Malfunctioning Traffic Light Causes Backups Near Fort Myer

by ARLnow.com August 9, 2010 at 11:04 am 1,521 6 Comments

The traffic light at South Courthouse Road and 2nd Street is malfunctioning, causing backups near Fort Myer.

The light is only staying green for a few seconds for motorists traveling north or south on Courthouse Road. Police have checked out the intersection and requested that Arlington’s traffic engineering department reset the light.

The intersection was flooded by a water main break one month ago.

  • Let’s Be Free

    The impossibly short light interval happens periodically as well for traffic going east/west along South 2nd at this intersection. Something is fundamentally wrong with the control systems at 2nd and S Courthouse.

    Also the stop lines have been painted and the sensors installed way too close to the interestection to accomodate the turning radius of semi rigs and buses accessing Ft Meyer when vehicles are waiting on the cross street for red lights. As a result there are frequent backups and occasional gridlock at this intersection that’s undone only when a brave soul or two ignores the lights and striping to create space for others.

    No doubt the County Board member who represents this area of the County will jump right on these issues and get them resolved. Now who is that elected representative of the people?

    • Thes

      Let’s Be Free — you could start with the Chairman of the County Board. Why don’t you send him an e-mail and tell us what the response is?

    • charlie

      possibly one of the most idiotic real estate deals was to put DHS in this building and then change all the traffic patterns around this site to make it seem accessible. it is an extremely difficult access location and poor markings on the streets that are even now more poorly marked. south 2nd street is being made to wait so all those fancy and empty ART buses can whiz right up Courthouse Road with all the patients who will continue to drive to DHS just like they did in Lyon Village.

  • Let’s Be Free

    Thes, I’ve emailed or snail mailed county board chairs on issues probably once or twice a year over the last number of years — the only response I ever got was a non-response generic form letter.

    Interestingly, and in contrast, when I’ve raised issues with the School Board or the Superintendent of Schools I’ve gotten some very thoughtful and articulate responses, in writing, and have seen them follow up issues to very useful resolutions. And by resolution I don’t mean marching in lock step with something I want — I mean working issues through to figure out how to do the right thing.

    I’ve had it with the arrogant county board members. The only way to get them to act is to be a political insider or to publicly embarass them such as what happened with the Columbia Pike Library Branch fiasco.

  • lka

    I emailed a local DOT worker yesterday whose email I found on virginis DOT website associated with arlington. Who knows what will happen…

  • MB

    I don’t think this is a VDOT maintained intersection (this is a semi-informed guess – I’ve definitely been wrong before). So I’d start off with contacting the Arlington Co. people who, you know, handle these things (cf. starting at the top, which – gosh, I can’t imagine why – often results in less than optimal responses). So, as a public service, I’m going to post this double super secret link here

    There, you’ll find shocking things like this:

    The County has created a 24-hour Traffic Signal Hotline so drivers can report any glitches in the County’s new state-of-the-art system.

    Drivers who encounter green lights that seem unusually short – or red lights that are unusually long – are invited to report the problem on the new recorded Traffic Signal Hotline at 703-228-6511 (TTY 703-228-4611).

    Drivers should provide their name and telephone number, and the location of the traffic signal. Technicians will inspect each signal reported on the hotline.

    [ . . . ]

    For more information about the traffic system, telephone the County’s Transportation Engineering Division Call Center at 703-228-6570.

    The Traffic Signal Program is responsible for operation and maintenance of all electrical and electronic traffic control equipment, and providing signal design, construction and installation. This program is responsible for performing annual preventive maintenance on all on-site traffic control equipment and related hardware. Email:

    mlicalzi (at) arlingtonva.us

    I suspect that if people lowered the outrage output volume and were a little more thoughtful in targeting their requests, they’d see that we’ve got a pretty responsive County gov’t.


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