For numerous commuters who travel Lee Highway in North Arlington and continue into Washington via the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, it was a revoltin' development.

The half-mile section of I-66 between Rosslyn and the bridge that had been open without restriction since the Potomac span opened in 1964 now is included in the HOV-4 rush-hour car-pool requirement along with the rest of the road.

The realization led to some fancy swerving toward Key Bridge by Washington-bound drivers when the I-66 extension opened Wednesday.

Violators, after all, risk a $45 ticket. (Oddly, outbound travelers crossing the bridge in the evening and turning onto the George Washington Memorial Parkway are exempt, but those going a few more yards on I-66 to Rosslyn are in jeopardy.)

David Gehr, a Virginia highway official, said the choke-off of Rosslyn traffic was based on an interpretation of the federal ruling that limits I-66 to HOVs in order to help preserve Arlington's residential tranquility. If so, I asked, why weren't all single occupancy cars immediately banned when that ruling was made in 1977?

Gehr said he did not have an answer. I doubt there's a logical one. It's hard to see how such a restriction helps preserve Arlington's neighborhoods.