Goodwill, not traffic ‘war’
The Oct. 3 Local Opinions page carried a piece [“Casualty of the traffic wars”] I wrote about my community’s efforts to slow speeding drivers in Annandale’s Winterset/Varsity Park neighborhood. I had been moved to write by the death of Stephen Carr, who was allegedly killed by a neighbor angered by the speed hump Carr had succeeded in getting installed on his street in Burke. In my own residential neighborhood, with little to no police enforcement of traffic laws, we saw speed humps as the only way to reduce the volume and speed of the traffic.
Carr’s death gave me pause, but we pushed ahead. Fairfax County requires those asking for traffic-calming measures to show support in their neighborhoods. I am happy to report that after an in-depth traffic study, discussion, ballot dissemination and vote, the residents of our community expressed overwhelming support for speed humps; 73 percent of distributed ballots were returned to our District supervisor’s office, and 74 percent of those indicated support for speed humps. We still have some hurdles to clear — getting endorsement by the Board of Supervisors and funding from the state — but if we can clear these, it will result in a safer neighborhood for our families. We have already shown how a community can band together to achieve a positive goal.
I am saddened when I think of Stephen Carr and the price he paid simply for attempting to make his neighborhood safer for everyone. But when I think of what has transpired in my neighborhood, it gives me hope that there are more people of goodwill in this country — who are able to work together or can simply agree to disagree — than those who will lash out in anger when they don’t get their way.