( – promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)
In a front cover story in the latest issue of the Fairfax County Chronicle, Connolly, Fimian to Square Off Again, both candidates outline their positions on improving transportation in Northern Virginia. Gerry Connolly points out his record of securing funding for some of the area’s biggest projects, such as completion of the Fairfax County Parkway and rail to Dulles.
Keith Fimian has a plan that would be interesting if it weren’t so dangerous: eliminate the shoulders which are used for break-downs and for first responders to get to the scene of an accident:
If you go to California, the 405 and the 5 have no shoulder… I would use every available inch of space to make a lane and handle the problem that way.
If you’ve driven in Los Angeles during rush hour, you know how well that works. Fimian’s solution of installing electronic signs to warn drivers of upcoming traffic problems is a sorry excuse that would do little to address the safety issue.
The practice of eliminating the shoulder is “an unfortunate recent experience” that is opposed by law enforcement. The International Association of Chiefs of Police published the dangers in a recent report:
The reduction or loss of shoulder or emergency parking lanes has led to the elimination of traffic enforcement in many instances. The engineering solution to eliminate the emergency lane poses a significantly higher risk to officers’ safety, compromises their ability to conduct proper investigations and appropriate enforcement activities, delays their arrival, as well as that of other first responders, at incidents requiring their presence, and increases the risk of secondary crashes.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m on I-95 and I’ve been in an accident, I want the ambulance to be able to get to me. And if the police pull someone over on 495, I want them to move safely to the shoulder. Keith Fimian is not making friends with any first responders by taking this position.