Infuriating Traffic Tie-Ups
By Chad Pillai
Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine should fire his transportation secretary, Pierce R. Homer, and his state police superintendent, W. Steven Flaherty, for their gross negligence and mismanagement of the construction projects on Interstates 95 and 395. Commutes that normally take 50 minutes from Fredericksburg to Washington now can take between 90 minutes and two hours. Last week, it took three hours to get to Arlington Cemetery.
Officials have done a dismal job of relieving the pressure valve of traffic congestion on this critical route; they could be opening up the HOV lanes to more vehicles to reduce the backups and to reduce the unnecessary pollution caused by vehicles idling or proceeding at a stop-and-go speed.
Using Route 1 as an alternate is of no help, because Virginia Department of Transportation officials have not bothered to reset the timing of traffic lights so that vehicles can travel through or make any necessary turns. Also, the state has provided no police officers to help reduce the traffic strain at the intersections when the lights are not providing enough time for vehicles to proceed.
Since I moved to the Washington region in August, construction has been occurring near Exits 160 and 163 on I-95. Many times, construction sites are idle, with no personnel working. I think construction work should be done in shifts, 24 hours a day. While heat and cold may be a factor for workers, they do not endure any harsher working environment than soldiers and Marines carrying 100 pounds of gear in 130-plus degree heat.
Someone in Virginia needs to do something about this problem.
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