Just As I Thought

Look both ways

The old Columbia Pike corridor in my neighborhood is undergoing something of a renaissance. It’s part of a master plan by Arlington County to create a vibrant area of shops, restaurants, and businesses, that’s pedestrian friendly.
Well, if you’re a pedestrian on Columbia Pike, you’d better be eagle-eyed. Here’s an example of the exit of the local McDonald’s, which blocks driver’s view of the sidewalks and street with a hedge, an exit sign, two bus stops, and numerous newspaper boxes.
I think it’s time to go back to the drawing boards, guys.


  • Totally. And there are certain crosswalks on Columbia Pike–not the ones at stop lights, but the ones all by their lonesome out there that naively expect drivers to stop for pedestrians out of the goodness of their own heart–that are I would be mortally afraid to try and cross at. I hate stupid drivers.

  • And in a fit of serendipity, Arlington County today released this news release:

    “New Traffic Calming Projects Make Arlington More Walkable, Bikeable

    The Board on Feb. 21 approved $551,800 in traffic calming measures and $89,200 for expedited speed hump/cushion projects.

    ?These projects support our vision of a more walkable and bicycle-friendly Arlington,? said Barbara A. Favola, chairman of the County Board. ?Our Neighborhood Traffic Calming Committee has worked diligently to make our streets safer for all who use them.?

    The projects include the first three expedited speed hump/speed cushion projects since the Neighborhood Traffic Calming program began in March 2000.”

    So, what Arlington is doing is “calming” traffic by putting in speed bumps and traffic circles, but they do nothing to improve sight lines, crosswalks, and visibility for pedestrians. I guess they hope that being hit by a slower-moving vehicle is better than the alternative.

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