Eric Lanman wrote this joint letter from AHCA and Alcova Heights Civic Association thanking Mr. Holcombe and others for their assistance and laying out our design requests for the project.
March 4, 2000
To: The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB)
On behalf of the Arlington Heights Civic Association and the Alcova Heights Civic Association, we would like to share with you the views of the local community regarding the Route 120 (Glebe Road) at Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) Bridge Maintenance Project. As a point of reference, our two neighborhoods are bordered West and East respectively, by Glebe Road and on the North by Arlington Blvd. This project is much needed and we are greatly appreciative of VDOT's willingness to include the local community at an early point in the planning process. In particular, we appreciate the willingness of VDOT's Dusty Holcombe and Ronaldo Nicholson to take time out of their schedules to brief the preliminary design and schedule of the project.
The narrowness of the Glebe Road bridge, coupled with its poorly designed west bound exit, has resulted in innumerable accidents and traffic tie-ups over the years. From a safety and traffic-flow standpoint alone, this project would enjoy our full support. The good news here is that the opportunity exists for us to not only improve the safety and traffic-flow on the bridge, but to also address other bridge related community issues. Not the least of which is the opportunity to enhance its visual contribution to our neighborhoods and to Arlington County as a whole.
The Glebe Road bridge serves as the northern gateway into our neighborhoods and to the East Columbia Pike community in general. The visual appearance of this bridge is very important to us. It is our desire that the work done on the bridge surface results in an architecturally distinctive structure that makes a positive statement about our community. Please also recognize that this bridge is a pedestrian facility and every effort should be given to make this a safe and pleasant crossing for pedestrians.
Glebe Road is a transit corridor with regular bus service. Our residents use these bus lines to reach Ballston and other employment locations in the Rosslyn-Ballston area. Additionally, once metro rail is extended to Tyson's Corner and the Dulles toll road corridor, the Glebe Road bus service will provide the initial critical link for riders to reach the Ballston metro station and the new rail accessible job locations to the west.
More people would make use of the bus service if the speed of the bus service could be improved in this congested corridor. Currently the Glebe Road bridge over Route 50 is a choke point. If we could increase the speed with which transit vehicles move across this bridge, it would be one important step to making transit service more attractive. We therefore ask that this project be designed to make the quick movement of transit vehicles across the bridge a priority. We trust in the creativity of VDOT and Arlington transportation planning staff to solve this challenge.
We ask your help in placing this project on the VDOT Six Year Plan and in expediting its start and completion. In the near future, we hope that additional issues such as the bridge's hazardous east bound ramp will also be addressed. Thank you for your attention.
CC: Arlington County Board
State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple
State Del. Karen Darner
Arlington Dept. of Public Works