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Traffic Signals Installed at Wilson Blvd Intersection

by ARLnow.com December 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm 4,219 56 Comments

New traffic signals were being installed today at the busy intersection of Wilson Boulevard and N. Pollard Street in Ballston, near the Gold’s Gym and the Wiinky’s burger restaurant.

The installation comes about three months after the Sun Gazette reported, in an article entitled “Residents Find Developer Payments Don’t Translate Into Traffic-Signal Installation,” that a developer had agreed to contribute $150,000 toward the addition of traffic signals at the intersection back in 2004. At the time of the article, the County Manager Barbara Donnellan promised to investigate why the traffic signal had not yet been installed.

Though the signals were installed today, we’re told it may be a “couple of weeks” until they’re switched on.

  • Frogger

    where will I go to play frogger now? I will miss being nearly killed crossing at this intersection

    • charlie

      where will I go to play frogger now? I will miss nearly running over all those pedestrians who are running to the gym to run.

      • MC 703

        Regardless, there’s a crosswalk in the intersection and you should pay attention and stop for pedestrians.

        • bob

          Especially those pedestrians who all these years always decided to risk losing a battle of wits with a car rather than do the sensible thing and walk one very short block west to the intersection that has long had a traffic light to go with its crosswalks(!)..

          • old aged pensioner

            Thanks for making me walk an extra 2 blocks so you can speed and disregard the crosswalk. you are a true gem and a tribute to the entitled drivers in this area

        • charlie

          MC703 — you must be new here. We’ve had this dicsussiion numerous times.
          Pedestrians are NOT ENTITLED to jump in front of my car just because there is a crosswalk. THey must first look and be sure to not be impeding the flow of traffic.
          If I’m traveling with the flow of traffic, they are losing the game of physics, not me. And I won’t be wrong. On board dash cam (love the Cop Shops) will prove me right. It has. And will again.

          • CourthouseChris

            Wait, are you saying you have in the past hit pedestrians, and anticipate doing so in the future?

          • charlie

            i have never hit a car, pedestrian or stationary object on purpose. but i have been in numerous accidents due to unanticipated conditions facilitated by other drivers. it is nice to have it photo documented.
            I know where the darting pedestrians of Arlington are located. I’d be a basket case if i hit one.

          • Vik

            Although there are plenty of dumb walkers out there, the majority of close-calls I’ve seen at this intersection involve cars that are going to fast, possibly w/ distracted drivers. There are also plenty of cars turning into the back of Gold’s Gym or turning onto Pollard or Wilson. It’s just a bad intersection for drivers and walkers.

          • Joey

            I don’t think “not be impeding the flow of traffic” is the legal standard in Virginia. If that were the case, the crosswalk would never have the right of way, which isn’t true.

            The Virginia Code states that drivers must (1) “yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian” in a crosswalk, but (2) that pedestrians can’t “enter . . . an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.” However, (3) drivers must “change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross.”


            To read part (2) without eviscerating parts (1) and (3), I’d interpret that to give pedestrians the right of way except when it would be really difficult for a driver to stop. So no “darting” when a car is 5 feet away going 30 miles an hour.

            I think the statute also seems to make yielding to pedestrians absolutely mandatory where those mid-road yellow “Drivers must Yield to Pedestrians” signs have been installed.

          • charlie

            do you what you want. the pedestrian is really only totally right while at a traffic light. other than that they are more likely wrong.

          • drax

            The statute is just common sense. Walkers, don’t cross unless no car is near enough to hit you. Cars, don’t hit walkers even if you have to slow down to do it.

  • WFY

    They have been installed over the last several weeks.

  • Vik

    Long overdue, but I’m glad that it’s being done. There used to be no street lamps on Wilson between Oakland and Pollard, which only made things worse.

    Is Thai Terrace closed now?

    • Brandon

      Looks like Thai Terrace is closed to me, it’s been dark every time I’ve been by over the last few weeks.

      • Curious George

        There was a sign on their front door from some sort of equipment leasing company. In effect “Don’t take out stuff”.

        So I think they are gone for good.

        • Bi-Curious George

          I knew someone who worked there…they’re closed for good.

  • CrystalMikey


    • gross


      • novasteve

        No, Goldstein!

        I like their boneless wings.

    • JamesE

      Still haven’t gone, I need to.

      • Bob Stevenson

        Is it any good? I’ve been meaning to try the place but don’t live in that hood anymore. I like the idea of a local small business and hope they succeed.

        • G

          I think Wiinkey’s is really good, I just don’t go much because they don’t accept credit cards.

          • novasteve

            they accept credit cards.

          • FrenchyB

            Just went yesterday – they do take credit cards now!

          • G

            Good to know!

        • novasteve

          I like it though I only have tried their boneless wings. Smells like it used to be a smokey bar. Love that smell.

    • WiinkysNeedsToGo

      Yukkkk…Wiinky’s. I’m still counting down the days until Wiinky’s goes out of business.

      I’m still not sure why anyone in their right mind would open yet another hamburger joint in Arlington, when there is much better tasting competition with a lot more capital to put into a business.

      I’m ready for Wiinky’s to be replaced with something other than hamburgers, froyo, or cupcakes.

      • PeoplesCourthouse

        I wish someone would open a restaurant with modern American cuisine in this town.

        • WiinkysNeedsToGo

          They should make sure to have the word “Tavern” as part of the name.

          • OX4

            And redesign the interior every 6 months or so.

      • yep uhuh

        Don’t like it?

        Don’t go.

        Why anyone would wish for a local small business to fail is beyond me.

        I’ve tried Wiinky’s and I’d say it’s a cut above the competition. The parking situation could be better, but the food is good.

    • Wiiiiinkys

      Go to Wiinky’s if you like paying ~$2 for 5 individual onion rings. Quite the rip off.

  • Brian

    They were not installed today .. the lights themselves were put in about a week ago. In fact, you retweeted me when I mentioned this. I think this needs a correction/clarification.

    • Inquiring Mind

      ARLnow is too busy deleting innocent comments to worry about such things as accuracy.

      • drax

        The software sometimes accidentally deletes comments. You’re not special.

      • Quoth the Raven

        I can’t believe you’re still complaining about having your comment (on another thread) deleted! You made a statement which was pretty clearly bigoted – no wonder ArlNow deleted it!!!!

        • drax

          Was it bigoted? I didn’t see it. In that case, good.

  • Ballston

    They also recently put in a light at Wakefield and Wilson, near the new building on the corner of Glebe and Wilson.

  • Taxed and Ignored

    Q: Quick, how many County employees does it take to turn on a stoplight?

    A: A consultant is looking into the matter at a cost of only $1 million.

    If we need a stoplight somewhere, it shouldn’t have to depend on funding from a developer. We should come up with the money. Let’s see. Could there be any wasteful or underperforming programs at Arlington County? Hmm….

    • Josh S

      You can’t have it both ways. Complain about taxation in your user name and then complain about not using county funds to pay for a traffic light in your post.

      Requiring developers to pay for the added services their development will require is a time honored and sensible practice.

  • mickey644

    Just what we need; another stop light so now it will take over 12 minutes to get to Arlington Boulevard! Wonderful. Let’s put one at every intersections with cupcakes and beer so we have something to do while we wait!

    • Horseless Carriage

      People drive too fast along that stretch of Wilson as it is. The speed limit is 25, but people usually travel closer to 35. And then, when they get past Washington Blvd, they inexplicitly slow down to 20 mph, even though the speed limit is 30.

      • Word Smith

        How does on “inexplicitly” do something that you still noticed?

        (it’s “inexplicably”)

        • Word Jones

          It means there is no explanation for why they slow down, not that you don’t notice it.

          • Word Smith

            Not if it’s “inexplicitly.” See?

    • Frogger

      If drivers actually stopped for people in crosswalks these lights would not be needed. And if the cops actually enforced the law these attitudes and habits may change
      but yes, as it goes. there will have to be one per intersection. Let’s have one at 10th and Irving next please!

    • Andy

      Totally agree. This infatuation with stop lights has to stop. And of course there’s no synchronization. In the space of six blocks, you’ll wait at four stop lights. I don’t drive too fast. But making 20 cars take five minutes to go six blocks is a total wast of time and fuel, and adds to pollution. Driving through Ballston is becoming like driving through midtown Manhattan.

      • drax

        “This infatuation with stop lights has to stop.”


  • julia

    The light was installed several weeks ago. I’ve driven past it everyday since. Definitely not installed today.

  • Tater

    Great that the light will be coming. I also support local biz and have tried Winky’s. Pretty good and grass fed beef. Have tried other items on the menu and will give thumbs up.

    Help support local biz not chains.

    that’s all, folks!

  • Chipper J.

    Wiinky’s food is awesome. Some of the best burgers I’ve had in Arlington (yes, I’ve had them all). Not much to look at on the outside but some really good food – Check it out if you haven’t.

    We need this traffic signal. I live in the building down the street and I can’t make a left turn onto Wilson from Pollard so finally I won’t have to drive around the block to turn left. I’m an ambi-turner once again!

    Sad to see Thai Terrace go… Kind of an odd place but the Pad See Eew was pretty decent…

  • nota gain

    The light will help with traffic but do not allow left turns into Gold’s Gym parking lot from Wilson going west or block the parking lot for GG to alleviate recurring traffic tie ups.

    • charlie

      yeah we should have dedicated signals for all businesses.
      especially people driving to places to exercise.

  • ziv

    I am still fuming that Arlington county allowed these intersections to be built with no left turn lanes. The traffic is slowed immensely due to the fact that anyone turning left blocks 50% of the traffic coming up behind them. Trying to get out of the left lane is pretty difficult with the amount of cars already in the right lane.
    The problem is that if you are a student of New Urbanism, you WANT to make cars less care free and quick to use. So you eliminate turn lanes to block the flow of traffic and you narrow the intersections (like Lee and George Mason or Highland) enough that cars are forced to slow even more than usual. If your car is slower and driving is more of a pain, more of us will be willing to let someone else do the driving and get on the bus…


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