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Votes

Development Taking Wrong Direction

To the Editor:

Thanks for the great article about The Most Important Issues in Great Falls, including the "Walker Road Diet Project." At last we can put a face and an organization on the most ridiculous waste of tax-payer dollars since the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere." Reducing a four-lane road with unobstructed visibility at the main commercial intersection in town, to two lanes with hazardous parallel parking and no turn lanes for customers or semi-trailer delivery trucks is not only irresponsible, but dangerous. I sincerely hope the first accidents will not include fatalities, but the risk of youngsters darting from parked cars, or drivers trying to back into parking spaces or opening doors into traffic is obvious. When I first saw the plan for the project posted in the Library a couple years ago, I thought it was a joke and posted my comments. I was sure that sound minds and austere budgets would prevail. But, I was wrong and never dreamed of "stimulus dollars." I have talked to many neighbors, residents, and business owners/managers and have not found a single person that thinks the project is a good idea. In fact, all of them would like to see the project stopped immediately, and Walker Road restored to its original configuration.

In the 30 years I have lived in Great Falls, I've waited for the promised trails along Walker, Arnon Chapel, or other roads that would allow residents to walk or ride a bicycle to the center of town. I would also like to see the section of Walker Road north of Georgetown Pike freed from commercial truck and equipment parking along the roadway. But instead we get a project that is totally unwanted, unhelpful and dangerous south of Georgetown Pike.

Another ridiculous series of projects imposed on us by Fairfax County is the "Pond Branch Watershed Management Plan" which eliminates many of the efficiently designed and effective storm drainage systems consisting of landscaped lawns, and replaces them with swamps with unmaintained vegetation that collects roadside trash and harbors mosquitoes and snakes. Some of us remember the beautiful lawn next to the Library where kids would play. Now it's an unmaintained eyesore swamp that collects plastic bags, cans, bottles, and other paraphernalia tossed there by irresponsible teens. The purpose seems to parallel that of the Walker Road project, to eliminate the efficient flow of traffic or storm water in favor of congestion and sewage. Good work Great Falls Citizens Association! Have you actually counted citizens that agree with your plans?

Gene Phillip

Great Falls