Press Club

Traffic Chaos at Busy Rosslyn Intersection

Yesterday’s evening rush hour brought traffic chaos to the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn.

All week traffic problems have plagued the intersection, one of Arlington’s busiest, during peak driving times. The culprit: Lynn Street is down to two lanes, due to construction on the Central Place project.

With traffic backing up, drivers jockeyed for position in the intersection, often “blocking the box” in the process when the light changed. Road rage would often ensue.

The Arlington County Police Department has been getting a high volume of calls from frustrated drivers seeking a police presence at the intersection, according to scanner traffic, but most of those pleas are not being answered with action.

“I’m here and there’s nothing we can do,” one officer said after responding to the scene.

A supervisor, earlier in the day, instructed dispatchers to clear calls complaining about heavy traffic — as long as the lanes were closed, traffic would remain heavy. Police would only respond to incidents in the intersection like accidents or road rage disputes that might become full-fledged physical fights.

It was the same story two years ago. As we reported in Oct. 2014, Central Place work had Lynn Street down to just one lane, leading to lots of horn honking and tempers flaring. Eventually, the issues cleared up as lanes were reopened a day or two later.

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