Columbia Pike & Glebe Road Intersection—Gilmore Letter

2024 Meeting Schedule

Normally meetings alternate between
Alice West Fleet Elementary Library
and the
Public Montessori School of Arlington Library.
Meetings start at 7:00 PM.

Please check the newsletter for details.

Jay Jacob Wind, President
Arlington Heights Civic Association
611 South Ivy Street
Arlington, VA 22204-2429
(703) 920-5193

The Honorable James Gilmore, Governor
State Capitol Building
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Dear Governor Gilmore:

I am the president of Arlington Heights Civic Association, representing 850 registered voters and 35 businesses.

At the southwest corner of our neighborhood is the intersection of Glebe Road (Route 120) and Columbia Pike (Route 244). Left turns are prohibited at that intersection.

More that a year ago, Virginia's Department of Transportation committed to changing the intersection to allow left turns. It's a simple process of taking down the signs. I would be glad to show you on your next visit to Northern Virginia.

But VDOT has taken more than a year since its commitment, with no implementation.

As a result, citizens in my neighborhood and businesses on Columbia Pike suffer unreasonably. My residential street, South Seventh Street, has become a thoroughfare for traffic between Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive, making the street unsafe for children who walk to Patrick Henry Elementary School or catch school buses. So has South Second Street, where students who walk to Thomas Jefferson Middle School have to wait to cross, sometimes for five minutes, for traffic to whiz by -- traffic that should have been allowed to turn left from Glebe Road onto Columbia Pike.

Even the alleyway behind Columbia Pike has become a cut-through for traffic.

As a further result, businesses along Columbia Pike east of Glebe Road have suffered. How do you give someone directions to Arlington Hardware or the Uncommon Market Food Co-op from I-66?

"Turn off I-66 onto Glebe Road (Route 120) South. Go two miles south. Cross Columbia Pike. Go one more block south.
Turn left onto South 13th, an otherwise quiet residential street, crossing two lanes of oncoming traffic. Go east to South Highland.
Turn left on South Highland Street, another otherwise quiet residential street.
Then wait for the long stoplight at Columbia Pike to turn green and
hope that some speeder eastbound on Columbia Pike doesn't miss the stoplight.
Turn right on Columbia Pike and you're finally where you should be. We're on your right.
Or alternatively, from Glebe Road, turn left at South 7th Street, then right on South Highland,
the same corner where school buses pick up and drop off
children for Patrick Henry School. When you get to Columbia Pike,
wait six minutes behind six cars while the stoplight turns green
for 30 seconds at a time. Then turn left onto Columbia Pike. We're on your right."

See what I mean?

Why not simply, "Take I-66 to Glebe Road south to Columbia Pike. Turn left. We're on your right."

VDOT's inexplicable delay has angered and frustrated my neighbors and our elected officials.

Can you get VDOT to expedite the implementation of left turns at Glebe Road and Columbia Pike in Arlington? If not, can you explain why their commitment to the County has never been implemented?

Thank you,
Jay Jacob Wind, President
Arlington Heights Civic Association