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Votes

Getting Out the Vote

Miller Heights faces traffic calming question.

After about two and a half years of discussion, a proposal for traffic calming measures on Miller Heights Road in Oakton is being put to a vote.

The death of 16-year-old Oakton High School student Chris Kearns in a crash on the road breathed new life into the effort to have measures implemented, and several of Kearns' friends are encouraging residents to vote on the proposal. During the last two weekends, about half a dozen teens have been knocking on doors up and down the road, asking permission to put reflectors on mailboxes and reminding the homeowners to vote.

"The reason they got involved was because they came to the traffic-calming committee and said, 'Is there anything we can do?'" said Laura Gollobin, whose son Scott has been part of the effort.

Tina Kenny, a member of the neighborhood's Traffic Calming Task Force, said community members began working for traffic calming measures because speeding is a chronic problem on the road, which is also winding and heavily traveled for a residential street.

The proposed measures include a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Miller Heights Road and Willow Creek Lane/Blenheim Drive and three speed tables ā€” one between Lakenheath Way and Lochinver Lane, another between Blue Roan Road and Cranbrook Lane and one near 3313 and 3314 Miller Heights Road.

Ballots were sent out Jan. 2 and must be postmarked by Jan. 25 and sent to the office of Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, said Lola Quintela of the Miller Heights Neighborhoods Association.

In order to reach a quorum, at least 50 percent of the 450 or so households being polled must vote, said Gollobin. Of those, 60 percent must vote in favor of the proposal in order for it to pass. "So we're just telling them to please vote, whether they're for it or against it," she said.

The reflectors that teens are now affixing to mailboxes seemed like a good idea, said Gollobin, because the winding road has no lines painted either down the middle or the sides. "At night, you can't see," she said.

<1b>ā€” Mike DiCicco