Morning Poll: The County’s War on Slip Lanes

by ARLnow.com August 5, 2011 at 11:53 am 10,931 314 Comments

(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) Next week, construction is expected to begin on a number of controversial changes to Arlington Ridge Road from 23rd Street to Meade Street.

The four-week, $200,000+ construction project will eliminate a bus pull-off lane, will extend permanent curbing at the intersection of Arlington Ridge and Oakcrest Road, and will include various curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements — all in the name of improving pedestrian safety.

But one change in particular has prompted vocal protests from dozens of residents: the elimination of the slip lane from southbound Arlington Ridge Road to S. Meade Street.

The slip lane is used by residents who live in the neighborhood, and by parents dropping their children off at Oakridge Elementary School. Critics of the project — who are publishing a blog called Save Our Streets — say that eliminating the slip lane will actually make the area less safe by forcing turning traffic to stop on a steep downhill portion of Arlington Ridge Road, risking rear end collisions and making the sharp turn difficult during bad weather.

In response to a letter from the Arlington Ridge Civic Association (ARCA), which said the S. Meade Street portion of the project “is viewed as unneeded and potentially dangerous… with little or no gain for pedestrians,” county staff wrote that the elimination of the slip lane is “a major component of the project plan.”

“The existing slip lane allows vehicles to exit Arlington Ridge and enter S. Meade Street at a higher rate of speed,” staff said. “Requiring vehicles to slow to a safe maneuvering speed at the proposed singular entry site improves the safety for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians… The necessary reduction in speed for turning vehicles under the proposed plan is also supported by the current [25 mph] speed limit on Arlington Ridge, the lowering of which was heavily supported by ARCA.”

Arlington County Director of Transportation Dennis Leach reiterated that view in a recent WUSA9 story on the Arlington Ridge changes.

“Slip lanes actually encourage traffic to speed… it creates hazards for pedestrians,” Leach said.

The plan to turn the slip lane into an expanded sidewalk and green space is consistent with other county road projects that have eliminated slip lanes, including at the intersections of N. George Mason Drive and N. Frederick Street and S. Joyce Street and 15th Street. Another slip lane — at the bottom of a steep hill on S. Walter Reed Drive at the Four Mile Run access road — is also slated for removal this summer, and at least two slip lanes at Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive are slated for elimination in the next year or two.

Do you agree with the county’s approach to eliminating most slip lanes due to safety concerns, or do you agree with the ‘Save Our Streets’ citizens who argue that eliminating (at least certain) slip lanes is unnecessary and may actually have the opposite intended effect, safety-wise?

  • Richard Cranium

    Oh no you di-int . . .

  • Lou

    This doesn’t even meet my definition of a slip lane and the jargon is confusing the debate.

    When I think slip lanes I think Glebe and Fairfax, where the slip lanes that used to be on the south side of the intersection have been removed, and the ones on the north remain.

  • John Fontain

    Seems like it makes sense to bring my unanswered question to the new thread…

    The semi-retired engineer on the SOS blog said: ” any vehicle that slows down enough to negotiate the proposed 90-degree turn will require a near stop, which in turn will stop traffic on Ridge Road. This will turn a chronic bottleneck into a chronic nightmare.”

    Aren’t there many, many other streets that intersect Ridge Road at 90 degree angles? How is this proposed 90 degree turn any different from the others that none of the neighbors are complaining about? If the neighbors are really worried about traffic becoming a “chronic nightmare” because of this proposed 90 degree turn, why aren’t they pressing the County to turn all of the other 90 degree intersections into slip lanes too?

    • NPGMBR

      A similar bus lane was eliminated at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S Glebe Rd. (a very busy intersection). I also thought it would cause a traffic nightmare and it didn’t happen.

      I doubt it will happen on Arlington Ridge (a far lesser road compared to the Pike).

      • Arlwhenever

        Right it doesn’t cause a nightmare at that intersection normal, because myself and others now divert to side streets to avoid the intersection. When through traffic is diverted to side roads that’s no victory.

        In my experience Arlington traffic engineers don’t thoroughly consider second and third order effects, nor do they look at unique aspects of indivdual situations. I recall, for example, when they made Walter Reed entirely one lane each north of Columbia Pike and traffic backed up for blocks to the point where commuter traffic started cutting through the school parking at Henry Elementary. They were forced to do an expensive undo of the design at the Columbia Pike/Walter Reed intersection.

        In any event, Columbia PIke has two lanes whereas Ridge Road has one, there will be major differences.

        • Northerner

          +10, and yes, right turning traffic should be allowed to turn right. What they’ve done by taking out that right turn lane at Glebe and Columbia Pike is not “traffic calming”, it’s traffic maddening…

        • Josh S

          Whoa there. “Expensive undo?” I don’t think repainting one blocks’ worth of lane markers counts as “expensive.” Also, as I recall we were told it was a contractor error that led to the problem – not Arlington county engineer error. Now, you could be cynical and say that was a lie. But since it seems perfectly reasonable to imagine it was a contractor error and since it was fixed relatively quickly, I tend to believe it.

          Also, not to open up a second can of worms, but the road diet project on Walter Reed is a perfect example, in my mind, of the kind of reaction to be expected from neighborhoods when something is changed. Huge, tremendous uproar. The county sucks! The county is stupid! Etc. However, here we are 3-4 years later, the uproar has died down, the road seems to work fine now – no massive traffic issues, no major increase in accidents, etc. What used to piss me off most was the nimrods who seemed to think the bike lanes were car lanes. Even those seem to have diminished over time.

          The point being that while this project will involve a lot of uproar now, my prediction is that within three years it will all be gone and no one will think twice about it. It’s not a big change and will not have the huge negative consequences that the SOS folks continue to claim it will.

          • SArl3

            Wrong – traffic backs ups on both sides of Walter Reed due to the changes the county made increasing air pollution and driver frustration..

          • Josh S

            Wrong? Wrong?



            If you say so.

            (Might traffic in that intersection have something to do with population growth?)

      • Ned Fuller

        At Pike/Glebe, there are two travel lanes both ways. Ridge Rd has a single travel-lane in each direction.

      • John K.

        It didn’t cause a nightmare, but it is a regular nuisance. I say that as someone who is alternatively either on, or stuck behind those buses and is an occasional pedestrian through the Glebe/Pike intersection. It’s not the end of the world but, simply… traffic once could get by, now it can’t. I’ve noticed no gain. Traffic is already dense enough in the area that there isn’t a mess of speeding going on. That bus lane removal (the one by the former law office just to the west on the other side) add nothing for safety but do block traffic that once flowed somewhat more freely. Unnecessary and wasteful. I suspect the same will be found with this’n.

        • SArl3


    • Disinterested Party

      John, I have no dog in this fight and am not sure where I stand on this. But I do drive on Ridge a few times a week.

      If mammary serves, the other right-angle streets are 19th (small), 20th (four-way stop), 22nd (small), 23rd (which has a stoplight) and 24th (a tiny dead-end street that shoots off to the west).

      The only one I ever see much traffic at is 23rd.

      OK, I cheated and went to Google Streetview, which I just discovered has a supercool feature: If you maximize to full screen and then instead of clicking the arrow to go forward click in the distance, it will fast-forward you to the next intersection!

      • Thes

        [Just because you can think of a joke to make about this comment doesn’t mean you should.]

    • Ned Fuller

      “Aren’t there many, many other streets that intersect Ridge Road at 90 degree angles?”

      Indeed, there are 90-degree private driveways as well – and on this very busy,two-lane street, they are all dangerous.

      But at least they are at grade. Please note that the proposed 90-degree for Meade St intersection is on a fairly steep downgrade – about 7.5%, if I remember correctly. Oh sure, the speed-limit is 25. Of course, no one is driving 25. Will introducing a “surprise” 90-degree just below the crest at Ridge and So 23rd will deter speeding? I think not. However, it will bring about many rear-end collisions, where there are virtually none at present.

      To address this concern, the county has proposed placing a large sign on Ridge Rd, warning drivers of the coming hazardous intersection.

      Think of it: there is no sign now, because there is no hazard now. Do we need to go around building hazardous intersections, where none exist now?

      “…why aren’t they pressing the County to turn all of the other 90 degree intersections into slip lanes too?”

      As a practical matter, 90-degree intersections cannot be reconstructed as slip-lanes. Like meandering streets, slip lanes largely exist as vestiges of an earlier, by-gone era. They tend to be a less economically efficient use of land than 90-degree grids, but in no way can it be flatly stated that they are inherently more dangerous.

      It depends on the situation, and in traffic safety, much of any situation depends upon horizontal and vertical alignment – ie, grade and sight-distance. The proposed construction is a retrofit of an standard 90-degree, with little apparent consideration for grade and sight-distance, into an intersection which is working efficiently, and without any reported problems as it is, and is thus best left alone.

      Yes, I am that semi-retired Professional Engineer.

      • John Fontain

        “they are all dangerous”

        And yet doesn’t the evidence show a lack of accident frequency and magnitude?

        “But at least they are at grade. Please note that the proposed 90-degree for Meade St intersection is on a fairly steep downgrade – about 7.5%”

        There are many much more steep 90 degree intersections in the same neighborhood (many on 23rd Street, for example) that nobody seems to care about. Yet this one intersection with a moderate slope is such a big concern while the others aren’t a problem? This seems disingenuous.

        “Think of it: there is no sign now, because there is no hazard now.”

        Extremely disingenuous, as explained in previous thread on this topic. The County doesn’t think this will be a danger and is only putting in the sign at the SOSer’s request.

    • Safety

      You are missing the whole point: Look at the picture. This is not on a flat road as the rest of Ridge Road and most of the County. This is going down a steep hill in accelerating tarffic turning to the left to make a tight 90 degree right hand turn where you then need to go back up a hill and then make a 90 degree left hand turn. You can’t do that at 25 MPH. Try it, you actually almost have to stop, especially if there is a car in the road.


    Ha…..thats right, they force the rest of us to have to drive 25mph through their neighborhood and when the County throws that same restriction at them they don’t want it!

    • SaveDaveMcKenna


      • G Clifford Prout

        My suggestion is to drive 10 MPH down Arlington Ridge at all times and then 1000 feet before executing the turn apply the turn signal. When making the turn, do one of those “old lady” turns that takes 45 seconds. That way the children of Arlington Ridge will be super extra safe.

        • Southeast Ben

          That image never gets old.

          I’m shocked this “improvement” is going to cost $200K. I feel like I could do it for $100K.

          • normal


          • Josh S


      • spookiness

        + 1000

    • Not Me

      I blew through there at 55mph yesterday. And that was going uphill.

    • NVHokie

      Actually, the speed limit is 25 mph on all neighborhood streets in Arlington, so nobody’s trying to be special here.

      On the contrary, due to the proximity of Crystal City, Rt. 1, and I-395, Ridge Rd is a neighborhood street that serves as a secondary arterial. Those of us who live there would simply like very much to see traffic move through the neighborhood as efficiently and safely as possible. That’s why almost none of us supports this reconstruction.

  • Tim

    @Lou: The southeast corner slip lane is still there.

    Speeding is definitely an issue in slip lanes. It tells drivers that they aren’t making a turn in an intersection, they’re just riding on a freeway exit ramp where the only thing they have to worry about is merging at the end of the ramp. That means you ignore traffic in all other directions, as well as pedestrians and other road users. There are no crosswalks across the slip lane itself, but the one right after it is still dangerous because drivers still aren’t looking out for much except merging. But it does make it harder for pedestrian walking northbound on Arlington Ridge road, because they have to basically go around the intersection instead of through it.

    In addition, the best urban/residential intersections are definitely the ones closest to being at right angles. Everybody’s in the same place and everybody sees very easily what everybody else is doing. No one’s slipping around anyone.

    I really don’t see how it’s all that detrimental to drivers to remove this. If people are stopping there to drop people off or pick them up, well, it’s a driving lane, not a stopping lane. There’s currently no stop sign for the left turn from northbound Arlington Ridge Road to South Meade Street, so I doubt they’d add one.

    • Lou

      The one is still there? Wow, I don’t pay much attention when I go through there.

      Regardless, my point was that this case does not really fit the traditional definition of slip lane. That’s like saying the turn from southbound Connecticut to 20th is a “slip lane”

      • Schmex_dc

        There was one on the southwest corner as you come off of 66 to turn right, but it’s been gone for years. The other 3 corners still have slip lanes. Now there is a giant thingy in the middle of the sidewalk that blocks your sightline. It’s hard to see around for drivers and pedestrians.

        • Lou

          I’m surprised they have left the one in front of the Kinkos building, as that is the one that has had a least one pedestrian fatality in recent years. And it’s one the side of Fairfax where the bike trail feeds onto 66, more pedestrians would use that side of Fairfax. There’s so much vacant ground floor retail on Glebe north of Fairfax, I’m sure they would benefit from keeping more people on that side of the street.

  • JimPB

    — Moving vehicular traffic has dominated. Providing adequately for pedestrian safety warrants a higher priority.

    — Means may look.sound good or bad. What should dominate decisions is outcomes.

    —- What’s the data: Vehicle use, speeds, near and actual accidents; pedestrian volume, routes, near and actual accidents?

  • soarlslacker

    The parents in the neighborhood got the speed reduced to 25mph on Ridge Rd and 23rd St. It is a nightmare to use Ridge Rd to access the neighborhood during evening rush hour. The turn from Ridge Rd to Meade is very steep and a new sharp turn will make it difficult for drivers without 4 wheel drive in the winter to make the uphill turn. The county appears to be attempting to make it safer for people to walk to Oakridge Elementary School, but no one walks their kids to school. They all drive their kids to school. The lack of a place for Metro buses to stop without blocking a traffic lane will bottleneck the intersection of Ridge and 23rd. It is already difficult for Metro buses to turn from N bound Ridge on to 23rd. The one of the white (stop here) stripes on 23rd at the light had to be moved back 8-10′ so buses could turn. For locals that don’t ever drive on Meade, it appears that the intersection of Ridge and 23rd will just become much slower to get through all the time. Why would Arlington County want to spend $200K on something that the residents do not want? If I lived on Meade I would be pretty annoyed that it will be come more difficult to get to my house.

    • charlie

      i don’t get.
      The civic association wants everything slowed down, except what it wants.
      i use ridge road all the time and the traffic calming measures have been absurd and a waste of money.
      people still drive fast.
      and this slip turn is dangerous to everyone. the world will survive.

      • Dog Walker

        In fairness to the civic association, most of the noise from this ‘controversy’ is coming from a group of residents along Ridge & Meade. ARCA wrote a letter to the county asking for the project to be deferred (based on those same neighbors being very vocal at an association meeting) but has largely backed away from the current level of ill will toward the county.

    • ILiveInTheHood

      I live in the neighborhood and a couple of your points seem off:

      1. Everyone seems to be addressing Meade as the only access to that side of the neighborhood, but you can turn right on 23rd and make the first left which is a nice, flat street that goes straight to the school. Meade, FWIW, is a dead end street. You have to turn right.

      2. To make the argument that making the turn in winter seems ridiculous. First of all, if the streets are that bad, school is probably closed. Second, if the turn is tough, people can use the aforementioned wide, flat street (I think it is Nash). Third, the hills getting up to that intersection are extremely sketchy in bad weather, so your problems with navigating the streets in the snow start long before you make it to that one insignificant turn.

      3. That is flat out not true that no one walks their kids to school. Many parents do, and some kids walk themselves. That’s why there is a crossing guard at 23rd & Ridge–to keep the kids from getting mowed down by commuter traffic passing through the area.

  • TJ

    I don’t live in that neighborhood and rarely, if ever, drive down that road…and to me, it makes all the sense in the world to eliminate that slip lane.

  • charlie

    glad to see that someone had already called the cops on you taking pictures. they got there pretty fast.
    I’m sure ARLNOW looks like they live on Columbia Pike and NOT Arlington Ridge, and hence the urgent call and quick response from ARLPO.

    • BerryBerryCold


    • Suburban Not Urban

      The picture is from Google Earth. Did I miss where you gave credit to the source?

  • Chris Slatt

    Evidence that eliminating this slip lane won’t cause accidents: the thousands of other 90 degree turns on hills throughout the United States.

    • Hatch

      Evidence that the slip lane isn’t dangerous: the thousands of slip people who drive/walk at intersections with sliplanes and nothing happens.

      Waste of $ IMO.

      • normal

        What proportion of people using slip lanes are injured or killed? And is it more than other intersections?

        This is what you need to know before you declare them safe or not.

        • Hatch

          My point exactly!

  • Actually

    “The turn from Ridge Rd to Meade is very steep and a new sharp turn will make it difficult for drivers without 4 wheel drive in the winter to make the uphill turn.”

    Low gear + snow tires = no need for 4WD.

    • Dog Walker

      I’ve driven thru that intersection several times. It’s really not that steep. And besides, there’s another more level route into the neighborhood via 23rd & Nash if they’re that timid about driving in the snow.

  • Tre

    Why don’t they just add a real Speed Hump in the slip lane? That can’t cost more than $5000.

    • +10

    • JamesE

      They can pay for 25% of it with the car tax bill I just received from them!

    • Aaron

      A $5,000 solution instead of a $200,000 solution? It’s like you’re trying to cheat someone out of $195,000 worth of work, in this economy! What about their children?

  • TLC

    The slip lane on Nash at Wilson in Rosslyn is downright deadly. I literally can’t count the number of near-misses I’ve had there. Sure, slip lanes make sense out in the middle of nowhere, where there are no pedestrians and cyclists around. But in areas heavily trafficked by pedestrians, they’re just dangerous and should be removed.

    (It goes without saying that the slip lane itself isn’t the problem, as much as the fact that the individual drivers are – few even look for pedestrians, but are instead solely focused on the oncoming traffic to make sure they can merge as soon as possible. If drivers obeyed Yield signs, this would be a non-issue. Further, the Nash/Wilson slip lane merges onto a semi-dedicated lane, so the “Yield” is almost implicitly to protect pedestrians, yet still goes unheeded.)

    • BerryBerryCold

      It’s deadly…yet no one has died or have they?

      You witnessed “near-misses,” which means they didn’t miss. Did the injured survive?

  • Roquer

    Very nice of Arlnow to ask us to vote, cause for sure the Arlington County Board doesn’t care what we say!

  • BerryBerryCold

    Wasteful, unneeded project.

  • SlipLaneVictim

    I wish they would get rid of the slip lane going from Wilson to 10th street. Cars keep crashing into the light poles on 10th. Hasn’t happened in a year or so but one year two lights were taken out at different times.

    • BerryBerryCold

      Yes! Will someone please think of the light poles!

      • SlipLaneVictim

        Light poles are on the sidewalk, genius.

        • Tre

          The county should remove all light poles and replace them with hologram traffic cops

          • Richard Cranium

            Light poles should, at all times, be kept on leashes in designated light pole parks. Everyone would be safer – the cars and the light poles. The Light Pole Parks, or “LPP”‘s would, of course, be car-free zones. Admissibility of children is still under discussion.

        • ArlingtonDriver

          If you don’t like my driving, stay off of the sidewalk.

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    Interesting end to the R.E.G. Davies obit in today’s Post

    “I shall happily say farewell to the lack of public transport in the Washington suburbs, which forces everyone to spend half their lives in cars.”

    • cyclist

      Not all of us are forced to spend half our lives in cars. 😉

  • Suburban Not Urban

    It would be nice if the poll was balance, and instead of saying
    “No, slip lanes are not a safety hazard and removing them is a waste of resources.” it included “and creates new safety hazards for drivers being re-ended.”

    • Richard Cranium

      Personally, I hate being re-ended. A single ending suits me just fine.

  • willy

    What is a Slip lane? This is the 3rd or 4rth article I have seen on this subject. Also this article has a picture from above. But I still don’t get it!

    • bobco85


      Slip lanes typically force pedestrians to make an additional crossing (across the slip lane) when trying to cross a street. The aforementioned slip lane at Meade/Ridge actually does not do this, as it has a crosswalk farther south on Meade.

    • TLC

      Instead of a standard 90-degree intersection, there is a separate little lane that curves to the right for drivers making a right turn. Instead of coming to a full stop, they just have to yield to oncoming traffic.

      Here’s the satellite image of the slip late at Nash and Wilson in Rosslyn (which I reference above):


      Vehicles traveling south on Nash making a right onto westbound Wilson have a separate lane (there’s a triangular median with trees on it in the photo). Instead of coming to a full stop and making a right turn, they simply have to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

      The problem, of course, is that too many drivers are focused only on traffic (that is, looking to their left) and don’t pay attention to pedestrians (particularly those approaching from the driver’s right).

  • Edjey

    I’m surprised there are no comments on what this does to the properties fronting the slip lane. The first picture makes it look like they get extended driveways. What would that part be legally? who has the maintenance responsibility? I suppose whatever it is they’ll take in exchange for the added space and improved home value of a more subdued intersection.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      I doubt it will be subdued unless you call more traffic sitting and waiting to turn and more accidents in front of your house subdued.

      • Question

        What are they waiting for ?

      • Josh S

        This is hilarious. Like complaining that the removal of the bus pullover lane will cause traffic problems. The bus arrives TEN times a day.
        Traffic sitting and waiting – this ain’t 15th and Constitution, folks.

        • Outsider

          I just did drive on the Ridge Rd this morning during rush hour. Buses do clog the traffic, and removal of the bus lane does not make much sense.

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      This project is so flawed that it actually awards totally free circular driveways & land at the taxpayers’ expense.

      Why County needs to recklessly spend money on private driveways?

      There are set of simple, safe and low-cost solutions that are proven to be working. When neighbors confronted County on this, Project Manager said that she does not to listen to citizens but only two houses that are getting free circular driveways.

      For example, you can see some simple solutions here:


      • Thought….

        For a County like Arlington who prides itself in an “Arlington Way”, which is supposed to include the active inclusion and partipation of local neighbors and neighborhoods in its transportation projects, the County has really fallen on its face in advancing this project where its project Manager Betty Diggs has consistantly refused to talk to local neighbors most directly affected by the project. “I am allowed to work with only the two households whose front yards we will be modifying” (and gaining 1400ft2 of front lawn each paid for by the County), but she cannot talk to — and in fact rudely dismisses — the other 100 or so families whose saftey will be put at risk by removal of the slip lane. This does not sound like a thoughtful and caring County that insists on local neighborhood input.

  • Chris

    Turn it into a Jersey Jug handle turn. I don’t care where to, I just want more jug handles.

  • Another Neighbor

    actually the problem on Meade is the middle school kids don’t walk up to the crosswalk, which is 50 or more yards up the road (look at the picture at the top of the article and ask yourself what kid would walk all the way up there to cross). Instead they cross in the straight line that has them going across the slip then the second crossing. Since the cars don’t stop, it is very dangerous and was one of the reasons the county gave for closing this slip lane. Having one of these aforementioned children, I have seen it myself so I’m not just taking the county’s word for it.

    • Neighbor

      There is a path that leads through back forest from Gunston School to Oakridge School. This path is safe and is used by kids.

      I’m not sure how kids would be safer if they are crossing the narrower Meade St/Ridge Rd intersection with traffic coming from four well-travelled directions with limited visibility from Ridge Rd. The County was also planning to plant trees…which will perfectly disable drivers to spot pedestrians on time.

      In addition, how walking closer to Ridge Road is safe anyways?

  • Joe

    Don’t know about slip lanes, but if Arlington County is eliminating them, they must be a good thing. Arlington County is back assward on pretty much everything.

    • Robert

      According to a July 27 letter from County Manager Donnellan to a neighbor near South Meade, there were no reported accidents at South Meade from 2007 through 2010. Not a single one!

      So what is Arlington County correcting? The so-called “dangerous slip lane” is a County myth. If there is even one accident in the future involving a vehicle making a right turn at South Meade, it could be attributed to the ill-advised elimination of the safety slip lane.

      Every day, some 130 vehicles use the slip lane; they will be forced to come almost to a complete stop to make a right turn. It is a recipe for disaster. By our count, more than 200 vehicles use the slip lane on each school day. These cars carry parents and schoolchildren.

      In her letter, Manager Donnellan mentions that County has shared and discussed traffic volumes with neighbors. That is not correct. The County never shared and discussed traffic volumes, collision history, etc. with the neighbors. When the County staff met with citizens in December, they absolutely refused to discuss any of those issues (that meeting included Wayne Wentz and Betty Diggs).

      Neighbors have requested the safety record back in April/May, and it took County almost 2-3 months to collect simple accident data. They are no presenting this data only 10 days prior to the start of the construction.

      The letter further states that curb nubs, location of the crosswalk and other such features are well documented in safety literature, but it doesn’t say whether any studies or designs were made with the features and data for Meade St location.

  • ARCA_Neighbor

    Arlington County does not need to eliminate the entrance and turn around island at the intersection of Meade Street and Ridge Road. The closure would make vehicular access between Meade Street and Ridge Road less safe by increasing vehicle conflicts; exacerbating the intersection’s steep slope and cross-slope; increasing the danger with snow and slick pavements; creating an intersection entry point that requires trucks to encroach into oncoming traffic lanes; making Meade Street pedestrians walk out of their way along Ridge Road; and placing those pedestrians at vehicular conflict points. The closure would eliminate safe access of 2300 block Ridge residents to northbound Ridge Road. The closure would also remove residential on-street parking. For these reasons, the proposed design is opposed by the overwhelming majority of people in the affected areas.

    If you would like to see the entire set of flaws with the project, please see them here: http://saveourstreets.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/design-is-flawed/

    • Josh S

      I’m beginning to think that the SOS folks are in some kind of hidden contest to see how many visitors to their site they can get.

      We got it. Enough with the links already. “If you want to see the entire set of flaws” — as if your analysis was handed down by God. It’s your analysis, people. Do you all work in marketing maybe? Cause it sounds so much like the sketchy sales come-ons you see in informercials and classified ads in the back of magazines…..

  • ArlForester

    The back up at Fairfax Dr and Glebe in the morning thanks to them removing the slip lane has been wonderful. There is never progress when progressives are in charge.

    • Josh S

      My guess is that the many pedestrians who use that intersection are quite pleased with the change.
      Why do they matter less than you?

  • Slip Lane next to the County’s Office

    Several citizens pointed out that there is a (dangerous) high-speed slip lane connecting Clarendon Boulevard to 15th Street directly in front of the County Board Offices at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard. This slip lane is in the middle of the big pedestrian zone.

    County maybe can spend some of the $200,000-$300,000 funds from Meade St failed project into fixing problems rigth in front its own back yard!

    Of course, that slip-lane may not count since it leads directly into the Board members own garage…

    See link: http://t.co/3n9Cu0v

  • Jack

    Another SoS pronouncement debunked. SoSers you really need to do your homework.

    • What is the debunk?

      So, the County says that they’ll do the work one day….but they are actually spending $ on non-needed work for Meade St, which could be spent on fixing unsafe situation right next to their office.

      • Spark

        If you read the article identified above…the county does have plans to fix that slip lane near the county building.

        • Outsider

          From what I can see, there are no dates attached to the design. It seems that everything is in preliminary phases and requiring money.

          Instead of spending $ on removing perfectly safe slip lane and providing free private driveways and County land to a couple of owners, the County can clean up its own backyard.

          I think that citizens were saying that Meade St dollars could be used to fix the “County’s” slip lane.

  • Tom Smart

    There’s a very simple solution to this if the county wishes to slow traffic and it’s very cost effective. install a speed bump or bumps. and make them high enough so people really have to slow down to avoid wrecking their cars.

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      I fully agree. The County is overreaching with the project that does not make much sense, and that will ultimately result in major safety issues. All these dollars could been channeled into more needed project that we as ARCA have identified over years….

      • Josh S

        …..and are viewable on your website. Yeah, yeah. Got it.

        • It is that simple….

          They are not that hard to envision, for example: traffic nubs…nubs are all over Arlington. Then, signs that you are entering residential area etc.etc.

  • Real World Economics

    Everyone keeps saying that this is going to be a “90 degree intersection”. The fact is that Arlington Ridge Road actually curves at this point. The current slip lane allows southbound traffic to continue travelling in a straight line onto Meade Street while traffic continuing on Arlington Ridge curves to the left. So when the slip lane is eliminated, southbound traffic will have to curve to the left and THEN make the “90 degree turn” onto Meade Street.

    Guaranteed the school buses, fire engines and trucks, and any service or delivery trucks that need to access Meade Street will either be crossing the double yellow line into oncoming traffic in order to make the turn or running up the curb on the right side in order to avoid crossing the center line. Of course, Arlington County will probably put more of those wonderful steel curbs up in the middle of the road, which will force the large vehilces to run up on the curb.

    I predict the crews at Fire Station 5 will go from running accidents at this intersection on a very rare basis to multiple calls a day.

  • JammingEcono

    So glad to see a new thread on this. Let’s see if we can beat the 365 comments in the previous article! Go team!

    Anywho, I have a couple of unanswered questions for the SOSers from the previous thread (along with some new ones):

    1) When will you post the full text of the July 27th letter from County Manager Donellan? This is the letter you base your repeated claim of no reported accidents at Ridge Road and Meade St. To date, and despite several requests, you have not posted the full, unedited text (as opposed to excerpts) here, on the SOS blog or anywhere else I know of. The context that the full text of letter would provide would be extremely useful to this debate.

    2) What is the basis for your moderated comment policy at the SOS blog? To date, you have allowed no comments to be published there that offer a differing opinion from your own. As a follow-on, did you let any of the reporters you’ve spoken to know about the “supporters-only” comment policy?

    3) Did you let any of the reporters you’ve spoken to know about the nearly dozen meetings dating back to July of 2009 that the County had with ARCA about this project? Were the reporters made aware of the multiple design changes the County implemented in response to citizen concerns? Were the reporters made aware that ARCA was told of the elimination of the slip lane not later than September 2010?

    4) Were any of the reporters you spoke with made aware of the fact that the link from the SOS site to the original ARLNow article on this issue was removed when the comment thread started to contradict your interpretation of the facts of this project?

    5) Were any of the reporters you spoke with made aware of the August 2nd email from Delegate Englin? This is the same one that specifically mentioned the “harsh personal tone” of many of the communications from the SOSers to the County about this issue. I know for certain of at least one reporter who was not.

    Looking forward to the SOSers’ response!

  • JammingEcono

    By the way, nice to see a journalist writing about this story who actually gets it:


    Quote: “Arlington wants to fix a pedestrian safety flaw and slow traffic in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood. But a group of vocal neighbors is loudly protesting the move, arguing it’s worse for safety and claiming Arlington didn’t listen to their concerns.

    But while the safety claim might be heartfelt, the change makes complete sense for safety. As for the process argument, opponents seem to misunderstand the ‘Arlington Way.’

    Staff used the gold standard for public input on this project, even if they ultimately disagree with the critics. They deserve strong support both because it’s a good project, and also because good process deserves positive reinforcement.”

    Quote: “I drove over to the area Friday during the evening rush to check it out in person. From the light at South Nash Street, at the the top of the hill, the entire intersection is easily visible from even a smaller car. A driver coming down the hill will see another car at the corner with plenty of time.

    In fact, as an experiment, I tried turning several times from Arlington Ridge onto South Meade but not using the slip lane—the way drivers will once the change is finished. As I was slowing and stopping at the corner, cars coming down the hill started braking long before.”

    • Dog Walker

      Great article. Thanks for the link JE.

      I drove up 23rd from Army-Navy this morning. Looks like the construction is well under way. And, somewhat surprisingly, without any organized protest from the SOSers.

      • JammingEcono

        Good to hear re: construction getting under way, DW.

        Re: protests – I had half expected to see some SOSers lying down in front of the bulldozers. Guess they only turn out when they know that WUSA is going to be on the scene.

      • Outsider

        Well, we have again the County’s man (Econ) posting here. It is not allowed for County employees to peform an outreach campaign against citizens on their dime.

        • Dog Walker

          I’ll speak up this time. What evidence do you have that JE is a county employee? That question has been asked a number of times with zero reponses. So, to be blunt, put up or shut up.

          He/She has posted some very specific, well-thought-out arguments to your continuous stream of woe-are-we drivel and your best comback was “only a county employee would have that information”??? It takes only minimal time with a couple of Google searches to find what JE found.

          The SOSers are quickly becoming a laughing stock. I’m not going to do them the favor of posting the link here, but their posting a picture of yellow tape across one of their driveways is hilarious.

          • Outsider

            Fair amount of evidence….see couple of posts down and earlier thread. Maybe even an internet records once they are published. County’s staff internet use is part of the public records.

          • normal

            Now you’re saying the County keeps records, available to the public, of every Internet location that every employee visits and makes it available to the public?

            I don’t think so.

            What a waste of time that would be.

          • Outsider

            Yes, the County has all internet records and is not allowed to delete them for security and public record keeping purposes. The search through records is pretty easy, since you can see what sites where accessed from what computers. Media will do it, and this is pretty standard process. Public employees are responsibile to citizens and can not work against them.

      • Outsider

        Who told you that they will not protest? I guess these people do have a work to do unlike some who post comments 24/7 hrs.

        I have seen so “many supporters” of this project in the area….not a single one. Of course, except the County employees posting on this blog as “citizens”.

        County support County…What a democracy!

        • JammingEcono

          Ah well, I figured it was only a matter of time before you showed up, Outsider.

          Just to recap for those who are new to the thread, he’s the general gist of the allegations that Outsider and other SOSers like to make, since they have little ability to debate on substance:

          They argue that Arlington County is so hell-bent on eliminating the slip lane at Arlington Ridge Road and S. Meade St. in the name of public safety that County employees have spent the past few weeks (including weekends!) engaged in an organized campaign to surreptitiously discredit opponents of the project (on County time no less!) via the comment threads of various articles on this project.

          As evidence of this Orwellian plot, they point to the numerous instances where supporters of the County’s proposal (myself included) have made reasoned arguments, based on publicly available information, in support the project and rebutting the objections the SaveOurStreets campaign has raised.

          This belief has endured despite:

          a) not one shred of actual evidence suggesting this is indeed the case;

          b) their ignoring of several requests to provide such evidence, should it exist and;

          c) the repeated assertions by supporters of the County’s proposal (myself included), that we are nothing but concerned citizens who want to see a safer intersection for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

          • Outsider

            The evidence was presented very clearly on the other thread. In summary, this County’s representative was referring to pretty detailed descriptions of internal County’s deliberations, meetings and was extremely sensitive to any justified criticism of non-responsiveness of the County’s staff (esp. Betty Diggs). The media is probably looking at the County’s internet records for a confirmation.

            It is not allowed for County’s employees to engage in (paid) campaign against citizens. This is violation of the County’s Code, waste of taxpayers’ resources and also a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

          • Dog Walker


            that’s all ya got?

            And you may want to go back and re-read the Constitution.

          • normal

            😆 No kidding.

          • JammingEcono

            @Outsider: And your “evidence” was just as clearly debunked here: http://bit.ly/mXoNGN

            Now, your allegation that I wrote “pretty detailed descriptions of internal County’s deliberations, meetings” is new. Please be so kind as to point to which of my comments suggest I have such information.

            Should you manage to convince some poor reporter to investigate your allegations, I would love to see any response you receive once said investigation has run its course.

          • normal

            There’s always somebody on a bulletin board like this who is absolutely sure that someone else who posts alot and knows alot and disagrees with them must be working for the gub’mint, secretly infiltrating the Internet to subtly sway public opinion on the taxpayer’s dime.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            Outsider – I would recommend that you try another angle here. This guy is related to the County as much as Aurora Highlands group serves the County’s interest.

            Hope this helps.

          • JammingEcono

            Again ARCA_Neighbor – Do you have any evidence that I am part of the AHCA leadership group? If not, then your continued suggestions that I am part of it only serve to discredit you.

          • Outsider

            I disagree with you. We are having here a County’s employee posting on a constant basis. I don’t know much about Aurora Highlands or whatever the name of the group happens to be.

        • ARCA_Neighbor

          Outsider – As I mentioned to you, I do not think that Econ is the County’s employee. He is the leadership member of Aurora Highlands Group, which approved this ill-designed project without much thought and any serious consideration. We will remember their “thoughtfulness” for a long time especially when they have the problematic project in their backyard.

          ARCA did a good job in analyzing the actual design, its pitfalls and relation to our historical correspondence with the County.

          We all concluded that we never requested this project. This is classical overreach by the County. Moreover, ARCA asked for this project to be suspended until justified neighbor’s concerns can be resolved. The County did not want to listen…

          As our (ARCA) president said:
          “It’s something we did not request. All we requested was they deal with one corner and give the kids some safe space. The county came in with an elaborate plan. They clearly were marching to their own drummer.”

          See link for full details: http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/virginia/2011/07/neighbors-feel-left-out-arlington-zooms-forward-street-project

          Econ – Our president is absolutely right and your advocacy against your (not so) distant neighbors is not only unwarranted, but also destructive for the overall community.

          • JammingEcono

            @ARCA Neighbor: Ah, the second version of the Nixon/dirty tricks meme…

            Again, for the benefit of thread newbies, this allegation claims that I am NOT actually a County employee, as Outside claims, but rather a member of the nefarious AHCA cabal.

            Once again, ARCA Neighbor, I ask that you point to one shred of credible evidence that I am part of the AHCA leadership group.

            If you cannot do so, I would respectfully ask that you admit you are simply casting aspersions since you seem unable to win this debate on the merits.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            I feel that we are having a merit-based conversation, although sometimes it feels like you are doing a monologue by posting so many messages.

            You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but it looks that your arguments don’t seem to carry water with majority of people (for example: see the vote here).

            The context of your Aurora Highlands role is distinguishable only by those of us who happen to know details like you do.

            I respect your role and organization, but I’m saying that it is not really neighborly to be insensitive and oppose those in need. People tend to remember this for a long time…

          • JammingEcono

            QUOTE: “The context of your Aurora Highlands role is distinguishable only by those of us who happen to know details like you do.”

            As I’ve stated many times previously, I’m not privy to any information that isn’t publicly available. The way I’m able to know that the AHCA supported the project is that the minutes of the May 11 meeting where they voted unanimously in favor is available online here: http://aurorahighlands.org/_Media/min2011_05.pdf

            QUOTE: “a. 23rd Street and Arlington Ridge Road Intersection Plan Overview. ARCA President Chick Walter and Andrea Walker presented the County’s latest plan to redesign the intersection and eliminate the slip lane at Meade Street (near Gunston). The membership voted unanimously to send a letter to the County Board thanking them for the project and encouraging them to move forward with it as a first step toward reducing the danger to pedestrians due to the current design.”

            If you have some other reason to suspect that I’m privy to insider AHCA information, please do say so. Otherwise, one must conclude that your allegation that I’m with AHCA is without merit.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            We don’t have to argue this one. You even mentioned this in your long posts on another thread. You said that you were sitting in the room with AHCA people when “you” approved this project and liked what Andrea was telling you. Btw, she is not anymore transportation person, because she was not able to realize all the problems with the project early on like the most of the ARCA neighbors.

            It is really sad that you are fighting neighbors, but I said we will all remember your role next time you come to ask ARCA about something. Don’t worry….

          • JammingEcono


            Quote: You even mentioned this in your long posts on another thread. You said that you were sitting in the room with AHCA people when “you” approved this project and liked what Andrea was telling you.

            Huh? When did I ever write that? Please do link to the specific comment where I said anything of that kind. Each comment’s timestamp has an individual link, so that shouldn’t be too hard for you to find.

            To whit, the only comments in the previous thread where I mentioned Andrea Walker were in reference to what was written in the minutes from the May 11 AHCA meeting. Those minutes are publicly available online. I wasn’t at that meeting personally. I’m not sure what I wrote that would have given you that impression.

      • Looked at Source

        The article is written more from the author’s need to defend the County actions than to provide serious discussion about the issue of slip lanes. The title of the article even has the words about how County is “right” and is very telling about the writer’s motivation and subjectivity. That is fine and part of the political spectrum, but has clear conflict of interest. Actually, this blog group is clearly very much aligned and vested with the current board since they actively supported or worked for the key Board member(s) during the race. See: http://t.co/TGZdCoo

    • Outsider

      That is the subjective opinion of one person He is clearly friends with the County. I hope he will get a good boost for his article.

      He does not live in the area. How can he knows better than hundreds of neighbors, who are living and using these streets every day.

  • ARCA_Neighbor

    By COB on August 5th, the on-line poll implemented by the Arlington Blog shows thatover 70% of respondents either thinks that slip lanes are not a safety hazard or that some slip lanes should be removed but that the other are safe and useful. It is interesting to note that the absolute majority of votes classifies slip lanes as not a safety hazard under any circumstances.

    Logical and common sense people looking at this situation without any special biases have come to the same conclusion like citizens living in the area.

    I guess it takes endless time for a County’s bureaucrats to do the same.


    • JammingEcono

      @ARCA Neighbor: Or, read another way, 58.34% of those surveyed believe that either some or all slip lanes are dangerous to pedestrians and should be removed.

      By the way, your claim that “the absolute majority of votes classifies slip lanes as not a safety hazard under any circumstances.” is incorrect.

      The term “absolute majority” means that more than half of all those voting voted in a certain way (Source: http://bit.ly/oZMOSb). In the case of this poll, the absolute majority did not vote that slips are not a safety hazard under any circumstance. The correct phraseology is that a plurality of those voting in this poll believe that slip lanes are not a hazard.

      • ARCA_Neighbor

        You can spin it any way you want. I remember elections in some Countries with 109% of the vote 🙂

        1) The fact of the matter is that the most votes were in “No” column.

        2) If you read carefully the introduction to the voting exercise, you’ll see that the ARL blog writer has correctly emphasized that concerned citizens’ opinion is the closest to “Yes” and “No”; pretty distant from “Yes”; and also related to “No”.

        3) Your position on this blog is clearly “Yes” – they are all bad. Unless you’ve changed? Only 30% of the people support that position. Therefore, you are clearly minority view again.

        Btw, County was insisting that removing safety slip lanes was a safety issue and part of some mythological policy that changes with weather conditions. The County is trying to fix safety at Meade St/Ridge Rd intersection for which accident record is ZERO. This number was confirmed by the County Manager. You can see it here:


        Basically, the County is fixing the non-existing problems and creating new problems.

        I guess…The County is now taking full responsibility for any future accidents on Meade St.

        • CapN Obvious

          Yes, the County will henceforth take full responsibility for all future accidents on Meade St, so therefore feel free to apply you makeup, have a meal, text your friends or watch a DVD while driving. You are not responsible anymore. Yay!

          • Local_Resident

            The County is claiming that the project will increase the safety. However, in her correspondence from July 19, 2011, the Assistant County Manager states:

            QUOTE: “….an advanced warning sign of the approaching intersection at Meade St.will be installed for downhill traffic on Arlington Ridge Road. Staff recommends installing a “T” warning sign, black on yellow.”

            So, if the project is increasing safety as advertised by the County’s transportation department, then it would be logical for one to conclude that the need for advanced warning signs would not exist?

            See more details here:


        • JammingEcono

          @ARCA Neighbor: I’m glad you brought up County Manager Donellan’s July 27th letter regarding the accident record at this intersection.

          I have no reason to doubt that the excerpts of that letter posted on the SOS blog on July 28th are genuine (link: http://bit.ly/oavXKo). However, based on the SOSers’ record of not allowing a wide range of opinions to be voiced on the SOS blog, I certainly do have suspicions about why SOSers have failed to post the full, unedited text of that letter here, on the SOS blog or elsewhere.

          Again, if you are going base a major component of your opposition to the project on the Donellan letter, you owe it to yourself to post the full, unedited text of the letter. Otherwise, your continued use of it as evidence will be rightfully suspect.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            You can find it on the group’s web site easily. In addition, you can check it yourself via County.

            FYI: The County does not dispute this information.

            If you live in the area, you would know that this intersection had no accidents not in the last four years, but in the last several decades!

          • JammingEcono

            Specifically where on the SOS site is the full, unedited text located? It’s easy enough to past a link to the letter into this comment thread. Believe me, I’ve looked over the SOS site thoroughly and have not found the full, unedited text.

            If you are unwilling to post the link to the full letter from the SOS site or the full text from same, one must conclude that either a) the letter was never posted there in the first place or b) there is a reason you do not want the full letter made publicly viewable.

          • See the link posted up

            Just click on it.

          • JammingEcono

            @See the link posted up:

            I have no idea what link you’re talking about. The only link I know of is the one SOS blog posting that has excerpts from the Donellan letter. I have yet to see the full, unedited text of that letter. If you have a link that I’m missing, the easiest way to point to it is to paste the link into this thread or paste the full text of the letter itself.

    • normal

      I trust traffic and safety engineers more than online (unscientific) polls of random people.

      • ARCA_Neighbor

        Here is the opinion of the independent engineer who has worked in several major US cities including DC and Arlington.

        QUOTE: “It is a terrible design – based upon what, I cannot imagine. A computer model may indicate that, “The volume of traffic turning from Arlington Ridge Road to Meade Streetis low enough for a 90-degree intersection to clear it without causing traffic problems on Arlington Ridge Road,” but anyone who has actually driven on Ridge Road during rush hour knows that this is non-sense. Ridge Road carries an enormous volume of rush hour traffic; true enough, not as many vehicles may take the slip-lane exit at Meade St, but any vehicle that slows down enough to negotiate the proposed 90-degree turn will require a near stop, which in turn will stop traffic on Ridge Road. This will turn a chronic bottleneck into a chronic nightmare. From an engineering point of view, this is my chief concern. I have others.”

        The rest is here:


        • hmmm

          “Here is the opinion of the independent engineer who has worked in several major US cities including DC and Arlington.”

          …and is a resident of the neighborhood.

          • hmmmm….

            …who have learned about the project couple of days ago by a chance…and does not even understand project history or County’s context here…..

      • Thought about County’s engineers

        Well, on this point, 4 years ago, the same neighbor-activists fought with the county staff about repainting the 23rd/Ridge intersection to change to a left only lane southbound on Ridge in order to eliminate the merge just south of the intersection. Despite many years of documented accidents, including not-infrequent cars in yards and running up on the sidewalk because of being forced over in the merge, the staff refused to budge. They said that making a left only lane would result in backups onto 395 routinely. They were finally forced to make the change after a “walking county board meeting” when over 200 neighbors showed up. Guess what, the engineers were flat-out wrong. 23rd and Ridge is a much better functioning intersection. Backups to he 395 exit ramp are rare, and even at Rush hour traffic moves through the intersection efficiently. Bottom line, based on experience with the specific group of traffic “engineers” involved, we have reason not to believe in the quality of their work!

        • JammingEcono

          I think there are few, if any, supporters of the County’s proposal that would argue the the County’s engineers are ALWAYS right. Your 23rd/Ridge example from four years ago is evidence enough for me to believe you on this point.

          Conversely, however, I don’t believe anyone would argue the County’s engineers are NEVER right, either.

          Fortunately, for this specific project, we have a long track record to look back on to evaluate the County’s engineers’ analysis. For me and many others, looking over that record confirms that the County’s conclusions in this case are based on sound analysis and close coordination with the relevant civic associations. We therefore have little reason to doubt the County’s position that the project will result in a safer intersection for all motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            What a spinner 🙂

            You can go and ask around people from numerous citizens’ associations and they’ll tell you the horror stories about the County’s engineering department. These people are just afraid to seriously question them since they don’t perceive the equal power situation with the County.

            You can see what happened with poor people of River St. project.

            Check here:


            I’m not so sure about your faith in the County’s engineers. The majority people on this poll see their argument/policy about slip lanes as inappropriate….plus one strong independent engineer sees terrible design and over 120+ families who live in the area….and so far almost everyone who had a chance to come to the area and see the situation (including independent media)…

      • Engineers are “always rigth”

        Yeah, traffic engineers are just “perfect”.

        The transportation design process is collaborative process and not an engineering bonanza.

        Unfortunately, engineers often miss important issues, don’t understand topology of the area and/or patterns of traffic. In addition, they are simply under undue influence of broken bureaucratic policies that don’t make much sense or are applied arbitrary. They are just mortals like anybody else…

        See here: http://wp.me/p1HoUF-5Y

        I don’t think that Arlington Way is the “Engineering Way”.

  • Get over it

    ARCA neighbor, you are clearly associated with the SOS group, why don’t you answer the direct questions from Jaminecon? Every time.he/she makes a very strong rebuttal of your argument you and “outsider” jump online with the same claims that he is a County employee since you keep making the same tired statements I assume it is just so his comments are burried before others see them. That greater greater Washington story was pretty damning to your group and arguments.

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      I’m very independent person, but I do actually like ARCA, and helped in actively many ways over the time. I was one of the people who helped with 25mph limit on Ridge Road.

      While I may agree or disagree with Outsider, I think that he/she has the full right to question what he/she wants to question. Same goes for Econ.

      I don’t agree with Outsider’s though questioning of Econ as much as I don’t agree with Econ’s basic premise that slip lanes are somehow dangerous.

      During our ARCA’s meeting on this topic, almost no one in the room believed or argued that slip lane was dangerous. That is why, ARCA has issued such a strong letter to the County asking it to suspend the project.

      I sometimes feel that Econ has a deep need to represent himself as majority by posting endless repetitions of arguments that really don’t add up.

      I’m not sure why you are so worried that his word is not heard here. He posted here hundreds of comments….

      But, at the end, people are smart and can read the argument. As you could tell, 70% of people here agree with the concerned neighbors, who happen to be this organized group calling themselves as SOS. I don’t see much difference between their views and ARCA’s position on the issue.

    • Outsider

      ARCA_Neighbor: Econ is the County’s employee. Don’t be naive!

      • Outsider

        Because “don’t be naive” is a really good argument! Watch:

        You don’t think it’s the real Outsider? Don’t be naive!

        • Outsider

          That is my point. Only an employee of County would go to such extremes in defending the County’s position.

  • Ridge

    ARCA_neighbor — give it up. The bulldozers are rolling…go out and try to save your plants instead of constantly repeating the same old dribble here.

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      It seems that you like the destruction of bulldozers. What a neighborly and demining statement? I guess you don’t have your plants to worry around.

      You can not silence the thinker 🙂

      It always amazes me how much some people in our country love to impose repressive methods – silencing down, taking signs, bulldozing over, destroying flower beds & trees….

      • JammingEcono

        … not allowing any opposing comments on their blogs, deleting links to articles that don’t tow the party line, making personal attacks on County employees …

        • Dog Walker


        • Outsider

          Did you recongize yourself among County’s employees?

          There you go…you’ve just proven it.

          • JammingEcono

            Huh? I was referring to Delegate Englin’s letter where he chastised the SOSers for their personal attacks on County employees.

          • Outsider

            So, the taxpayers have to “admire” poor performers, who don’t know how to handle collaboration with the citizens.

            Collaboration was successful, but nobody gets that it happened.

            This can be only the mind of the County’s employee. Worried about protecting its position.

            We have just proof after proof that you are working for the County.

        • Local_Resident

          Actually, it is very personal when someone is told that they can not talk to the County and when you are not listened….Add on top of that that this is a feeling shared by hundreds of families and you’ll get why County needs to seriously do something with its own transportation process.

          See it yourself:


          You can post comments. Why do you care?

          Unless you are so obsessed with this issue that you want to run “the holy war” across the internet.

          Although you are minority on this issue, you had a chance to express your opinion.

          It makes me wonder sometimes if Outsider is right that you are County’s employee just by the intensity of your “righteousness” of County’s position. It is all time HIGH.

          • JammingEcono

            I don’t harp on the SOS blog commenting policy because I want to extend my so-called “holy war” to your site.

            I mention it to highlight the irony of SOSers complaining about the County not listening to them and suppressing their opinions while at the same time the SOSers themselves refuse to allow an open debate on their own blog.

            To the casual observer, it certainly seems like you only want one side of this story to be told.

          • Big Picture

            I don’t see any irony here….you can post whereever you want. You told your side of the story.

          • My 2c…

            The County may complete the work over the legitimate and justified citizen’s objections, but it has lost its moral standing in the eyes of the entire community. I can feel that any future accidents in this area will be seriously scrutinized and County will soon entangle itself into major controversy that will never be forgotten.

            The County had many options to effectively deal with this situation, but it selected the worse one – ignoring people.

            This is so typical for the government who thinks that it has way too much power in its hands.

        • Tim_

          Comments can be posted anywhere, links are available to anyone…internet is free and open medium. Moreover, you can come down to the area and talk to the people in person (face to face) and see the situation yourself.

          If your argument is so powerful, you’ll convince everyone that the County’s project is the best thing happening to America since the Declaration.

        • Interesting point…

          The power of County’s bulldozers and County’s ultimate decision making authority equals the power of blog posts on small community forum started by concerned citizens a couple of weeks ago.

          Well, concerned citizens – good job!

  • a county employee

    I thought I’d just come over here and post something, and then deny that I’m a county employee. We all do that, all the time. Any time you see a poster agreeing with the county and knows what he’s talking about – that’s a county employee. After all, nobody would agree with the county or have information could possibly be a private citizen. Not in Arlington, where everyone’s dumb, uninformed, and doesn’t participate in civic affairs.

    Oops, gotta go, my boss is coming.

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      I guess the outsider was rigth 🙂

    • Outsider

      You think that is funny, but the County employee (Econ) working against citizens is the serious violation of the County’s code. Media will have a word on it…

  • JammingEcono

    For a County whose engineers are so obviously inept and in need of having their degrees revoked (according to the SOSers, at least), their record on increasing traffic safety is remarkably good.

    From the Transportation Division’s 2009 Collision Report (Source: http://bit.ly/pf1LPr), for the 11-year period 1999-2009:

    1) Reported total collisions dropped by 37%

    2) Reported injury collision have dropped about 25%

    3) Collisions resulting in fatalities have dropped by 34% (Based on five year averages for the years ending in 2009 versus 2000).

    4) Total reported pedestrian collisions have INCREASED (emphasis mine) by about 2%.

    5) The decrease in collisions has been achieved while overall County population has increased by 11.2%.

    6) The number of collisions per 1000 residents has dropped by more than one-half.

    Takeaway: The County has done a pretty good job in designing solutions that have resulted in fewer collisions. Where the County has not succeeded has been in reducing pedestrian collisions. Therefore, based on scientific data, the County Transportation Department has focused on ways that pedestrian collisions can be decreased, namely by instituting pro-pedestrian policies like eliminating slip lanes.

    • So what?

      At this is data for what? For Meade St is ZERO accidents.

      If there are no accidents, what is the County fixing?

    • Tim

      You don’t need any general data points here…We are talking about the specific intersection.

      And reductions in collisionsin general have very little to do with the County’s policies, but rather with the simple fact that the number of cars on the roads had increased and slowed traffic to crawl so that DC traffic (and Arlington) is THE WORST or THE SECOND WORST in the nation with the crumbling public transportation (read: Metro)

      See link:

      So, much for the statistics….

      • JammingEcono

        The point of posting those stats is not to suggest that the data proves they are absolutely right in the case of this intersection (though I believe that they are).

        The reason I mention those stats is that they undermine the continued assertion by SOSers that the County’s engineers are generally inept. The collision data suggests otherwise.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      I think there is a big caveat with the stats you’ve sited(comparison of 1999 to 2009).
      From the report
      “Note that in collision statistics prior to 2008, collisions that occurred on interstate/freeway
      facilities, parking lots, and private property (off-system) were included in total collisions, but
      parking lot and private property collisions were not included in total collision statistics for 2008
      and 2009.”

      and if you look at the year to year stats and then the other note on this figure,
      “Additionally, the Commonwealth of Virginia has updated the FR 300P Crash Report
      Form for reporting traffic-related collisions. In January, 2004, Arlington County Police began
      using the updated crash report form to report collisions. The FR300P Crash Report Form was
      again revised and in January 2008, Arlington County Police began using the updated crash
      report form to report collisions. As such, data prior to 2004 and 2008 is not exactly comparable
      to data for subsequent years.”

      you can clearly see that on the mentioned years there is a change in trend that puts overall year to year trending in question.

      At best you might be able to make a case that they may have been able to hold the line with increasing population,
      but you would also need to quantify how many dollars have been spend to get even that, to give any kind of evaluation of the effectiveness of the planners.

      • JammingEcono

        All good points, Suburban. I’ll admit that I didn’t take those caveats into account before I posted the highlights of the report.

        For what it’s worth, here are the budget trends for the Department of Environmental Services (which the Division of Transportation falls under): http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/ManagementAndFinance/budget/file77053.pdf

        Caveat – DES budget funds a lot of divisions (such as ART, waste treatment, etc.), so this chart is probably of limited usefulness. If anyone has budget number trends for the Division of Transportation alone, that’d be good info to have on hand.

  • Tim_

    Let me think through this one with you. Even on the general level: The County engineers are right in their approach, and as a result we have THE (SECOND) WORST TRAFFIC in the nation. Is that their genius result?

    You should see what is happening with the Crystal City project where County is trying to insert additional 2,000-4,000 cars in the mix and claim that traffic will improve. They are having a pipe-dream that a trolley from Crystal City to Alexandria will shift traffic patterns.

    If this was not a serious business, it would be comical.

    The County views businesses as true payers of large revenue and single family homes as an “obstacle”.

    That is why the County is overruling citizens and associations whenever it can in favor of big business.

    They don’t care about traffic…only about $.

  • Meade

    Who writes that fiction on the SoSer web page? Do you really think that anyone really believes it? Even with the start of construction, the lies continue. Do you think you will ever be taken seriously by anyone?

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      Wow….You could maybe take a glass of water and calm down. If you don’t agree with their views, that is separate issue than calling someone names, especially if we are talking over hundred families in the area. You are honestly discrediting yourself more than anyone.

      As you can see here, over 70%+ people are fully aligned with their views on slip lanes. So, they are some kind of liars too? What these people want is the same that ARCA has written in our letter to the County on the same issue.

      • Speaking of fiction

        You do not have over 100 families. You had 46 signatures on the petition at the end of July, many of them multiple people from the same family. You also had sign-ups on the website, but the only way to sign up for more info was to click the i agree with you button. Those “supporters” are often way outside the project area or in some cases you have no idea where they live or if they truly support you, or like me, just wanted more info. You mixed a lot of scare tactics on the website and on the petition and crazy talk like “take away essential small business parking” so I have heard people who initially wanted to help you get heard are not with you any longer because of your tactics.

        I challenge you to solicit your petition again after this project is done and see if you could get 10 signatures. The intersection will be beautiful, I am thrilled that it is getting done and so are the vast majority of my neighbors here in Arlington Ridge.

        • ARCA_Neighbor

          You can talk to the ARCA leadership and they can confirm the information with you.

          If you have connections with the County, please note that they have the full list as well as other appropriate governmental bodies. In addition, the independent media has seen and reviewed the list, and published the same numbers. You can see it here:


          If nothing else, you can just walk around the area and see yard signs everywhere. You don’t have to be the rocket scientist to go around and count. From what I heard, there was such a strong demand for signs, that they literally were gone in no time. People had to share them…

          No one is disputing the facts that this project has no support among the citizens in the affected areas. The County just does not care about the support, since it is on the “mission” to do whatever it wants.

          Based on my information, you are correct to note that the very initial petition submitted some time ago contained around 50 signatures. However, these numbers more than doubled since then…..This tells enough about itself since concerned citizens did not have much on their hands except the energy and will to have safe environment for their families.

          To be honest, the part of support is really driven by the comments like this. People don’t like when their voice is not heard or minimized. Some people did not even know that this project was scheduled to be implemented.

          I’m not sure what would be the purpose to collect any signatures after the project is done. I guess we can only sit down and hope that accidents will not happen. I wish I could be wrong on this one, but you’ll see lot of safety issues with this design in many years to come. If accidents start to happen (hope not), you can ask people then what they are feeling about this “improved safety” design when they already had accident-free Meade St intersection….

    • Hm….

      If you don’t like their content, don’t read it. Not sure why you are coming back for more! I guess it must be something that you like there…

  • JammingEcono

    A couple of thoughts on the most recent SOS blog posting:

    QUOTE: “The County started the work on the 23rd/Ridge intersection today. There was no reported construction on Meade street safety slip lane at this point in time.”

    Hope springs eternal for the SOSers, apparently. Unlikely that the County breaks its contract and stops work on the slip lane, IMO.

    QUOTE: “Neighbors spotted workers in the area, and mainly noticed only one County Staff member, who avoided any interactions with citizens.”

    Can you blame him/her after all the abuse the SOSers have heaped on them?

    QUOTE: “Please click here to see how the County is putting families at risk, while spending dollars on the project design that was not called by anyone (click here to read interview with Civic Association President ) except County’s staff.”

    Standard SOSer talking points. One point of clarification re: the Civic Association President — That is the same Chick Walter whose presentation on the project to the Aurora Highlands Civic Association coincided with a unanimous AHCA vote in favor of the project.

    QUOTE: “Moreover, the majority of people with common sense agrees with concerned citizens that slip lane is not dangerous just by its existance.”

    Huh? Supporters of this project have no common sense? How does that compute? If anything, the supporters on this and the previous thread have been diligent about backing up our arguments with sound logic, as opposed to unsupported innuendo.

    QUOTE: “The works on this project is heavily opposed by the majority of citizens in the area due to safety reasons.”

    Depends on how you define “in the area.” If you define “in the area” as the small little cadre of folks on/around Meade Street, then I guess you’re correct. If you define it as the thousands of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists who make use of the intersection each day, then you’re most likely not. Fortunately, the County has just as much responsibility for the safety of the latter as it does the former.

    QUOTE: “Citizens are simply calling for the County to hold actions and starts principled collaborative process.”

    Incorrect. The County has thoroughly engaged with the community in a process going back two years and comprising of almost a dozen meetings. What the SOSers mean when they say they want a principled, collaborative process is that they want the County to abandon its expert analysis of what would make the intersection safer and adopt the SOSers’ alternative designs wholesale.

    • JammingEcono

      By the way – Arlington County was just ranked as the safest city to drive in in the country.

      Link: http://www.arlnow.com/2011/08/09/arlington-ranks-as-safest-city-for-driving/#comments

      Yet again, seems like the SOSer bogeymen at the Division of Transportation are doing a pretty good job.

      • Passing by….

        I think that they said that the County Transportation Department failed in their case. They were not talking in generalities.

      • Outsider

        Is that the County man posting again how County is wonderful? They should pay you for your overtime and incredible long hrs.

    • You are obssesed…take a break

      What you are writing does not make much sense, except that you feel somewhat left out or something? I’m not sure what is there to comment about as simple thing as the fact that construction workers arrived at the location. You need to take a break and open your window and enjoy life.

      In terms of County’s collaboration, what kind of collaboration ends up with the same design as it was delivered on day one? Most of the County’s “collaboration” log involves tasks as phone calls to individuals who support the project. When the County engaged citizens, it brought up 95% design work completed and had no intention of collecting or listening to any feedback. People don’t rise up and call foul because they are bored, but because there is clearly something wrong in the process.

      Take care & Do yourself a favor

      • JammingEcono

        Incorrect on several counts @You are obsessed:

        1) The County did not end up with the same design delivered on day one. It has made many design changes in response to meetings with ARCA. Those changes were detailed (among other places) in the June 21 memo from County Manager Donellan.

        2) The County coordinated nearly a dozen meetings with ARCA and others nearly a dozen times over the past two years. For instance, a 15% design, which included the elimination of the slip lane, was presented at the September 16, 2010 ARCA meeting.

        I never suggested that people voiced objections because they were bored. I have consistently argued that the SOSers’ objections are clearly wrong on the merits and that the removal of the Meade Street slip lane will reduce the accident risk to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists at the intersection.

        • Clearly, you don’t understand…

          1) Meade St design remained the same. The County will tell you this with their full heart.

          The County even aligned contractor for this work way back in Dec/Jan, when it was fully “pretending” to be collaborating. One thing is to play games; one is to work with neighbors.

          The County played games big time… See here: http://t.co/53z3TOq

          2) There were no dozen meetings with neighbors. The meetings that County listed were “CYA” meetings…phone calls with friendly supporters of the project who are getting free circular driveways or to a sympathetic transportation coordinator.

          The concerned citizens’ points are clear and well argumented and fully evaluated by experts and media. At the end of the day, they have so much merit that the people on this forum (over 70%) fully supported the basic premise that safety slip lanes are not inherently dangerous just because they are safety slip lanes. See here: http://t.co/MTya1Yy

          • No, he doesn’t get it….

            “I have consistently argued that the SOSers’ objections are clearly wrong on the merits and that the removal of the Meade Street slip lane will reduce the accident risk to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists at the intersection.”

            Even the County gets it….

            Per the County’s Manager’s communication, there are no accidents recorded at Meade St in the last four years. Consequently, there is no currently installed warning signs for the entrance to Meade St since safety issues were not an issue at this intersection.

            The County is claiming that the project will increase the safety. However, in her correspondence from July 19, 2011, the Assistant County Manager states:

            “….an advanced warning sign of the approaching intersection at Meade St.will be installed for downhill traffic on Arlington Ridge Road. Staff recommends installing a “T” warning sign, black on yellow.”

            So, if the project is increasing safety as advertised by the County’s transportation department, then it would be logical for one to conclude that the need for advanced warning signs would not exist?

  • Dog Walker

    JE, there you go being logical again. We’re dealing with people who view collaboration and capitulation as the same thing.

    At least two of the SOSers at an ARCA meeting in May (and yes, I was there observing the free-for-all from the back of the room) said that “ARCA does not represent me” or “I can’t be expected to read the website or the newsletters”. I guess they want the county to sit down with each resident invidually and ask about their concerns….and, of course, give in to each and every one of them without question.

    • You go being silly again….

      People yell many things during ARCA meetings. Those who yell include long-time ARCA members and former Presidents. The best part was when one of those very colorful people called “all new people” to shut up. That is part of the fabric of one citizen’s association and means not much, except that some people tend to be silly.

      I think that there are people in our area who don’t think that ARCA represents them. So what? There are people who think that taxes do not apply to them. There are people who think that landing on the moon never happened.

      The people complaining about website/newsletter had the good point, and that is a legitimate feedback. But they also need to understand that ARCA is just a volunteer organization and not a big corporation that has big marketing budget.

      I do not think that SOS is an organization, but just an expression of citizens’ free will when the government is not listening to their legitimate and objective feedback. Attributing one’s yelling to the free will does not make much sense.

      Btw, the ARCA has almost unanimously voted to send the letter (see here: http://t.co/i8VfIaj ; item number #3) to the County to hold off construction and start collaborating with the citizens. I’m not sure that there is any difference in opinion between ARCA and concerned citizens.

      You clearly were tiny minority that supported County’s position and don’t really understand the project. That is cool, but minority does not rule and can not impose the will over neighbors.

      ARCA is unified.

      • Dog Walker

        Two points:
        1- I most certainly DO understand the project. Like other posters here, I have done considerable research on the history of this project including reading quite a large number of documents available on the county’s website and talking to several of residents along Ridge, 23rd, and Meade. This project has been in the planning stages for several years, since at least 2005. Just because some residents can’t or won’t attend ARCA meetings or take the time to read the ARCA website and newsletters doesn’t mean the information hasn’t been there.

        2- Perhaps you and I were at different meetings in May. The “colorful” person you referred to was very direct in his comments to 2 homeowners sitting in front of my husband and me. He distinctly said that things in this neighborhood were fine “until you people moved in”. Absoltely NOT “all new people”. Please don’t sugarcoat the level of irrational emotion that was present in the room that night and that, in my mind, continues today.

        • ARCA_Neighbor

          I think that you understand the project from the very surface level since you don’t use the intersections on daily basis as concerned citizens do. You seem to be of an opinion that it is better to have “any” project than no project. You are attached to some phantom funding that in theory is “doing something good” without getting to the substance. You have here an interesting story about one of our ARCA activist and his experience with the County’s engineers. See here:

          What are you not getting is that some design solutions can be pretty backwards and can start causing major safety headaches. It maybe too late to fix issues when accidents start happening in an area where there were no accidents recorded.

          Many of us within ARCA would love to use this money for a way more urgent and important projects that actually do not create issues but solve problems.

          I see so many of my good neighbors raising their voice and I see their justified objections.

          In terms of “colorful” people, the gentleman that you mentioned clearly was addressing the number of people (not only one or two). He honestly made fool of himself, which I’m sure he is aware of…I feel sorry for him. But, he is not the face of ARCA – just one of the exotic faces in the crowd. The ARCA are all neighbors, who are overwhelmingly united in the opposition to this ill-designed project.

          • Arllington Resident

            Sorry, here is the link….http://t.co/b6grarb

          • Dog Walker

            Not to belabor the point, which I realize is an exercise in fultily anyway, but the arrogance and self-centeredness of your point is offensive. How dare you call yourself a ‘concerned citizen’ and, by your implication, dismiss my comments as being from a non-concerned citizen. And further, what leads you to believe that I don’t use those intersections on a daily basis. Just because I may not be losing my ‘safety slip lane’ or ‘turn around island’ (whatever you’re calling it today) doesn’t mean I am not one of thousands of citizens (and, yes, a concerned one at that) who values enhanced safety for all users of the intersection.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            I respect your opinion, but you just don’t live in the affected area.

            If arrogance is the view shared by majority of people, then let it be. People are fighting for safety here.

            I find arrogance when people who don’t live the intersection everyday start to pontificate about the high-level platitudes instead of the design issues (which they don’t understand). When it comes to safety, people are justified to raise up and share their concerns.

            Enjoy your day!

          • normal

            You have to live there to understand the intersection, or traffic engineering?

          • Dog Walker

            Try again ARCA_Neighbor. If you’ll expand your horizon just a little beyond your self-centered, NIMBY views, you’ll realize that the “affected area” encompasses more than you and your immediate neighbors. Those of us who live along Ridge are affected as well as those of us who travel thru the construction zone, myself included, several times a day.

            At this point, all your wringing of hands and cries of “we weren’t heard” are for naught. This project is happening. Make peace with that.

        • I was there…

          I was present in the meeting, and this person yelled at the all new people who moved in the area. He was an old, irrational and sad person. You did not say a thing during the meeting about this incident that was both personal, non neighborly and flat out wrong. I guess you enjoyed in it, and even now try to justify it.

          In terms of irrationality, I think that your approach qualifies for the prime award. Be the change you would like to see!

    • Jesus

      And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”

      Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

      “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (NAS, Mark 12:28-31)

      • normal

        WWJPoaB? – what would Jesus post on a blog?

        • Jesus

          “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ( John 13:34-35)

          • Flying Spaghetti Monster

            for the love of zod, put a sock in it.

          • Jesus

            But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? (Matthew 22:18)

  • Local_Resident

    The poll results are really telling. Over 70% of respondents either thinks that slip lanes are not a safety hazard or that some slip lanes should be removed but that the other are safe and useful. It is interesting to note that the absolute majority of votes classifies slip lanes as not a safety hazard under any circumstances.

    Bottom line, an overwhelming majority of people do not consider slip lanes as an “automatic” safety hazard. Concerned citizens don’t think that the County policy on slip lanes is an “automatic” one – it is just that the County transportation staff is clearly intentionally misinterpreting policy in order to “invent” any reasons for this unsafe and wasterful project to go forward. This department has been performing at its historical lows in terms of collaboration with citizens (see here: http://t.co/e7hjnAA).

    • JammingEcono

      The poll results tell very little, actually. Here are some reasons why:

      1) First off, as ARCA Neighbor did earlier, you misused the term “absolute majority.” Less than 50% voted that slip lanes are not a safety hazard under any circumstances, thus you can only claim that plurality voted that way, not an absolute majority.

      2) The poll results can be interpreted other ways as well. I could argue just an convincingly that the data “proves” that 58.34% of those that participated believe that either some or all slip lanes are dangerous to pedestrians and should be removed.

      3) The poll is unscientific to begin with and subject to manipulation. To the first point, it’s not a random survey and so it suffers from selection bias (only those motivated enough to participate actually do so). To the second point, I think it’s safe to suspect that when the poll was posted, the SOSers probably sent an email around to their list and urged folks to vote the “no, slip lanes are not a safety hazard.” I’ll fully admit I have no proof that that was the case, but I were in the SOSers’ shoes, it’s what I probably would have done.

      So, bottom line, your reliance on these poll results as “proof” of your arguments’ righteousness is logically weak and easily attacked.

      • Tim_

        I think that this site has pretty good way of tracking votes of simple “mortals”. While tracking is not ideal, it is pretty telling and overall reliable pulse of an average Arlingtonian. I’m not surprised that citizens are in the agreement with the South Arlington Residents’ position. This is the classical wisdom of the crowds.

        This is happening because it just makes sense. Your pro-County spin does not add up. This is not a hard question and almost anyone I talked to had a same response that safety slip lanes are not automatically unsafe.

        Scientifically speaking, the majority of people in the affected area have expressed their opinion against this project design that just purely illogical, wasteful and dangerous.

        • Josh S

          “Scientifically speaking.” Really?

          What is the affected area?
          How did they express their opinion? Was it written?
          What was the question asked? Was it leading? Was it neutral? Was it asked in a setting that allowed for dissent?
          What “people?” Did you ask kids? Babies? They are people.
          Were the people asked fully informed about “this project design?” Were they fully informed of the current situation? Did they fully understand what the situation would be after the project was completed?
          Did they reject the entire design or just parts of it? What parts were rejected?
          Did those who “expressed their opinon against the project design” explain WHY? Was it the cost? Was it some other factor that could be addressed without changing the design itself?




          “scientifically speaking.”

          • Outsider

            Not that hard. This means that you are adult and agree or disagree with something. These people happen to agree with the petition. I never put a yard sign or my signature on things that I disagree with…that is scientific enough!

  • ARCA_Neighbor

    Local – good points and well-argued. I think that Econ is again ready to do some spinning here. Facts are pretty straightforward. As I explained:

    1) The most votes were in “No” column.

    2) If you read carefully the introduction to the voting exercise, you’ll see that the ARL blog writer has correctly emphasized that concerned citizens’ opinion is the closest to “Yes” and “No”; pretty distant from “Yes”; and also related to “No”.

    3) Econ’s losing position on this blog is clearly “Yes”, i.e. all safety slip lanes are all bad. Unless he changed his mind? Only 30% of the people support that position. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

    Btw, County was insisting that removing safety slip lanes was a safety issue and part of some mythological policy that changes with weather conditions. The County is trying to fix safety at Meade St/Ridge Rd intersection for which accident record is ZERO as confirmed by the County manager. Basically, the County is fixing the non-existing problems and creating new problems.

    Therefore, The County is now taking full responsibility for any future accidents on Meade St due to their ill-envisioned design.

  • fendertweed

    Based on my experience (24+ yrs.) living in Arlington, the so-called “Arlington Way” is/ has become a self-congratulatory form of civic masturbation, by which the “Illusion of Inclusion” is trotted out to make residents feel like the county govt. is interested in/listening to what they say.

    In contrast to the supposed wonder of the “Arlington Way” I’ve seen overbearing and heavy-handed, often arbitrary decision-making, ignoring the wishes of communities and neighborhoods, and a too common attitude of arrogance that boils down to the County Board and Manager, etc., assuming that they know better than everyone. Certain individual county employees and offices are wonderful but the overall tone is not.

    It’s a text book example IMO of one party govt. running amok… And I’m a traditional Democrat (at least I was til I saw this in action). I’m now an independent and I try not to vote for the Dems in Arl. Co. just to try to get any semblance of a diversity of views & opinions onto the Cty Board.

    • Me too

      Traditional Dem–liberal on most issues–but I hate the board for the exact same reasons. Even DC has elected representatives for each neighborhood. I always vote Republican in local elections.

      • Arlington Resident

        This is my point, too. I don’t remember voting Green, Republican or Independent for any political position in my life. I’m die-hard democrat who spent some serious time on Obama campaign and deep in the woods of New Hampshire collecting votes for Kerry, who was not my first choice for the President. I wish Howard Dean did win that nomination….Oh, well…

        I will vote Obama for sure. However, the National Democrats need to pay attention to what is going in the Arlington County and how much the County has alienated citizens. This County is doing service to no one except its transportation department.

        In terms of the Arlington County elections, I will never vote for Democrat any time soon. My vote will go for a Green party candidate or even Republican.

        The democrats sitting in the County’s Office are financed by the big (construction) business and really don’t care about homeowners and citizens.

    • BrownFlipFlops

      Great analysis, fendertweed (good choice in amps, too!). Another flaw in the “Arlington Way?” Over on another thread, we’re slugging it out over traffic-calming run-amok, but Ohio/McKinley St. between Wilson and Washington remains a residential street with a 25 MPH limit where everybody drives 40-50 MPH.

      Why, you might ask? It’s the boundary between Dominion Hills and Madison Manor, and people think it’s too hard to cooperate on the problem. Parked cars have been totalled. Trucks have ended up in front yards. Heck – a guy was even killed at the top of the hill.

      The “Arlington Way” makes people focus on Victorian streetlights, bump-outs, planters, and pretty signs on the interior of the neighborhood, rather than deadly problems on the borders. The county dispenses some trinkets for the neighborhood to feel good about, and folks are happy and placated.

      Mark my words – a McKinley Elementary student WILL be hit by a car one day. In the mean time, the problem is literally falling though the cracks in the “Arlington Way.”

  • Bluemontsince1961

    I’m an ex-Dem and an ex-Repub. Both parties alienated me but for different reasons. I’ve never voted for the Green Party, but I’ll vote for anyone running against the incumbents on the Board – they have been in power way too long. I support term limits for everyone from the President on down to the local Board. Two terms max, regardless of political party.

    • Arllington Resident

      Fair point.

    • citizen

      And Arl. Co. needs an IG.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        That’s the truth, citizen!

        • Arllington Resident

          Big time!

  • JammingEcono

    Are the SOSers aware that there is a Transportation Commission that meets monthly and whose sole mission is to advise the County Board and County staff on transportation-related issues?

    To quote specifically:

    “The Transportation Commission is an advisory body to the County Board on transportation related items. This includes streets, transit, pedestrian, taxicabs and bicycle modes and their relation to site plans, local area and sector plans and the Master Transportation Plan. The Commission was formed in 1972 and is comprised of no fewer than seven (7) members and no more than thirteen (13) members. The members are appointed by the County Board to four-year terms and the chairman is designated by the County Board in June of every year. The Transportation Commission generally meets monthly and the activities/agendas are coordinated by a county staff member.”

    If the County really wasn’t listening to your input, did anyone (SOS, ARCA, or whoever) ever bring that up with the Transportation Commission? If not, why not?

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’m not sure that I know every single detail.

      Your suggestion seem reasonable and useful to me, and maybe this is another avenue to take.

      I personally did not know about this commission and their jurisdiction. My gut feeling is that most people don’t….

  • RidgeNeighbor

    Not all residents are “miffed” as the Examiner headline reads. As with most any issue, those with a positive opinion aren’t as motivated to make their views known. I’m looking forward to seeing progress as I drive home. When the project is complete, we will all become accustomed to a new arrangement that will result in a net improvement in pedestrian and vehicle safety.

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      That is simply fiction. The majority of neighbors in the area are outraged at this project. ARCA, the civic association representing the greater area, has expressed its dissatisfaction with the project and asked County to stop the work.

      “It’s something we did not request….The County was clearly marching to their own drummer,” said president of the Arlington Ridge Civic Association.

      See link for full interview: http://t.co/3TE6BuE

      During the ARCA’s meeting on this topic, it was evidently clear that tiny minority (closely linked with transportation department) had something to say nice about this project. That minority involved a couple of leadership members from Aurora Highlands, who showed up at ARCA’s meeting. I guess the “imported” non-voting support did not help much.

      Anyhow, you can judge support by walking through the area, looking at signs and seeing what the people are saying about this topic. Many people did not even know about this project – so much about the County’s claims of keeping people informed.

      Commuters going through the area stop and honk to express their support for the concerned citizens. Independent Media has knocked at the doors and interviewed people and could not find soul to come out and say “nice” things about County.

      Even if you look at this blog, you’ll see that those who uncritically support project are mainly those who first and foremost don’t live in the area and have no true experience with the traffic. In addition, they tend to be political friends with the County and worried more about the County’s Board standing and their connection as opposed to the well-being of the citizens.

      On the Contrary, you have citizens in many areas including East Falls Church, Chain Bridge, East Arlington, Columbia Pike etc. experiencing the same issues with the County’s dismissive attitudes like we did within ARCA.

      I’m sure that you’ll find supporters of this project among the two houses who are getting free circular driveways and County’s land for no reason. I don’t blame them for supporting the project, but I keep the County accountable for creating solution that no-one requested and that wastes money while decreasing safety for all.

      Btw, the opposition to this project is so overwhelming that the County had to “tamper” with the rules applying to this project since they didn’t even have 5% support for the project in the affected area. The County very conveniently re-classified project as arterial.

      This project will be remembered for a long time in the area. The County will have to answer many questions and will be kept accountable for decreased safety in the area.

      • Dog Walker

        ARCA_Neighbor, this is not the first time you have responded to a neighbor’s comment with “this is simply fiction”. Effectively calling one of your neighbors a liar simply because he/she has a different opinion does absolutely nothing to further your cause.

        • ARCA_Neighbor

          I don’t think that I called anyone liar. However, there is a tiny minority on this site who continue to dismiss and minimize over hunderds of families.

          I’m not sure that we are making cases here…The case is laid out in front of all people, and they made their opinon known and put yard signs. Since the beggining of the whole opposition, the number of people who are openly against this project more than doubled!

          I don’t think that there is anything special about the word “fiction”, but to be honest these folks were the first one to use the word “fiction”.

          Meade: August 8th, 2011 11:28 pm Who writes that FICTION
          Speaking of fiction: August 9th, 2011 8:10 am

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            I guess it is ok when other folks use “fiction” as long as it fits your picture. Oh, well….

          • Dog Walker

            fic·tion (fkshn)
            1. a. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented.
            b. The act of inventing such a creation or pretense.

            2. A lie.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            Great….but you have to apply the same standards for people who first started to use this word. You were not bothered then! What a courious standard of yours 🙂

            You are shooting in emptiness. I don’t think that the word is big deal, and don’t think that it is tied to word “lie”. But, that is a different conversation.

            See another explanation of word fiction:

            Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author.

          • UFO

            This definition is fictional.

    • Outsider

      Yeah, about percent or two of them…..with Econ on their side supporting the cause as their County’s man.

  • The Otherside of Ridge

    ARCA_Neighbor has done more to turn poeple away from this project than the county could ever do. Those comments and the fiction related to them were of great discussion last night at a local dinner party. You really can’t imagine the harm that “fiction” is doing to this cause. Signs are starting to come down because people are embarrassed.

    • RidgeNeighbor

      We can disagree on the merits of an issue. That is not fiction.

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      Just keep dreaming in front of your computer….People are proud to keep their signs and express their opinions. Nobody is telling anyone to keep the signs or take them down.

      But, in all fairness, you are really not much affected about the project and don’t feel for the citizens who are truly worried about safety.

      As you can tell, those who write in support of this project generally tend to be living somewhere outside of area and tend to be “politicals” tied to the County.

      I wish the success of this campaign could be attributed to myself, but that would be the fiction. This is hard work of many good people and true team effort.

      The numbers tell it all. Moreover, the people from all over Arlington who are feeling disenfranchised and calling in and supporting the citizens. See their input: http://t.co/hF2rvGJ

      The Channel 9 did a great story about the citizens: http://t.co/x1naigH

      While you are writing just for sake of writing something that matches your inner position, I will tell you what the real people on the street say: “Wish we started sooner! And how we can help right now!”, “After looking at comments of some people on the website, I decided to get engaged”

      I have full respect for minority view, but it can not be imposed over the legitimate desires and justified points presented by majority. And this not about the change or making somebody happy, this is about having a good design that all neighbors deserve.

      Moreover, this is not about winning or losing, but about being a good neighbor and preserving safety of our intersections.

    • Outisder

      County people posting against citizens did a lot to annoy people here.

  • RidgeNeighbor

    Just to clarify, I do live in the neighborhood and use the intersection daily. And, just wanted to weigh in…. The changes appear to me to be an improvement – not perfect, but a net improvement. I don’t meant to take away from anyone else’s stand on the issue. Thanks.

    • Tim_

      While there are some minor improvements, the overall project brings highly negative value. The safety issues that will be created by removal of the Meade St safety slip lane may cause accidents and injuries, which in my opinion are not acceptable and unnecessary. In addition, the removal of the bus lane will cause further traffic issues and make already stalled traffic impossible.

      There is also an issue of fairness, where we are giving County’s land to private owners for no particular reason. I rather see these funds use to fix more pressing issues than tax free giveaways.

  • We’ll keep watching…

    At this point, the residents will keep the County and those who approved this ill-designed project responsible. Unfortunately, when safety issues & accidents start happening at the Meade St intersection (which has no history of accidents right now! see: http://t.co/Qa2IbCs), the County Transportation Department will be directly responsible for this mess.

  • Golden

    Construction continued all week and it is looking rather nice. No major traffic or constructions issues were apparent.

    • Walker

      The County did construction only on what it seems to be a non-controversial part of the project. The bus lane, one side of Ridge Rd and Meade St were not touched so far. It seem like the County is a little bit worried about what it is doing these days.

  • Jack

    According to the county, bus lane next then slip and finally the sw corner.

  • Paul

    In terms of the construction issues, the County left one of the bulldozers on the 23rd street overnight with very little to no (light) marking on it.

    I agree with one of the earlier observations. The County clearly designed the schedule to work around the controversial parts of the project later in the project. Maybe it will abandon those controversial parts at some point? Not the first time politicians are changing their minds.

  • Jack

    The bus lane is no more. Looks like the slip lane is next.

    • Dog Walker

      The pup and I just got back from our morning stroll. Work is starting on Meade St this morning. So far there are no SOSers throwing themselves under a jackhammer but it’s still early.

      • JammingEcono

        Thanks for the update Dog Walker. Looking forward to walking the kids through a safer intersection.

        • Dog Walker

          I just drove by Meade St a bit ago. The slip lane is being demolished this morning. I suppose ARCA_Neighbor, Outsider, et. al. are all in mourning.

      • UFO

        I’ve just returned from walking my dog, too. I heard that the old-guard minority within ARCA will not be giving flowers to the County workers due to budget problems.

        I guess you can not make “everybody happy”, but you can certainly prepare to see less happy people getting into the accidents if the County finishes the work on Meade St.

        It is too early to say what will happen to Meade St. Nobody except County people (Econ) is applauding these days.

        • Tinfoil Hat Merchant

          Thank you for your order. Your order is being processed and will be shipped shortly.

      • ARCA_Neighbor

        Where do we contribute funds for the flowers for County workers? I guess the two people who support this project can not cover the expenses for it 🙂

  • Dog Walker

    JE, is hardly the only person posting here that supports the common sense changes being implemented for this project. I too look forward to a safer intersection, especially when crossing Meade where I won’t have to worry about traffic coming thru the slip lane at speed, very often without using turn signals.

    I drove thru the Ridge/23rd/Meade intersections several times yesterday. Even with all the disturbance cause by the construction, traffice moved well and without delay. There’s no reason to believe that will change after completion of the project.

    • Outsider

      If you are talking about common sense, you can see that 70%+ people here agreed with concerned neighbors.

      Econ is the County’s man….what do you expect him to do? To oppose its own project?

      I drove through the area yesterday and I’ve seen workers doing nothing – just sitting around and wasting County’s money, i.e. our tax dollars.

  • Dog Walker

    Non-scientific polls aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Online polls are even worse — especially ones that you can respond to multiple times. Talk about ‘stuffing the ballot box’!!

    Regarding JE being a county representative: For the love of God, please give us some hard evidence supporting your accusation or let it go. And no, “he/she knows too much” isn’t evidence. I’ve seen nothing the he/she has posted that isn’t publicly available (with even rudimentary Google skills) and/or part of a well thought out arguement. And certainly more reasoned than “OMG, I’m going to be rear-ended turning into my neighborhood”.

  • ARCA_Neighbor

    Outsider has a point. I’m not sure that the poll is non-scientific, since it has almost 500 unique responses. This blog has a pretty good system in tracking and recording polls results and is very immune from any manipulations.

    Certainly, the on-line poll will have somewhat the greater margin error than the full blown survey, but the overwhelming direction of the result (70%+!!!) is telling: clear majority DOES align with the views of concerned citizens.

    I would probably argue with you that the margin of error goes in favor of the answer “Yes”. The results are bit skewed there, and probably there are not even 10% of people who think that Slip Lanes are automatically bad. There is a self-selection bias here where you do have County Staff participating in the polls. Nothing wrong with it – there are just way more citizens who disagree with their opinion.

    As I mentioned earlier, Econ is member of Highlands’s leadership group, and is not in ARCA area.

    In terms of rear-ends, the County has acknowledged the safety issues. One of the County Board members, who shall remain nameless, told us point blank that he/she would not use Meade St. intersection after the construction (due to safety), but would rather go around the neighborhood (23rd/Nash etc). Why the County would be putting flashing light/warning sign if everything is so safe? See here: http://wp.me/p1HoUF-7x

    There is something about crowd sourcing that is telling – common sense people choose common sense answers.

    Frankly, that’s why there are over 120+ families in the area opposing this project.

    • Truth Shall Win

      Give me a break! Nameless county board member? 120+ families? 70%? the clear majority? common sense people? police tape? tidal waves? destruction? apocalypse? end of life as we know it? rapture? All propaganda!

      Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself.

      • ARCA_Neighbor

        The signatures and numbers are confirmed by the County as well as media. 70% is the result that is publically displayed here at ARL blog and achieved by common sense people responding to the survey.

        There is an integrity of the conversation with the County Board Member. Please ask some of the leading ARCA people and they’ll confirm this to you.

        Police tape, tidal waves, destructions, apocalypse, rapture are your imaginary concepts. Not sure what is the point?

        What is real is that this project makes traffic unsafe, and the County wants to have it.

      • Outsider

        “Truth” and “Econ” are County people.

    • normal

      “I’m not sure that the poll is non-scientific, since it has almost 500 unique responses.”

      You don’t understand what a scientific poll is then. Of course there is self-selection bias. Only a random sample poll can be free of any selection bias.

      • Dog Walker

        And “unique responses”??? There is absolutely no/zero/zilch way to confirm that. At best you may have that many responses from unique IP addresses. Between my systems at home, at the office, and my various personal devices, I have access to at least 5 IP addresses and, theoretically, could have responded to the poll at least 5 times. And that’s assuming the polling system even attempts to block multiple responses from an address.

        And kudos to Truth Shall Win for calling you out on your “I have a secret but I’m not telling” response. I thought we would have outgrown that in junior high. But I guess not.

        • JammingEcono

          @ARCA Neighbor

          Not to belabor points that have already been made repeatedly here and elsewhere, but…

          1) The poll *is* non-scientific for all the reasons mentioned perviously. Further its results can be read in a variety of ways. E.g. 26.54% of respondents said that all slip lanes are bad and should be removed and 31.8% said that some slip lanes are dangerous and should be removed and others are not. Therefore, you can argue that 58.34% (an “absolute majority”) believe that either some or all slip lanes are dangerous and should be removed. It wouldn’t be a credible argument because the poll is not scientific, but it’s as equally flawed a statement as you and others saying that 70%+ think some or all slip lanes are safe and should be preserved.

          2) For the umpteenth time, I’m not a AHCA member and not a County booster/employee/mascot. You, Outsider, UFO or whoever have no credible reason to believe otherwise. I support increasing pedestrians/cyclists/motorist safety generally and believe on the merits that this project achieves that goal. My vested interest in arguing for this project in particular is because I frequently drive through the intersection and will have two children at Oakridge who will walk in the area this fall.

          3) As for the new flashing light, a previous commenter pointed out your faulty circular logic on this. By agreeing to put in a light, the County is likely responding to your complaints, not necessarily agreeing that the entire project is bunk. Yet another example of SOSers not being satisfied with anything but complete capitulation (as opposed to sensible compromise) from the County, but I digress.

          The project is well under way. I don’t really see the point in the SOSers’ continued complaining about it.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            Econ – I think that the explanations are pretty simple.

            1) Your view point is that the slip lanes are outright dangerous and should be removed (answer “Yes”). That answer received less than 30% votes. This is not a rocket science as much as you try to spin.

            2) I’m not claiming that you are County member, as much being part of Aurora group is….I don’t agree with Outsider.

            3) Warning sign logic is simple and common sense…..If there is no danger, why install the sign? You should install “Improved Safety” sign 🙂

            You are right that the project is underway. What is left to ordinary citizens is just to observe how the safety is detoriating at the intersection that had no accidents in the past.

            I guess you don’t care much since you don’t live in the area. But, we who live in it, will have to face with it.
            The engagement of ordinary citizens is not about winning, loosing or complaining. It is about safety.

        • ARCA_Neighbor

          You have clearly no IT experience. If you had, you would notice that that survey feature here is pretty cleverly programmed. ARLnow is able to weed out not only double survey entries with same IP, but way more in-depth checks……

          You could not theoretically respond to survey five times. Try it next time…just for fun.

          Technology is much better and sophisticated than you can imagine. Don’t blame you, you just don’t know.

          • MayorOfWestover

            Doesn’t matter to me, I’m behind seven proxies.

          • Major of Universe

            Well, it does not only matter what your IP address is….

          • Dog Walker

            Thank you, dear ARCA_Neighbor, for your in depth review of my resume. I guess you’re correct. My computer science degree, multiple professional certifications, and 40+ years of experience in IT have clearly left me at a disadvantage in this “sophisiticated” area. And by the way, on the last morning poll that was open here, I did respond multiple times, once for each available option, just to see if it were possible.

          • JammingEcono

            LOL. +10 Dog Walker!

      • ARCA_Neighbor

        Polls can be really precise, somewhat precise and off mark.

        You don’t need laser precise equipment to detect Atlantic Ocean on Earth. It is just an overwhelming data point. Got it?

        If you have sample size of 500 people mainly from the Arlington County responding to the survey that is well protected against on-line manipulations, then you have a pretty good “pulse”.

        The result is 70%…..not 5% or 6%.

        As I mentioned, margin of error may work actually in favor of improving 70% more closer to 80%-90%.

  • Truth Shall Win

    Thank you Econo for full disclosure yet again. We all wish that the SoSers would be as forthright in disclosing all their personal agendas surrounding this project other than the junk they have written all over the net. It is obvious to even the casual observer what they have tried to do from the misinformation, the demonizing, the attacks on county employees and our representatives in county, state and National governments, etc., etc.

    • Outsider

      It seems we have another County person posting under North Korea-like campaign slogan of the “Truth”.

      Econ, who is County’s man, did not disclose a thing. You must be too high to read what is written.

      These folks, who are protesting the County project, have clear agenda: stop this unsafe project!

      I’m happy that I’m not living in the area, but feel for these poor people who will be stuck with this terrible project.

    • UFO

      I’ve been hired by the “Truth”, and let me fully disclose my presence to you:

      – I’m Un-indentified
      – I’m Flying
      – I’m Object

      This is the full disclosure in accordance with the tough intergalatic standards established by the “Truth Shall Win” entity.

    • Tim

      They are “attacking our representatives in county, state and National governments, etc., etc”

      Your standards are below any level of knowledge and decency. If you have some left, you would be supporting your neighbors in preserving safety for all.

      (1) There are no representatives or delegates in the County. Ok? That is not hard to learn and part of Civics 101.

      (2) Concerned citizens did not talk about state or national government. Their focus is about the local issues such as slip lane. Your writing is simply off-based.

      (3) National government(s)…..Did concerned citizens mentioned UN? Or some other governments?

      What are you writing is completely ridiculous and makes no sense.

  • RidgeNeighbor

    Have been coming and going this week, home to work as usual. No problems. Looks like the intersection will shape up fine.

    Have to say though, I’m dissappointed in those that complain about workers sitting around. They might want to manage a project such as this. They’ll see it’s quite difficult to get work prepped and deliveries (i.e. concrete) timed in such a way that makes it always appear that all labor is always busy at task.

  • Paul

    I feel sorry that this project has started since it will not bring much needed improvements except the safety headaches.

    The truth is that the neighbors try their best to talk to the County, who clearly was marching in accordance with its own rhythm in clear disregard for the ordinary citizens.

    Unfortunately, I did not have time to participate more in this neighborhood-wide campaign, but I’m very grateful to tens of volunteers and their hard work in ensuring that our voice is heard.

    The County would need to change its ways of operations esp. around transportation projects. If this was the private business, it would not survive the next day.

    P.S.: I’m unimpressed by contractors hired by the County. These folks are clearly making mess and working slow.

    • Tim_

      Good point. Yes, the contractors are below average.

  • John Fontain

    When the project is complete, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of the SOSers colluded and crashed into each other (lightly, of course) at the intersection, just so they could show those darn meanies in the County offices just how wrong they are about the lethally dangerous intersection.

    Having people make 90 degree turns is sooooo wroooonng~!

    • Paul

      I think that nobody would do such a thing as to put his life in danger to prove some irrational point. It seems to me that suggesting such scenario(s) speaks a lot more about the person who is writing such things than a group of honest neighbors that decided to protect safety of all traffic participants.

      One issue is 90 degree turn on a FLAT surface with traffic that expects it, another is 90 degree turn on a DOWNHILL road with no expectations of this turn.

      • RidgeNeighbor

        I understand resistance to change concerning the new arrangement at Meade. Construction is messy and troublesome. But, it defies logic to say the new arrangement is any more dangerous than any other street intersection or driveway along Ridge Rd.

        A huge advantage to the change at Meade is that the 90 degree turn makes for a shorter walk from one block to the next; making it very much safer for pedestrians. My 14yr old recognized this (unprompted) when he saw the layout today – And he’s very familiar with that trip- having walked to Gunston each school day for the last three years.

        • Robert

          This is not about the resistance to change. The majority of people is for the change, but for the positive change – not a step back.

          The current design is flawed and creates unsafe conditions at the Meade St intersection. The County did not want to hear neighbors and fix the issues. Leaches rather decided to steam-roll the community and ignore citizens. Of course, the County can do that, but that is not called collaboration, responsiveness to citizen’s needs and good governance.

          I’m not sure that it is safer for pedestrians to cross closer to Ridge Rd and get exposed to the traffic coming from four directions. Instead, they could cross at much safer crosswalk at Meade St (like most kids do anyway).

          In addition, there is a great path through the forest that leads from Gunston to Oakridge, and this is the path that ultimately kids should be using – it is healthy, safe and enjoyable.

      • Robert

        I agree with you, Paul. The suggestion from John is outright sick. I can not believe that there are people like this…

  • Golden

    It looks like the slip lane is finally going away. The construction team was breaking up the asphalt as I passed by.

    • JammingEcono


      Looking forward to the safer intersection.

  • JammingEcono

    BTW – Just noticed that ARCA has posted the full letter from Delegate Englin which lays out an extremely detailed timeline of the project from February 2009-July 2011.


    Yet more facts that debunk SOS claims that the County didn’t work the community on this project.

    • JammingEcono

      Er, meant to write “work WITH the community” in the previous comment.

    • Tim_

      This is just an opinion from semi-informed politician, who is in the business of doing (political) favors to the Board Members in hope of getting some returns in the future from the same. Englin spent no time on the issue. He just met only with the Transportation Department, who gave him their spin.

      He does not understand the (traffic) issues of the area and he is no expert.

      If you want expert’s opinion, see it here: http://wp.me/p1HoUF-7r

    • Tim_

      County didn’t work with the community on this project in a meaningful way. They worked on creation of illusion of inclusion and tried to work with couple of friendly neighbors, who were getting their circular driveways and County’s land for free.

      The so-called “Arlington Way” is/ has become a self-congratulatory form of civic myth, by which the “Illusion of Inclusion” is trotted out to make residents feel like the County Government is interested in/listening to what they say. In reality, when masks are removed, this feels as My Way or Highway, which has been experienced by a number of residents either in our area, Chain Bridge, Columbia Pike etc.

      In contrast to the supposed wonder of the “Arlington Way”, the reality is overbearing and heavy-handed approach, often arbitrary decision-making, ignoring the input of communities and neighborhoods, and a too common attitude of arrogance that boils down to the upper levels in the County, assuming that they know better than everyone. Certain individuals and offices are wonderful but the overall tone is off-base.

      • Robert

        Tim – Amen!

  • John

    The slip lane was gone when I passed by.

    • Tim_

      Unfortunately, the County did not listen the citizens, and started to remove the slip lane. The work is in progress.

      The County’s contractors (D&F??) are really making a mess, destroying grass and generally not being careful.

      Clearly, the sidewalk is not ADA compliant and is ridiculously steep and worse than expected. During the winter time – both road and sidewalk will be unusable and dangerous.

      I drove through the intersection. The turn is horribly unsafe (care behind almost hit me), and I will not be using it at all. I will drive around the area and use auxiliary streets like Nash. Mark my word – you’ll see many accidents and problems with this intersection in coming period. This place will be knows as Dennis’ (Leach) accident trap to honor one of the strongest community collaborator and enigneering geninus.

      • Chicken Little

        My GOD man!!! What next???? Next thing you know that County will be giving away free circular driveways to people who aren’t you! Isn’t that what this is really about???

        • MrPromise

          My Platform of Prosperity: A car in every circular driveway and a chicken-little in every pot!

        • Robert

          Sure…..as long as you pay the free circular driveways from your own pocket. Not my pocket! And as long as your next project does not kills the safety of the intersections and goes against the common sense.

          This is not a laughing matter, but a serious issue.

          With these dollars, many serious issues could be fixed – like teachers’ salaries, food for hungry folks, scholarships for students…

          • Tim_

            Rob, you are making a good point. I’ve noticed that some people who have very little at stake are very willing to sell out other people’s safety, money or well-being.

      • Dog Walker

        To quote dear Chicken Little….My GOD man!!! It’s a freekin’ contruction site not an operating room. Of course they’re making a mess. And from what I saw last evening, they did a pretty good job of cleaning up after themselves. So they removed a little grass — they’re replacing it with far more than they’re taking out.

        BTW, the intersection is perfectly safe. Slow down and use your turn signal.

        • Tim_

          There are rules and ways to implement project. The existence of the construction site does not imply that the contractor can do whatever it wants.

          Contractors did not do a good job cleaning the area. That is quite clear to anyone. They left mess in front of one of the houses and destroyed the grass. There was no need for it.

          It is really sad that you don’t show a basic humility and regard for neighbors. If this was in front of your house, I guess you would care? Cheering when people are experiencing difficulties tells a lot about your way of thinking.

          The future will show if the intersection is safe or not. Your claim that intersection is “perfectly safe” is pretty empty.

          Slowing down and turning has nothing to do with the safety. This is not a flat area. Stopping in the middle of downhill traffic is unsafe.

          • Dog Walker

            So by your definition of ‘unsafe’, the county should do away with all driveway access and cross street intersections on 20th St, 23rd St, Arlington Ridge south of 23rd, and Fort Scott Drive near the park. People have to slow down to turn along those hills too. Not to mention the hill on Walter Reed — that must keep you awake at night.

          • Tim_

            That was not the definition of unsafe that is used here.

            What we have here is the situation where County took the project to fix the “safety” issues on the intersection that had no safety issues.

            It is one thing to have existing safety issues, but another is to create more safety issues from nothing.

  • John

    The project is looking great. Seems that they are working up Ridge towards the police tape house and to the corner. More grass and trees to go in based on the drawings. This is going to be a great improvement to the Ridge.

  • Tim_

    This project is terrible idea for numerous reasons, and it is not about “green grass” or “trees”. This project decreases safety and wastes money in the times where every cent counts.

    See here: http://wp.me/p1HoUF-9k

    • Henry

      Aww – sounds like somebody didn’t get their driveway improved . . .

      • Driveway

        Aww – sounds like somebody that got free driveway at the expense of all of us….

  • Henry

    Don’t worry – you’ll be invited to the driveway warming party.*

    Note: This is intended for humor only. I am NOT an affected neighbor, much less the recipient of a driveway. I am sure they recipients of the driveways are simply being compensated for the Taking of their property.

    • Driveway

      I’m not worried about the party.

      Recipients of the free driveway and free County land did not loose a thing. They gained around 1800 sqft2 out of the blue skies.

      There is no compensation here. This is just given to them for no reason by the County, while creating unsafe condition at the intersection.

      Note: This is not intended for humor.

      • Dog Walker

        Unless you’re the owners or work for the county, how do you know what compensation may or may not have made by either party? And from what I can tell, the owners of this house did indeed lose something. Namely street parking in front of their house. You’re begruding them the ability to park a couple of cars? How very neighborly of you.

        • Tim_

          Compensation is the public record, since it is a public business. It did not happen. Please check the County records that are available for viewing to each citizen.

          The owners of this house did not loose a thing. The parking in front of their house is a public parking, and not a private land. They can park conveniently anywhere else on Meade St and they always had a driveway.

          It is pretty silly to compare their ability to park a couple of cars anywhere on Meade St. with OUTRIGHT FREE DONATION OF 1800 SQFT at the taxpayer’s expense for no reason.

          The houses on 23rd street lost a parking, but they were compensated nothing (not in the past, not now).

          These owners had no problems parking their cars in the slip lane.

          I don’t blame these guys (they seem to be fine ppl), but County who allowed this to happen in the times of strong economic crisis and many URGENT needs in the Arlington County.

          Now, Zimmerman has guts to say that Arlington Budget may get in trouble, while he is presiding over the wasteful spending at Ridge Rd/ Meade St, which is creating safety problems for the Meade St intersection with zero accidents on file and was requested by no one.

          See: http://wp.me/p1HoUF-65

          • Henry

            So what? I mean, somebody’s driveway got improved in conjunction with a public works project. SO WHAT???

            Oh, wait – that person wasn’t you. I get it. Nevermind.

          • Tim_

            So what???

            The public money should not fund private projects. That is wrong.

            If you want to pay someone free circular driveway, please pay it from your pocket, and not my pocket and pockets of other citizens.

            Public funds should go to public causes, not personal enrichment.

          • Dog Walker


  • Dog Walker

    Assuming for a moment that you’re correct that “it did not happen”, what evidence do you have that the land was donated (your word) to the owners.

    And while you’re at it, check you’re measurements. According to the tools available on the county website (accessed at your suggestion), the area that you’re getting worked up over is, at most, 1000 sqft. — a far cry from 1800 sqft.

    • Tim_

      This is not rocket science. Look at County’s design and you’ll see that the public lane (road – i.e. slip lane) is given to the private owners. Nobody disputes that.

      Donation is/will be recorded as their private land.

      Please double check the match and enigneering skills.

      P.S.: Lesson in civics and technology – not every record is on-line record, but every record is public record with some very rare exceptions.

      • Dog Walker

        “check the match”??? Might you mean “math”? Basic geometry is a skill I picked up several decades ago. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure the area of a 65x80x30 right triangle. (If you’re still working on that…it’s 975)

        Now…back to your regularly scheduled flame war. Carry on.

        • Mother Theresa

          Make peace, not war.

        • Tim_

          You are right – not that difficult. You forgot to add space from another house that is gaining sq ft.

          • Dog Walker

            No dear. I didn’t forget. You were waxing hyperbolically about the owners receiving the circular driveway and, your words, “OUTRIGHT FREE DONATION OF 1800 SQFT”. Just pointing out the flaws in your argument.

          • Tim_

            Well, you say it is 1,000 sq ft. I don’t think that you calculated it right, since you did not add all the extra space in front of couple of houses. If you did that, it would not be only the “triangle” that you are referring to…If you do the calculations along with the correct map reading, you will get 1,800 sq ft.

            Anyway, regardless of the number, it is unacceptable for the County to GIVE LAND FOR FREE FOR NO REASON – be it 1,000 sq ft or 1,200 Sq Ft or 1,400 Sq ft or 1,800 Sq Ft. There was no need for it, and it is just bad use of public funds.

            Add on top of that the fact that this engineering work is decreasing safety!

          • Dog Walker

            Not to continue to beat a dead horse, but…

            Assuming for a moment that the land was donated. How exactly is that a bad use of public funds? Exactly what funds were expended for this ‘donation’?

          • Tim_

            The great chunk from $300,000 worth of construction money plus salaries paid to County workers plus engineering hours plus…The value of the donated land is probably approximately $200K.

            This money could solve many other true problems. The building of circular driveways for private owners is not a public good.

  • Sickey Mimpson

    I could build a $ million house on that land!

    • Mother Theresa

      I could use money from the “gift land” & free circular driveway to feed hungry, provide for poor, build better schools or pay teachers higher sallaries….

  • 300

    #300 yahoo!


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