Upon reading the city manager’s remarks on the new traffic, oops returning traffic (pre-fifth round military base realignment), with the announcement of Amazon's coming to the area,I found myself remembering the first 18 months of life in Alexandria having arrived the evening on July 3, 1994 having moved to the 400 block of Henry St.
What was that like? Rush hour traffic that often took three or more traffic light cycles just to go one block and car after car overheating on a hot summer day. Since this time, developers were handed height and density zoning variances like candy on Halloween.
Amazon’s arrival will bring new traffic and the question becomes what will the city manager and T&ES [Transportation and Environmental Services] do to prepare for it?
We already have people using the left lane on Cameron at Columbus as a thru lane and car after car using the right lane on Gibbon at Route 1 as a left turn lane. Left-turning traffic on southbound Mt. Vernon Avenue at Braddock often ignore pedestrians. Cameron, Pendleton, and Wythe streets often get blocked during evening rush hour traffic from Henry Street. I have seen more and more cars turn right on to Gibbon from the center lane of southbound Washington Street. Even the Arlington Ridge Road/Mt. Vernon Avenue corridor has seen an increase in evening rush hour traffic.
Of course our police often use the excuse of the shift change that occurs during evening rush hour traffic, so again what will the city manager, T&ES, and our newly elected mayor going to do to keep traffic from coming to a standstill? For the record, I personally think the Amazon announcement is a good thing for the local economy.
Ruben "Bill" Duran