Following up on our June 8th meeting (see post below), the Association received this response on June 22 from the County concerning proposed changes to South Arlington Mill Drive.) Please see the project website for more information and visuals.
“The Walter Reed Drive project not only provides a safer bicycle and pedestrian refuge and crossing at this intersection with South Arlington Mill Drive, but will also improve conditions for all modes of transportation by widening the turn lane and outer lanes on Walter Reed; upgrading intersections, bus stops, signals and sidewalks to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA); upgrading the traffic signals to meet the County’s current standards (they are very old); improving street lighting along Walter Reed Drive between and at the Walter Reed/Arlington Mill and Walter Reed/Four Mile Run intersections; and providing wider pedestrian and bicycle facilities between these intersections.
Traffic analysis graphics presented at the June 8 SCA meeting have been posted to the project website. We heard three primary comments at the meeting that we wanted to follow up on. The County’s comments are in italics below.
- Width of the turning lane: The existing turning lane is 10’ wide and the proposed is 10’ wide, however as some residents and our transit staff noted that this is tight considering the number of buses that use the turn lane. Follow up – we will be widening the turn lane to 11’.
- Existing backups on Arlington Mill Drive past Heatherlea entrance: Some residents noted that they have observed backups on Arlington Mill Drive outside of the peak am and pm rush hours, particularly during the school bus rush. School buses use the left turn lane as well as the right turn lane approaching Walter Reed. Follow up – Engineering staff has been looking into this before school releases for the summer. I will follow up with you in more detail next week on this.
- Additional documentation for “close-calls” on accidents at the Arlington Mill/Walter Reed Drive slip lane: As stated at the meeting, we rely on police reports for accident data. The ACPD records only collisions that are reported. If it’s not reported, there is no record of its occurrence. Similarly, near misses are subjective and are not recorded by any agency that we are aware of. In the course of over a year of public outreach for this project, staff heard at meetings from nearby concerned residents, members of the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committees, and from county staff verbal accounts of many near misses, though they are not documented because no actual collision occurred.”
- June 22 email from Valerie Mosley on behalf of the Arlington Department of Environmental Services, Transportation Division to the Shirlington Civic Association president