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Road Work in Progress on Arlington Ridge

by ARLnow.com August 24, 2011 at 9:46 am 4,830 97 Comments

The slip lane from Arlington Ridge Road to Meade Street — the primary focus of a neighborhood fight over a pedestrian safety improvement project — is no more.

The lane has now been demolished by construction contractors, who are in the process of building a wider sidewalk, additional green space and circular driveways for two houses. Daytime traffic on Arlington Ridge Road has been reduced to one lane near the construction zone, with flaggers directing cars on either side. The sidewalk along the east side of Arlington Ridge Road near the construction has been closed.

In addition to the work in progress — eliminating the Meade Street slip lane and making the intersection a purely 90 degree turn — the $200,000 county project has already turned the bus pull-off lane south of 23rd Street into an expanded sidewalk and has squared up the intersection of Arlington Ridge and Oakcrest Road by extending the permanent curbing to where a temporary curb had been installed.

Save Our Streets, a group that formed to oppose the construction, says the money could have been better spent.

“We all watch with a sense of disbelief. Why would the County waste this much money for fixing a non-issue with Meade Street intersection which has no reported accidents?” the group said on its blog. “We need this money for our schools, our poor, our libraries, our roads… not on projects that go way beyond what people want.”

  • EyeOOOta

    Justin Trawick lives on this street.

    • Southeast Ben

      Who cares?

    • NOVApologist

      He only lives there until his untimely death from one of the many inevitable high speed rear-end collisions that will occur when this work is completed.

  • Biker

    I pass thru everyday and the project is looking great. The work has been ongoing for just a few weeks and they are almost done. Traffic has not been bad and I expect the final product to really improve the safety and look of the area. Good job.

    • citizen

      Biker – Do you approve of this project because the sidewalks are wider to accomodate bicycles?

    • Chris M.

      The neighborhood group said that this is an “intersection which has no reported accidents.” If that is the case, how is this improving safety? Much less, REALLY improving safety.

      • JamesE

        Now it will be negative accidents

      • Pedestrian

        There have been dozens of projects in the last several decades which have taken intersections and streets and reconfigured them in the cause of safety. In some cases, there were similar observations that there were no crashes in memory for such and such intersection. With the pre-modified situation, there had been litte pedestrian activity and some would point out that this was due in part to the perception by pedestrian that the configuration had been optimized for car travel and that it felt unsafe and uncomfortable for pedestrian and so there was little pedestrian activity. The lack of pedestrian activity actually did make the intersections “safer” in the statistical sense, just as if everyone was too scared to drive, there would be less cars crashing into one another.

        With the changes, which tend to discipline the car and make pedestrians feel more comfortable there is more pedestrian activity and therefore more chance of conflict between pedestrian and vehicle simply due to the numbers. Is that good or bad ?

  • Richard Cranium

    This project is a horrible idea. They should have adopted my plan, which was to keep the slip lane, but replace the pedestrian island with a Walmart that would be accessible from the Columbia Pike trolley.

    • Steve85

      Something is wrong with your Cranium (head) for saying that

      • Josh S

        Here’s an idea.

        Next week, we all slip out the back door and reassemble at ARLnow2 but no one tell Steve. Leave this website up and he can wander around making bizarre comments in inactive threads. Meanwhile, humor can return to its rightful place in the new blog.

        • TwoQuestions

          If you just posted a comment, is the thread “inactive” ?

          If Steve makes a comment, but nobody reads it, did the comment really happen ?

          • Josh S

            No, no, no. Not this thread. Yes, this thread is still active. I mean AFTER we all leave to the new blog site. THEN all THESE threads will be inactive, cause he’ll be the only one here!!

    • Theodor Green Grass – Low Carb Diet

      This project is great idea. The County adopted my plan to give me free land and circular driveway. In addition, creating the safety trap instead of island full of flowers must be a great positive step forward. I think that rear-end collisions are better than Walmart shopping.

  • Chouse

    First a forcasted hurricane, then a earthquake and now…. NO MORE SLIP LANE!!!

    What is Arlington coming to?!

    • Kermit

      I hope they skip over the frogs…I hate frogs.

      • cookie monster

        I hate vegetables

  • I love how the title for Image 6 directly contradics the sign shown in the image.

    • Dog Walker

      That’s in front of the “police tape house” (as it was referred to on another thread here). The owner is obviously not a supporter of the project. She was one of the people interviewed by Channel 9 a couple of weeks ago. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when they start work in front of her house later this week.

      • John

        Hopefully the owner doesn’t plan to sell that house soon. With all the pictures of the police tape it looks like some awful crime took place there. The “murder house” up the street on Ridge took a long time to sell because of what happened there and all the pictures in the press.

      • Steve85

        LOL yeah old people don’t like changes. Sorry nothing remains the same.

        • Bill

          Wait . . . what?

        • Dog Walker

          Hey now…I’m probably older than the owner of ‘police tape house’. Let’s not paint with too broad a brush. 🙂

          Although…with one notable exception, the people yelling the loudest at the ARCA meeting in May were of a certain age.

          • John

            Dogwalker…aren’t you the infamous “county person”?

          • Dog Walker

            Sorry, not me. The SOSers have been heaping that scorn on somebody else. But to be honest, I’ve been expecting it for myself.

        • ARCA_Neighbor

          The good number of people who oppose this project are fairly young. I thought that their use of new technologies was pretty cool.

          Not to brand anyone with age, but I’ve seen only couple of very old guard ARCA people who supported this project. They were terrible misinformed and just wanted something to happen. Their knowledge about the implications of the project was so surface, and they did not live anywhere close to the affected areas.

          Btw, this is not about the change. The semi-intelligent response from Dennis Leach about the change tells more about him than the over 100+ families that care about the safety.

          People welcome change, but the positive one. The current design is step back.

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

  • Squidward Tentacles

    I hate Spongebob

  • Richard Cranium

    Sorry for the 2x post, the first was hung up (in “moderation”?) for well over an hour.

  • OX4

    It’s kind of funny that Arlington is so up in arms about this slip lane safety issue, yet the slip from Clarendon Blvd to N. 15th St (right in front of the county HQ) remains a very dangerous crossing point for pedestrians.

    • Josh S

      OX4, you gotta visit more often. This was dealt with earlier, in the 300+ post slugfest from a couple of weeks ago.

      In short, that lane is scheduled for removal.

      • Dog Walker

        +1

      • OX4

        Sorry, actual work prevents me from visiting every day.

  • ArlingtonDweller

    Let’s just remove all roads in the county, as they are obviously the problem.

    • John

      But what will people do with all those extra large SUV’s?

      • or..

        Raise chickens in them of course

      • Soarlslacker

        Since we live so close to the Pentagon and Nat’l Airport, we use those SUVs to evacuate. Some people haul offspring and others pets.
        Ridge Rd was close to unbearable at rush hour before the construction–wait through 3 lights to turn on 23rd St. Now you can sit while only 1 lane of traffic in one direction goes by, or you can drive 2 miles out of your way to avoid it in the middle of the day. If you live in the neighborhood this intersection is unavoidable. If you don’t live here complain about things of which you actually have some first hand knowledge.

        • Simple citizen

          +10 – Amen!

          It seems that lot of people have here “opnions” about the areas and intersections that they know by looking at Google maps.

    • If we keep it up, we’ll need to allow horses back into the county.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Hey, OB, just checking with you to see how your house and dog are after yesterday’s ‘quake. Everything OK?

        • Indeed. A few things off the shelves, and crooked pictures, but no damage. Dog was a little spooked but a big old bone soon eased the fears. Hope you fared well.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            The house looked OK inside and out, no cracks or anything. Some books fell off my bookshelves but otherwise everything was OK.

  • John

    oh…I love fresh eggs and the sounds of roosters in the AM. Maybe we can even get some cows up on the Ridge too. Fresh milk!

    • citizen

      But what about the cow dung? Think of the children!

      • John

        Rather have my kids hop over cow dung than police tape – just a thought.

  • smoke_jaguar4

    Now that this project is nearing completion, any word if AC will address the intersection of Arlington Ridge and Glebe? This intersection has become a chokepoint during rush-hour as it connects traffic to I-395, US1, Del Ray/Arlandria, and Aurora Hills/Pentagon City. A lot of the congestion is spilling into the neighborhoods as hurried drivers try to get around the traffic.
    At the very least, this intersection needs dedicated turn lanes and turn signals.

    • spookiness

      I’ve lived nearby for 15 years and its always been a busy intersection. Also you’ve got the boundaries of Arlington and Alexandria, meeting at a road which I believe is a VDOT road. Good luck coordinating that.

    • Arlington_Resident

      Smoke – I wish the County had done project that you are suggesting instead of failed and wasted Ridge Rd/Meade St project.

      My gut feeling is that the County does not care about the traffic choking – actually they would like to see more of it.

      Their engineers are ready to turn worse situation into terrible. If I were you, I would be worried to death about asking AC to do anything. They do not listen and do projects opposite of what citizens are asking them to do.

      I’m afraid that the County has a great plan for your intersection – narrow it more!

    • Josh S

      Yeah, I agree with spookiness – this intersection has not “become” anything – it’s been that way for many years. It already has dedicated turn signals, sort of.
      I think Four Mile Run on the one hand and steep terrain on the other is the problem – you don’t have a lot of through streets in either direction for quite a while leading back toward Route 1. Perhaps the coming trolley from Potomac Yards up through to Columbia Pike will help….

  • Barbara Saxton

    I guess only time will tell if this change the county made makes things better or worse. The weird thing is that the sidewalk in between the slip and 23rd is so narrow and has a telephone pole taking up most of the sidewalk. Can’t think if pedestrian safety was being addressed that this wasn’t done first. Well they are not finished.

    I was driving up from Glebe and had to wait behind someone turning in to the new road to Meade because they took out the turn lane. Seems like there will be new bottlenecks, especially when school starts.

  • William Barker

    This project has been strongly opposed by the neighborhood, and when the County presented the final plan to a packed house, the residents were basically told that their opinion did not count and that the County was going to go forward regardless. The project not only has the potential of causing traffic backups, inconveniencing drivers and residents trying to get in and out of the neighborhood, but the project also has to potential to create safety dangers where none existed before, especially at Meade Road with the Oakridge Elementary School traffic.

    County staff and all County Board members were individually and collectively informed of these safety concerns, which were also expressed by neighbors with engineering credentials and experience in public infrastructure.

    Because the individual County Board members have been notified of these concerns, should an accident, God forbid, happen as a result of these “improvements,” I would be willing to testify in any suit taken against the County or the individual County Board members. If our elected officials cannot be held accountable through the political process, perhaps they can be held accountable through the legal process.

    • Dead Horse

      Stop beating me. Please.

      2 words for you: “sovereign immunity.” nighty night.

      • Just a thought

        William – this makes sense!

        Dead Horse – “Soverign immunity” has its limitations…It is not free for all.

        • Dead Horse

          You’re right, it certainly does. This case isn’t even close to them.

          • Just a thought

            I would not be so resolute and sure. If there is a strong proof linking the construction project with the potential accidents, then soverign immunity does not help.

            The County is not allowed to create “death traps”.

            This may easily happen here….

          • Dead Horse

            They did studies. They sought, and listened to, input. At no time did they act beyond the scope of their authority in their decisionmaking process. Just because you disagree with their conclusions does not make the board members liable. Even if their decisions prove horribly wrong, and hundreds of infants and nuns are mowed down as a result of the change, they cannot be personally liable.

            Dead Horse, out.

          • Truth Shall Win

            +10

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            County did not do a single study, and officially confirmed that they have no hard data. The only data point that the County had was the fact that Meade St intersection had no accidents in the last four years. I guess you need to fix safety issues for the intersection with no accidents…Go figure!

            The County never listened and incorporated citizen’s feedback. This is best illustrated by the fact that the design for Meade St intersection never changed since it was first presented to the citizens.

            At some points, the County project manager did not even want to talk to any citizens except those who are getting the circular direway for free.

            See here: http://wp.me/p1HoUF-52

            I’m not sure if Board members are liable or not. I leave this to the lawyers.

            But, the County will be certainly responsible for creating the worse safety situation than it existed to begin with…

          • Kim Il Jong

            “The Truth Shall Win”……County must be rigth in what is doing since it is listening to no one except me.

  • John

    http://www.arlnow.com/2011/08/05/morning-poll-the-countys-war-against-slip-lanes/

    Suggest you read the previous flame war before you repeat everything here yet again.

    • Info

      You can also see fair bit of information about the issues with this design here:

      http://wp.me/p1HoUF-3G

    • JammingEcono

      +10 @John

      At this point, further kvetching about the project is pointless. It’s in progress, the slip lane is gone and the work will soon be finished. Chances are, once the construction is done, many of the SOSers will recognize the obvious safety improvements that resulted and wonder why they were so worked up in the first place.

      Standard disclaimer to head off the inevitable SOSer response to this comment: Yes, I do live near the intersection and have in-person experience using it as a motorist and a pedestrian. No, I don’t work for the County or represent (or even live in) the Aurora Highlands Civic Association. Suggestions to the contrary are without merit and are meant to attack my character and distract from a rational discussion of the many merits of this project.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        That’s just patently wrong, since the county needs to understand that they ignore the RESIDENTS at their peril(when they follow some wonky agenda). I hope everyone remembers the un-responsiveness of the county staff and leaders every time these folks are up for re-election.

        • JammingEcono

          @Suburban – So all the ways over two-plus years the County has been working with with the community on this project are insufficient (see link below)?

          http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/EnvironmentalServices/dot/page82729.aspx

          Man, tough crowd.

          • Dog Walker

            Nice try, JE. You know that facts and reason don’t matter much to a lot of these folks. They’re too worried about somebody “a free circular driveway” and a little grass. (Insert your own joke here). They’re just envious. Or childish. Or, more probably, both.

            And yes, I live in ARCA. Yes, I drive and walk thru the area regularly. No, I don’t work for the county.

        • ARCA_Neighbor

          +10….people in the area will remember this for a long time.

          The County’s non-responsiveness to the basic and logical feedback provided by the neighbors is really wrong. The County was really in the business of creating the illusion of the inclusion, and just marching to its own music.

          See here: http://wp.me/p1HoUF-8Q

      • ARCA_Neighbor

        It is sad that the county has started to implement the project and decided to completely ignore the neighbors.

        I wish you were right about the safety improvements, but the reality will show the results. The design does not offer much hope, but you never know the dynamics. People may decide to avoid the intersection at all costs, and completely move the traffic to other streets.

        There is a good reason why over 100 families raise up their voice – that is safety.

        • John

          Looks like it is only 6 supporters now. Only 6 properties have signs on them.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            So, it looks like Obama has no supporters at all, since signs from his campaign back in 2008 are gone 🙂

            The County has started works and did not listen to the people and ignored over 100 families on record. I walked through the area every single day and could not find a soul that expressed me happiness with this project. I found a number of people complaining about the contractors, who are handling this work, since they were leaving major mess on walkways, destroying grass, sleeping in their trucks etc.

            One evening around 15-30 neighbors were looking at the slip lane modification and concluding how they are even worse than it looked on the paper.

          • John

            Yes that’s because Obama won. But I still see an awful lot of McCain bumper stickers on cars. Those people are in denial just like…

            Also, I can just imagine the Meade Street Council of Elders standing around in their own misery kvetching about the unjust acts of the evil county and all agreeing with their own personal assessments that this project will end the world and will cause traffic armadeddon for generations to come.

            It’s time to give up the ghost.

            But just like the McCain bumper stickers I’m sure there will be those ‘Slip Bus Lane” signs around for centuries to come.

          • Dog Walker

            +1

            From earlier posts, it sounds like the MSCE had their first meeting the other night after the first couple of concrete pours. Someone commented about a group standing going between crossed arms and lots of arm-waving and pointing at the former slip lane.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            John – this is not about winning or losing. This is about the preserving safety for all citizens. It seems that you don’t get the main point.

            There are as many Obama stickers left on the cars as McCain stickers. Some people keep stickers, some don’t. Some folks keep even Clinton stickers. Big deal!

            What do you except that people keep the signs until the end of the doomsday when they have time of Aug 8th on them?

            You can make fun of your neighbors and hundred or so families. This tells a lot about you and less about the families who stand up for safety.

            Bottom line – I have not seen a single person changing their mind in terms of clearly seeing that this project is unsafe, unwanted and wasteful. I’ve seen things on contrary – where complete strangers walking by are left in disbelief around what happened to perfectly normal Meade St intersection.

  • Unhappy Citizen

    These broad expanses of concrete and more concrete brought to you by Mary Hynes & Chris Zimmerman (Arl. County Board); Dan Reinhart, Betty Diggs, & Dennis Leach (Arl. Co. DES staff), and Chick Walter (ARCA). Flawed design and discord sown between neighbors–great job in community development, Arlington!

    • RidgeNeighbor

      “Broad expanses of concrete” may just mean two good things:
      1. drivers slow to the speed limit.
      2. pedestrians have space to walk.

      Flawed design? perhaps not if your trying to keep traffic to the speed limit and better accomodate pedestrians.

      Been going through the intersection daily. Turned up Meade from Ridge and came back. Sure it’s not flat, but that’s the topography of the county.

      • ARCA_Neighbor

        These changes means:

        1. Drivers stopping in the middle of downhill traffic and getting rear-ended. These drivers often carry children to the school.

        2. Pedestrians being closer to Ridge Rd and now exposed to traffic coming from 4 directions at them, instead of crossing the street at Meade St.

        3. During bad weather conditions (snow, sleet, heavy rain), road/sidewalk will not be usable and will become dangerous for pedestrians and drivers

        4. We are far from ADA compliance than ever.

        5. Bus lane is out & road is narrowed, so we will have an interesting situation on the Ridge Rd intersection when buses try to turn around and stop.

        There are numerous reasons why this project is flawed.

        You can see them here: http://wp.me/p1HoUF-3G

        The intersection is not flat, that’s why County has built slip lane decades ago, and that is why no accidents were reported here. What is the County fixing? NOT safety issuses for sure.

        • RidgeNeighbor

          1. The new Meade is just as safe as the other streets and driveways entering off this part of Ridge. Should all driveways and the other three or four street get slip lanes? Don’t think so.
          2. Pedestrians are safest crossing at right angle intersections. Crossing mid-block on a street is not as safe.
          3. During bad weather: the weather is bad and there are many places in the neighborhood like this intersection. Closing it off makes it safest.
          4. Topography prohibits making many streets ADA compliant. Meade is one of these situations.
          5. The plan did show the stop bars being moved to better allow bus turns.
          6. The street was built when there were only 4 street on that quadrant of the intersection. Who can say why the developer built it that way.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            1. The new Meade St is less safe than it was in the past. The driveways you are mentioning are certainly less safe than slip lane. You buy house with the driveway you like. It is your choice to buy house on the Ridge Road, but that choice affects your safety. This decision in your hands. You don’t buy or control slip lane, and in this case, some government bureaucrat is making ill-advised safety decisions for you.

            2. Pedestrians are the safest crossing inside Meade St, since they are away from the heavy traffic on Ridge Road. That is what people did for decades including school kids. Now, County is forcing pedestrians to cross the dangerous intersection Meade St/Ridge Road with traffic coming from many more directions than it was in the past.

            3. You are right: Totally bad weather is totally bad! Your driveway should be blocked, Penn Ave should be blocked and no metro should be operating. Right? Except, that is a too simplistic explanation of “bad”…There are shades of gray with “bad” weather. Let me put it this way – Meade St/Ridge Rd intersection is worse off in terms of any difficult weather conditions than it used to be. This means that County’s work did not bring the value to the community, but instead created new safety issues.

            4. Regardless of topography, the streets can be made ADA compliant. It is just matter of investments (ramps). My point is that Meade St intersection was way more ADA compliant than the current solution, i.e. that is step backwards. FYI: County claims that the new intersection is ADA compliant, which is incorrect.

            5. I’ve looked at bus turning at the new intersection. It is much worse than it used to be.

            6. The County built the slip lane with a purpose of making the safe turn into the area.

            The overall point is that County’s investment had made the situation worse and unsafe, i.e. this project does not make any sense.

          • RidgeNeighbor

            Thanks for responding… and sorry about the poor editing and the awful attempt at humor in previous post…

            I guess my sense of ‘safe’ is different. I do think configuring neighborhood streets to require traffic to slow down to turn is a good thing. If it slows traffic so much that it clogs up, perhaps commuters seeking a cut through will choose a different route. I’ve noticed the turn is not a severe as older neighborhoods in DC or as in Del Ray. Not much consolation, I know, but it could be worse…

            To my view, it is safer crossing at a 90 degree intersection rather than a having a crosswalk through 25 mph traffic.

            ADA walks shouldn’t have more than an eight per cent slope, so I don’t know how you do it at that corner of Meade. Perhaps, it works going down Ridge, but looks to me that the Meade to Ridge walkway would need a zig-zag path to make all of it totally compliant with ADA.

            Yes, I’ve seen the buses negotiate the right turn from Ridge to 23rd as well. They can do it fine, esp. when the new stop bars keep stopped traffic back some. It’s much better than the 10 bus’ right turn from Eads onto 23rd. That intersection needs stop bars pulled back, too.

            Being built back in the late 30’s and in the 40’s who’s to say if the county designed Meade the way it is or if the developer did it.

            As a resident and daily user of the intersection, I comment here mainly to let readers know that the neighborhood residents have a variety of opinions on the topic. Seeing the progress today, it looks fine. Others disagree and that’s fine, too.

  • JammingEcono

    @ARCA_Neighbor

    Since you seem so convinced that all of your arguments are true (despite the GREAT deal of evidence to the contrary), then by all means please start lobbying the County to put the slip lane back in. Or hire lawyers to sue the County, or whatever.

    If you’re not prepared to go there, then you’re just wasting your time continuing to kvetch about a project that’s already in progress and nearly complete.

    • JammingEcono

      Forgot the standard disclaimer: I live near the intersection and use it regularly as a motorist and pedestrian. I’m not a County employee or member of the Aurora Highlands Cabal. Claims to the contrary are without evidence or merit … yadda … yadda … yadda.

    • Outsider

      On the contrary, there is good evidence that the claims of citizens are fully justified.

      Citizens can do what they feel is right, including posting on this Forum.

      I don’t live in the area…and, yes, you are County’s man, which has been already proven..

    • ARCA_Neighbor

      Econ – I understand where you are coming from and your point is logical. However, I post here as well as other citizens to discuss the issues. That is what the forums are about.

  • Paul

    Let me pose this question to you in a bit different way. Since the County has decided to proceed, I don’t understand what motivates some people (who mainly don’t live in the area) to come here and cheer about it.

    It is clear that this project is not supported by the people in the area, who seem to be steam-rolled by the County. Not the first and the last time that the (unaccountable) governments have done so. It happens and people will remember this for time to come.

    What is weird is that the one or two people here have an inherent need to impose their self-centered opinions on majority.

    Dog walker etc. – you are convincing no one that this project is a good project. Get yourself a life or start working for a County where they can pay you to do their post-work propaganda campaign.

    • Dog Walker

      Paul dear,
      I’m not attempting to sway anyone’s opinion on the merits of this project. I’m merely highlighting some of the laughable arguments that have been put forth by those from the SoS crowd.

      I would agree with your statement that “one or two people here have an inherent need to impose their self-centered opinions on majority.” Reference yourself, ARCA_Neighbor, and Outsider among others. Does everyone in the neighborhood support this project? – No. Is everyone in the neighborhood against this project? – again, No.

      So thank you, Paul, for your interest in my leisure time pursuits. But I have a life.

      Standard disclaimer: I live on the Ridge. I walk and drive through this intersection daily. And no, I don’t work for the county.

      • John

        +1 DW

        There are many people in the surrounding neighborhood(s) that love the project when we chatted at the hurricane parties this past weekend. And yes a few that were not. But nothing close to the 97% Against and 3% For that the SoSers and MSCEs have been driving down our interweb throats.

        Standard disclaimer: I live on the Ridge. I walk and drive through this intersection daily. And no, I don’t work for the county but if you want to say I side with the county and the other neighbors on the Ridge supporting this project…then heck yes I do and have from the beginning.

        • ARCA_Neighbor

          John – I don’t doubt that you talk with few people (in your inner circles) who may have some sympathy for the project. These people generally tend to be away from the affected area and may rarely or never walk it.

          I think that the point that Paul was mentioning is that the majority of people are opposed to this project. If 3% or 5% or 7% supports the project that does not change much in the big picture.

          In the immediate area, only two houses that got the extra land/circular driveway are supporting this project. You can see the visual here: http://wp.me/P1HoUF-13 (see number #2).

          It is interesting to note that over 70% of people from the greater Arlington County, who read ARLnow, are fully aligned with the concerned citizens opinion in regard that “one size fits all” rule for safety slip lanes does not apply.

          At the end of the day, the clear opposition to this project was visible by sheer amount of Yard Signs prior to the project start that overwhelmed any other signs in the area, including signs for VA races. The energy, enthusiasm and hard work of many fine neighbors and volunteers is very telling. I’m not sure that I can recall any ARCA’s event that had such strong participation and response.

          There are over hundred or so families on the record opposing this project and many more that did not get to express their dissatisfaction due to the fact that the County rushed to do the works despite the opposition.

          Nobody, including County, disputes this fact. The County is just saying that they don’t feel like listening to the neighbors and that they conveniently concluded that the majority rule written in their process books does not apply for whatever bureaucratic reason. Go figure!

      • Paul

        I’m not sure that the safety arguments are laughable, especially if raised by over hundred families and many former and current experts and engineers.

        While not everybody (100% of people) is supporting or opposing the project, it is evident that the majority is opposing.

        I’m very glad that you have a life, so you should fully enjoy it. If you need a job, the County could help.

        • RidgeNeighbor

          I still don’t understand the specifics about the majority opposing the project.

          Who is the majority really opposing the project? Is it the majority of posters and respondents to an online survey? Using this as a majority as a tool in a discussion doesn’t seem fair because the majority might be different if one includes residents who don’t see this forum or didn’t see the survey online. If we mean the majority at one community meeting or another, does that ‘majority’ really speak for the community as a whole?

          Asked another way: Which group counts as the “whole” when figuring the majority? Is the population limited to the houses on Meade and those blocks to the west? Or, is it the whole of ARCA’s district? Or, arguably, should it be the whole county?

          My general sense up to now is this project has made an actual minority of ARCA resident’s really mad. Most ARCA residents may well be neutral or in favor.

          WIthout a scientific survey or poll vote, it’s hard to know for sure.
          Just my two cents….

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            I do not think that this is difficult. The majority of people who are opposing the project are the ones living in the affected area. Not only County, but independent news agencies have looked at the records and confirmed this simple fact.

            ARLnow survey is very good measurement of the “pulse”. Regular people from Arlington visit the website on daily basis and post their votes. If 70% of these people using common sense have the same conclusion as concerned neighbors that slip lanes are not really bad on their own, this tells a lot about the nonsensical County’s position on slip lanes.

            If you think about the greater area, I would say that on average, most people tend to agree with neighbors who oppose the project once they understand the scope of the project. I say this because I talked with a fair number of people. However, I’m not sure why someone living on the Crystal Drive or Gleber Rd would be focused about Meade St intersection and wanted to interfere into local resident’s affairs. They are not in the immediate area.

            You have the “scientific” results for the immediate area (house by house), which I think is the most important measure and the one that even the County recognizes in their official process (when they decide to follow it).

            This is all nice and well, but the main point is that the County did not care even if 100.00% were against the project. Their position is that the residents’ view doesn’t matter – it is the view of the bureaucrats that wins the day.

          • Dog Walker

            You’re right, ARCA_Neighbor. It isn’t difficult. A small, yet very vocal, segment of residents in ARCA, have yet to come to grips with that fact that the county did back off and give in to their demands. A number of changes were indeed made to the site plans over the last few months. (For example, the width of the sidewalk and 23rd St near Ridge changed several times. As did proposed parking restrictions at that intersection.) What did not change was the county’s decision to follow their policy and phase out slip lanes throughout Arlington.

            What you and your cohorts need to recognize is that we live in a representative democracy — not an absolute democrazy. We elect representatives to enact policies and to make desicions on our behalf while balancing the needs of ALL citizens. Sometime they solict input (via ARCA, town halls, etc) — sometimes not. Sometimes we agree with their decisions — sometimes not.

            It is our responsibility as citizens to voice our satisfaction with their actions at the ballot box.

          • RidgeNeighbor

            DW- Perhaps that’s getting the point I was thinking about… that a vocal minority of the county shouldn’t countermand professional decisions made in good faith–decisions that are consistent with policy and current best practices.
            As I see it: issues have been raised by most of the abutting property owners- which is good. That’s our duty as citizens. Arlington County considered their concerns, made concessions about some issues but not others. Those we hire as planners and engineers did their duty: to look at an issue dispassionately and professionally, and then make the best call–using their best judgment according to policy and best practices.

            I find it unfortunate that the vocal minority insists they’re being ignored by the county. When, actually, the vocal folks and the county just disagree about the solution.

            Their are ways to change policy. Elect new county leaders. Work with the planning process.

          • JammingEcono

            +10 @RidgeNeighbor

          • Big Runner

            The width of the sidewalks are great now. I’m not quite sure why the county didn’t take the bushes down on the 23rd street/Ridge corner. When I ran thru yesterday, the bushes definitely encroach over the sidewalk and make it narrower then it should be. The county spent all that money and didn’t take them down so they could max out the sidewalk. What is that all about?

          • Lower Ridge

            +1 BR – The sidewalks are great. Now the bushes are a problem. Who do you call?

  • Star Sneech

    When I was growing up, occasionally I would ask my Mom why God didn’t answer my prayers. She said God answers all prayers, but sometimes the answer is “no.”

    ARCA spoke to the County, the County listened. Their answer was a partial, or maybe even mostly, “no.”. Doesn’t really matter anymore.

    Can we stop now?

  • Big Runner

    All of the signs are down and it looks like the project is done. No major traffic jams and everything seems to be normal.

    • Uncle County

      The situation does not look good at all. Traffic jams are getting worse. Just today the bus could not turn at the 23rd/Ridge Rd corner.

      The project has been implemented and residents were steamed-rolled by the County. There is nothing to applaud here.

      The signs are done because they had the time stamp on it (Aug 8th).

      Unfortunately, we are all expecting major issues to start occurring on the intersection. We had already the first minor accident since long time on 24th street.

      We will know who will be at fault for these issues. The record is overwhelming about those who did not want to listen to the critical feedback from the people who live in the area.

      Neighbors are watching….

  • Crycity

    Stil in denial I see.

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