Residents of Great Falls Street in McLean appear to have gotten tieir message across to the Virginia Highway and Transportation Department that the road to progress is not always four lanes wide.
Since 1962, the Fairfax County residents have been battling state efforts to widen the two-lane residential road, claiming it would turn the neight-borhood into a live-in highway. But yesterday State Highway Commissioner Harold C. King said he has devised a compromise that would expand only six intersections to include left-turn lanes and widen only the block between Dolley Madison Boulevard, Route 123 and Chain Bridge Road -- a block that is not lined by single-family homes.
King will appear before the Fairfax County supervisors tomorrow with the compromise. The supervisors and the County Planning Board had opposed the earlier plan to widen the road.
King and his compromise won praise yesterday from the McLean Citizens Association, which has led the fight against more asphalt. "He really has been so cooperative," said Lynn Clipp, the association's transportation cochairman and a resident of Great Falls Street. "We're basically happy with what we understand will be presented (to the supervisors)."
"The highway commissioner bent over backwards for the citizens," said Del. Vincent F. Callahan, (R-Fairfax,, who joined Del. Martin H. Perper (R-Fairfax) and state Sen. Clive L. DuVal II (D-Fairfax) to fight the expansion.
The state will repave the section of the road that is to remain two lanes and strengthen its shoulders, King said. The state will have the option of returning with expansion plans if a planned connector to the Dulles International Airport access road is unable to handle the area's traffic problems, he said. "I think it's a good compromise," he said. "If we never need any more than that, we probably will never do any more."