Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Why I’m Running to Replace Hugo

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Why I’m Running to Replace Hugo

For decades, the interchange at Popes Head Road and the Fairfax County Parkway has been one of Virginia’s deadliest. Among the longest holding signals in Virginia, the intersection combines with the gridlock throughout Northern Virginia to increase our commute times massively while making for a dangerous commute to work and school for our families.

The requirements for a solution are clear – new construction that allows northbound and southbound access to the Parkway from both the east and west sides of the Parkway, while not preventing neighbors from being able to get to one another. However, we have seen multiple proposals that include a $25 Million connection to a non-existent, unwanted and unfunded Shirley Gate extension while simultaneously failing to meet the very basic requirements of our community.

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with community organizers like Jim Cullen and Larry Hoss, attend multiple community meetings held by VDOT, and discuss the issues with local leaders such as State Sen. David Marsden, Chair Sharon Bulova, and Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay. I’ve delivered a consistent message; it’s time for a solution that addresses the needs of our community while not wasting taxpayer money.

We are finally seeing progress. After two decades of failing to address this dangerous intersection, Del. Tim Hugo this past week sent a letter that he finally opposes Shirley Gate.

As a leader in the Army and small business community, I wouldn’t tolerate years of failure to address critical challenges within my command or business. We shouldn’t have to tolerate it in our community either. I’m running to replace Hugo because we deserve leadership that prioritizes our time and the safety of our families.

Dan Helmer