The fun way is the best way across the Legion Bridge

Friday, January 22, 2010; B02

More often than not, traffic is heavy, if not jammed, on the American Legion Bridge carrying the Capital Beltway over the Potomac River. This inhibits how I'm inclined to drive that stretch: gaining speed on the downhill dip to the bridge to have more momentum for the uphill on the other side. After all, I was once able to travel that way on that road -- and it wasn't even in a car.

Back before the "Circumferential Highway" opened in the 1960s, for a short time that section of the roadway was complete but not yet open to traffic.

My siblings and I, who grew up nearby, had the pleasure of careening down one side, across the bridge and up the slope into the other state . . . on our bicycles. Imagine: not a car around . . . the newly paved expanse all our own!

-- Ralph Buglass, Rockville

When my daughter was 4, I was driving her to preschool on Braddock Road and talking about strangers, teaching her what they were and doing the introduction to safety that we do nowadays. She looked over at the driver in the car next to us and asked, "So is that man a stranger?" I glanced over, and it was the assistant rabbi from our synagogue! How unlikely is that in crowded Fairfax? I laughed and said, "Well, actually . . . "

-- Cindy Greenspan, Fairfax

I would like to know why some drivers find the need to slow down to 10 mph below the posted speed limit while driving through speed camera zones? Drivers: You will not get a ticket if you are going the speed limit!

-- Debbie Diatz, Gaithersburg

I've seen drivers honk at a pedestrian in a crosswalk rather than slow down. Is it easier to honk than to take one's foot off the accelerator?

I also dislike pedestrians crossing the street talking on cellphones, with their heads down, thus making me responsible for their safety.

-- Suzanne R. Glaser, Bethesda

I frequently see drivers take right-hand turns at red lights without stopping and at high rates of speed. It is little wonder that our area experiences so many pedestrian fatalities. I don't recommend it, but I have confronted a couple of these drivers and was told, "I didn't see any pedestrians around. What difference does it make?"

I would think very few drivers hit the pedestrians they see.

-- Derek T. Havens, Mason Neck

My vision is corrected to better than 20/20, yet I have a difficult time reading certain traffic and street signs, and I don't think I'm alone in this. How many times have you been behind a person who sees and obeys the "No Turn On Red" but fails to notice the "when pedestrians are present"?

If there's no left turn "7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.," why can't the times be in a large enough font to read from one car back? There's one sign on K Street that has TWO HOUR PARKING in large letters (large enough to see from the distance where I parked) with "commercial vehicles only" in letters impossible to see from the same distance. I have a $50 ticket to show for this one.

-- Ellen Passel, Arlington Make your voice part of the Page Three conversation. Send submissions or comments to Please keep it brief, be sure to tell us where you live, and don't forget to include your telephone number.

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