The Gripe: Arlington drivers concerned about ‘dangerous merge’

May 14, 2013

A driver in Arlington County has spent the past year trying to get officials to resolve a “dangerous merge” situation where he says he has been struck from behind on multiple occasions.

The merge from Walter Reed Drive to Washington Boulevard “is terrible,” the driver reported on the citizen reporting Web site SeeClickFix, a Washington Post partner site. “I was hit from behind. . . by a car that was looking back at oncoming traffic and didn’t see I wasn’t out of her way yet.”

The driver wrote that the hazard is exacerbated by traffic from nearby merge lanes between Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) and Washington Boulevard. “It is a total mess,” he wrote in March 2012, asking that officials add a traffic light or other intervention.

A month later, with no response from the county, the driver posted again, stating that he had been hit from behind twice by drivers who “assumed I would be moving into the merge quicker than I did.”

Last October, another user wrote that he, too, had been struck and that he had spoken to someone from the Virginia Department of Transportation. “Her response, ‘It’s difficult to get the easements to fix this correctly.’ So doing nothing is the logical solution? We need a light there.”

In January, 10 months after the initial complaint, the original griper wrote that an electronic sign stating “High accident area, use caution” had been placed on Walter Reed Drive.

But by April, the second griper reported that the sign was gone: “There are plenty of options to make this better. . .Reduce the speed limit to 30, close the right lane to Wash. Blvd traffic so that it is dedicated to the 50 and Walter Reed merge traffic. Put a Dangerous Intersection sign on the ramp from Rt. 50, etc. Think outside the box please.”

Tell us: Have you been involved in or seen an accident at this location? Are there other dangerous merge lanes or civic issues that officials should know about? Share your experiences in the comments below or log complaints with SeeClickFix at The Gripe.

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