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Posted at 5:48 PM ET, 02/14/2011

The real culprit in Fairfax's traffic problems

By Umang Varma, Falls Church

As someone who’s spent the past 12 years living in Arlington and now Fairfax, I could foresee Fairfax’s traffic problems many years ago. While Arlington was committed to building high-density, mixed-use developments near Metro stations, Fairfax was expanding sprawl ever farther. Unbearable traffic is the natural consequence of Fairfax’s land-use decisions, but rather than own up to their mistakes and promise to change their ways, our elected leaders are upset that Arlington won’t bail them out with a highway expansion through their back yards.

Wake up, Fairfax! Take responsibility for your actions, stop blaming others for your problems, and think long and hard about how you can do things differently.

By Umang Varma, Falls Church  | February 14, 2011; 5:48 PM ET
Categories:  Arlington, Fairfax County, traffic, transportation  
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It's a done deal, nothing can be done save for building rail above everyone's homes.

Oh well, the results of the sprawl will leak into Arlington anyway, so the joke's on them.

Posted by: RandomAnon | February 15, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse


There is not now or ever has been any plan to "pave over" or "uproot" Arlington to build any new roads - or improve existing ones.

This region has bent over backwards to be considerate of Arlington's concerns. The 50% reduction of the originally-planned I-66 is a case in point. To accomodate Arlington, I-66 is arguably the only Interstate highway that REDUCES capacity as it approaches a major city. And it's restricted to carpoolers during peak use times when it's most needed by ALL commuters.

It's not unreasonable for the rest of the region to expect Arlington to reciprocate.

The HOT planned lanes project Arlington sued (on dubious grounds using malicious tactics) involved upgrading the EXISTING HOV lanes on I-395 to accomodate the toll-paying traffic. The footprint of I-395 was NOT planned to be expanded.

The "widening" of I-66 is not widening at all in the true sense; it involves pushing out the shoulders to accomodate an additional travel lane in each direction WITHIN THE EXISTING FOOTPRINT.

You oppose road improvements in Arlington. Fine. Call it what is - obstructionism for purely selfish and/or ideological reasons (pick one):

You don't want to be the least bit inconvenienced to accomodate your neighbors.

You're pleased with yourselves for having adopted a so-called "smart growth" development strategy.

You look down on your neighbors for not following suit, believe they should very well suffer for their "choices", and couldn't care less about their commute because it's not your problem.

You agree with your County Board's policy of discouraging single drivers from using the highways that traverse your turf.

Either one is fine with me; we're all entitled to our opinions.

But spare us the playing of the put-upon "victim". The people of Arlington aren't "victims".

The REAL victims in this are the thousands of commuters who have to stew in traffic simply because of Arlington's smug stubborness and the fact they aren't fortunate enough to be able have a nice place to live close to their jobs - like YOU do.

Arlington's actions are an insult to injury. Especially to those who are taxed to subsidize the Metro system that makes Arlington's precious "high-density, mixed-use developments near Metro stations" possible. A Metro system that they, BTW, can't use.

Posted by: ceefer66 | February 15, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

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