A Victory Against VDOT
Sometimes, when I least expect it, the column gets action. The AAA and several activists who advocate for greater safety and better roads in northern Virginia say that my recent column on the mess along Rt. 28 has prompted state officials in Richmond to make some long-sought changes.
Virginia Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer has ordered the regional office of the state Department of Transportation to drop its plans to shut down the exit from Rt. 28 northbound onto Cedar Green Road. Homer told the department's commissioner to take on the case personally and report back on safe alternatives. VDOT had planned to close the exit in Sterling despite the fact that it provides the only access to a thriving retail strip and a new residential community. VDOT had resisted entreaties from residents, business owners and the fire commission, which contends that its trucks and rescue vehicles could not respond in a timely way to emergencies once the state closes off that road.
Now, Homer has ordered that access onto Cedar Green Road be maintained for at least a year and that VDOT study the traffic flow there with an eye toward a permanent solution that keeps in mind the needs of businesses and customers who now use that turn-off.
Virginia State Senator Mark R. Herring (D-33) and Delegate David E. Poisson (D-32) pronounced themselves pleased. "This is simply a matter of safety," said Poisson. "There are literally hundreds of workers in the businesses that line Cedar Green Road, including a lumber yard, a furniture warehouse and multiple showrooms, and a Volkswagen dealership-- to say nothing of the customers these businesses attract. The other ways into this area if there were a fire or medical emergency are completely inadequate."
In addition, according to AAA's Lon Anderson and Dick Zietz, who runs Loudoun's citizens transportation safety panel, said that after the September column ran, VDOT moved promptly to address one of the other major safety problems I reported on. The state added two signs in advance of a dangerous concrete lane-divider that prevents motorists from moving over to make a left turn from westbound Waxpool Road onto Pacific Blvd. The move, Zietz, said, "effectively ends more than twenty months of the entertaining antics of motorists driving over the barrier to get to the other side."
Of course, the goal here is not to make safety improvements piecemeal or in response to newspaper columns or citizen activism, but rather to reform Virginia's transportation system to return more authority and resources to local governments and to provide the necessary funding to keep up with existing growth, while altering planning to prevent the rampant and uncontrolled sprawl that has characterized the region for too long.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Veronica | November 2, 2006 8:49 AM
Posted by: Ashburnite | November 2, 2006 9:24 AM
Posted by: che | November 2, 2006 9:42 AM
Posted by: Sterling Park | November 2, 2006 10:05 AM
Posted by: BS Detector | November 2, 2006 1:30 PM
Posted by: Cabells Mill Resident | November 2, 2006 2:42 PM
Posted by: Sam F. | November 3, 2006 10:34 AM
Posted by: SpectreOfTruth | November 8, 2006 10:24 AM
Posted by: Cabells Mill Resident | November 9, 2006 2:39 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.