Saturday, September 20, 2014

Arlington Bd Candidates: How Would You Fix the Intersection of Doom?

Once again it is election time in Arlington for the Board. In the past I circulated to candidates an interview of questions on how they support cycling.  But these candidates have already answered that survey.

So this time, I asked both candidates one simple question:  how they would fix the Intersection of Doom. (and dont be like other poseur candidates who did not even know what the Intersection of Doom is)

Initially only John Vihstadt responded.  His response was to punt and say county staff were studying the issue.

Today I asked both candidates again. 

Howze just answered "Upgrades adopted this year for 2015 completion - infrastructure and signaling. Open to your suggestions?"  He too attempts to punt by flipping the question, indicating that he does not have a clue.

Candidates.... we await your answer.


  1. You should re-phrase the question, "How many more people have to be carted off in an ambulance before you make the Intersection of Doom your number one priority?"

  2. County Board members are NOT professional traffic engineers or transportation planners. It's NOT part of their job to recommend traffic safety fixes. Rather, they need to hold senior County staff responsible for failing to address this clear bicyclist and pedestrian access and safety problem for more than two decades.

  3. Dont disagree Allen. In fact what you say is a very good point. A candidate who says they will do what you said, is saying HOW they will fix the Intersection of Doom. Those are political and leadership tools, that seem to have not been implemented. Instead, we have been told by county staff in the past year "Oh, fixing the intersection of doom was not in the Rosslyn Plan because no one raised it recently." REALLY?!? You are right Allen ~ we need leadership who is going to reject that crap, and keep Doom a priority until it is solved.

  4. Sadly, County DES staff are often painfully slow in executing all sorts of transportation improvement projects and regularly mislead the County Board about their lack of progress.

    The Four Mile Run Trail underpass of I-395 was delayed for more than a decade AFTER this top-priority trail project had been thoroughly studied and designed and was supposedly fully funded. Similarly, the Washington Boulevard Trail between Rte 50 and Columbia Pike was originally supposed to have been completed about a decade ago.

    The short-term improvements at the Lynn St crossing of Lee Hwy, now promised for 2015, should have been completed by 2005, since they were fully funded with a $1 million federal (TSCP) earmark well over a decade ago, and recommended to the public in June 2003. See [ ]. This crossing has been recognized as a major safety hazard ever since the NPS extended the Mt Vernon Trail north of Memorial Drive in 1988.

    The County's long-standing lack of capacity to execute transportation projects has not been limited to bike and pedestrian ones. The slow development of the Columbia Pike Streetcar project is a case in point, and the Columbia Pike Super Stop fiasco is another. Arlington County needs an independent auditor to uncover and remedy the causes of these chronic problems.

  5. Here's a February 2001 newspaper story on the funding to fix the Rosslyn Circle crossing: [ ]. Evidently, the federal earmark was for only $435,000 (but was supplemented with local money) and was split among three separate projects.