Good­will, not traf­fic ‘war’

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - Jen­nifer Cooke, An­nan­dale

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.

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