35 Miles in 50 Years: Your Governments at Work

Ashley Halsey III writes in the Washington Post about the Fairfax County Parkway, a 35-mile long thoroughfare that has been talked about for fifty years and took a quarter-century to build. I [vaguely] remember when I was in kindergarten or 1st grade riding my bike with my dad through the construction zone where a segment of the highway was being built. I remember it being called, at different times, the ‘Springfield Bypass’ and the ‘Fairfax Center Parkway’ before the powers-that-be settled on its final name.

I remember that, after the segment I had biked on opened, I noticed two errors on signs. I wrote a letter to the Virginia Dept. of Transportation (VDOT) about it and the errors soon got fixed. Even today, if you’re driving on Fairfax County Parkway heading north, you’ll notice that the signs saying ‘Fox Mill Rd. Next Signal’ and ‘Sunrise Valley Dr. Next Signal’ both have corrective ‘patches’ over the Dr. and Rd. appellations. I’m responsible for that; they originally said ‘Fox Mill Dr.’ and ‘Sunrise Valley Rd.’

Well, today—six years after that kindergartener finished college—the last segment of this 35-mile highway is finally about to open. Way to go, guys. At this rate our transportation infrastructure will catch up with 2010 traffic volume no later than, say, 3827.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.