To the Editor: Preserving Neighborhoods

To the Editor: Preserving Neighborhoods

— Highlighted in Mr. Pope's article [“Extend the Yellow Liine?” The Gazette, July 11] on the transit study for the

Route 1 corridor is Jayna Reeder's comment that “... we moved away from the city, so we don't have to have big buildings around our neighborhood.” Ms. Reeder, the big buildings are there: Home Depot, Costco, Aldi, etc. Supervisor McKay, in the article's online version,

commented that there are ways to develop transit that “... don't detonate a community and don't turn it into Tysons Corner.” The community has already detonated, Mr. McKay. There is no community to speak of along the corridor itself, because you can't interact very much with your fellow man unless you're out of your car.

And the Tysons Corner comment is illustrative. The corridor is already Tysons Corner, which of course was developed around the car. What the train would help do is turn it into the Wilson Boulevard corridor. How come the only traffic you hear anyone complain about there is I-66 — which is all people coming from away beyond Arlington and would be

just the same (or worse) if the Cemetery occupied the whole rest of the county?

Far from “detonating” the Wilson Boulevard corridor, the train has preserved the neighborhoods around it. Along much of the corridor, you've got the old single-family home neighborhoods two blocks from the Wilson — just as you do along Route 1. One difference is that the people in those houses often have many things worth walking to on Wilson

Boulevard, and probably drive less — and numbers of people in the new apartment buildings don't even have cars, and add virtually zero car traffic.

The Route 1 corridor is already at maximum density — of cars — because there's little within walking distance and the only thing limiting driving is congestion. If we increase the density of people while making car travel less necessary, we can make the area much more pleasant, cheaper to live in, and safer. Remember, auto accidents are the leading cause of death and injury between early childhood and middle

age. You are not making your children safer by moving to a place where they have to get everywhere in a car.

Larry Huffman