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Sunday, January 29, 2023
ArlingtonOpinionLetter: More density doesn't equate to traffic problems

Letter: More density doesn’t equate to traffic problems

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Editor: Many people object to density based on the false belief that it will increase traffic congestion and pedestrian injuries from car crashes.

We cannot let the untrue negative perceptions of density disrupt progress to a more affordable, sustainable and just community.

Increased density does not increase traffic congestion. According to Virginia Department of Transportation traffic data, North Glebe Road from Arlington Boulevard to Fairfax Drive currently has the lowest level of Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) in more than 50 years. In this timeframe, Arlington’s population increased by over 50 percent.

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From 2001 to the present day, the AADT along this corridor has decreased by 39 percent while the population grew by 25 percent.

Density alone does not increase pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

According to the VDOT Traffic Records Electronic Data System, there has been a modest decline in pedestrian injuries along Glebe Road since 2010. Leading academic research shows that pedestrian injuries and fatalities are mostly caused due to vehicle speeds, volumes and factors of the built environment (such as lane width and the number of lanes). We can add density while reducing these factors.

When we envision the future of Arlington, let’s make sure that vision is rooted in reality, and not false perception.

Jason Schwartz, Arlington

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