factor in all this,” Lawrence further pointed out, “is that activity at our field training sites has increased significantly over the past year, and troops are often on the move in the early morning and late evening. On top of that, we’re in the middle of winter’s extended hours of darkness, which only compounds and complicates the risk of accidents occurring along our roadways. We must be especially watchful and aware of troop movement and considerate of road conditions while traveling on post.”
Organization leaders also have a responsibility to be vigilant of their surroundings, what is restricted and any policy changes that occur. Commanders and directors at all levels should ensure their service members, employees, contractors, family members and guests comply with the provisions of Fort Lee Policy 19-07 to help maintain a safe environment on Fort Lee.
“It is of the utmost importance to know the roads, know the policy, conduct a risk assessment and follow it,” Lawrence said. “The safeguards are in place for a reason. Being proactive, not reactive, gives us the best chance of preventing a serious accident from occurring.”
The safe movement policy also dictates that individuals (military, civilians, dependents and contractors) performing physical training activities on or adjacent to roadways during low-visibility hours (specifically dusk to dawn) are required to wear a reflective vest, belt or retro-reflective clothing. While operating a vehicle on Fort Lee, never text and drive, use only hands- free cellphone devices and drive the posted speed limits.