In December, Dr. Gridlock solicited readers' New Year's resolutions for area traffic officials. Not surprisingly, the mailbag is full. So much so that we'll continue these offerings next week as well. Here's a sampling: Dear Dr. Gridlock:

My recommendation for a New Year's resolution for local jurisdictions in D.C., Maryland and Virginia is to take a safety tip from Florida: Use reflectors on the white lines on streets, roads and highways to ensure greater visibility at night and in dark, dreary weather. This is also useful in delineating road curvature for people driving in unfamiliar areas.



I would like to see District police resolve to apprehend motorists who run red lights instead of simply observing them and doing nothing. The violators have quickly learned that nothing will happen to them.



My recommendation for local officials is to go to a city where it snows frequently, and convince the director of road operations and his staff to come to the Washington metropolitan area to effectively handle the chaos that occurs on our roadways when it snows.



My recommendation is that I-295/Kenilworth Avenue be cleaned up regularly. The trash and car parts in the road combined with the potholes are very dangerous.



I would like to recommend that each car owner carry 10 pounds of salt and 10 pounds of sand or kitty litter in the trunk of their cars in case of a snow or ice storm. When cars start "backing up" at a ramp, grade or hill, each driver in line would add their salt/sand to the area. The area with the most traffic would have on-the-spot relief from the problem. If the Beltway was bumper-to-bumper, there would be a whole lot of sand/salt where it was needed instead of waiting for a sand or tow truck to arrive.


Montgomery County

I would like to see all Metro area traffic jurisdictions (but especially D.C.) require officials who control the placement of street signs to drive at night during a rainstorm, until they come to realize that so many signs are in shadows, are too small, or are placed in a position too late to read until the intersection is passed.



I would like to see the Virginia Highway Department do what is right and encourage more ride-sharing by implementing HOV 3 {car pools with a minimum of three people instead of the current minimum of four} for I-95 and I-395 -- two HOV areas that are not being utilized to their potential.


Dale City

I would like to see the D.C. government enforce parking restrictions. Look at 22nd Street well before 9:30 a.m. (it's usually lined on both sides of the street) and 19th or 21st streets before 6:30 p.m. Many traffic problems would be eliminated automatically in D.C. if existing laws were enforced.



Let's stop all this foolish talk about a "western bypass" or an "eastern bypass" {an option being discussed to route I-95 traffic around the metropolitan area. Some Virginia officials would like such a route to pass the area on the west, through Loudoun County; some Maryland officials would like it on the east, through Charles County}. Start construction now on a long-overdue, true and complete Outer Beltway, with two new Potomac River bridges -- one north of the current Cabin John Bridge and one south of the current Wilson Bridge.


Owings, Calvert County

For a 1988 New Year's resolution, I suggest intermittently stationing a police officer just beyond the traffic light(s) at certain intersections to hand out red light-running tickets at $50 and $100 each for two weeks. I guarantee the "take" will pay for the police time away from other duties. But most of all, it will generate respect for the meaning of a red light. Any intersection on Greenbelt Road in Prince George's County will do for starters. How long and how often must the traveling public plead for better protection against the lawbreakers who appear to have the blessings of the police?



Fairfax County needs to put up more conspicuous, legible signs indicating upcoming lane changes, names of streets at major and/or newly revamped intersections, and in some places, signs indicating where a turn at an intersection is likely to lead.



Please fix the responsiveness of the pedestrian crosswalk traffic light at Connecticut Avenue and Woodbine Street in Chevy Chase. The light frequently takes five to 10 minutes to change during rush hour so that pedestrians often run in front of fast traffic out of impatience. Then, when the light finally changes, drivers are frustrated to stop at a light with no pedestrians in sight.


Chevy Chase

Require smokers to use their ashtrays, rather than throw their cigarette butts out the window, or even worse, empty the entire ashtray on the street.


Washington END NOTES

19th Street is a rush hour obstacle course from M Street to the World Bank because the District does not care to enforce the No Parking/No Standing restrictions, and Washingtonians, it would seem, are happily unembarrassed to block an entire lane of traffic. The police must resolve to do a better job of enforcing the traffic rules. Similarly, Washington area drivers must resolve to stop locking their brains, judgment and sense of courtesy in their desk drawers at quittin' time.



At the emissions testing stations I would like to see a check for lights working properly included in the check since the person testing already walks to the rear of the car. I was in line behind a car with defective lights this year.


Silver Spring

In your invitation to offer New Year's resolutions, you suggest that Braddock Road be widened. Braddock Road is wide enough for me. The trouble is not its present width but its bottlenecks. For the money it would cost to widen a couple of miles along Braddock Road, dozens of the worst intersections in Fairfax County could be made bigger without inflicting so much damage on so many property owners.



My resolution is to ban parking on Western Avenue between Connecticut and Wisconsin avenues at all times. Western Avenue from Connecticut Avenue is always backed up. Parking takes up one of the two lanes, and should not be allowed. ELLYN ROTH Chevy Chase

The stop lights on South Van Dorn Street in Alexandria between Duke Street and Franconia Road should be retimed to allow traffic to flow on Van Dorn. Presently, they serve only to prevent the flow of traffic. LYNN BONJOUR Alexandria

Virginia, Maryland and the District should paint the {lines} in the center of the streets an iridescent color. The present lines are almost impossible to see in the dark or in the rain. WILLIAM D. BURT Alexandria

I would like to see Virginia highway officials completely redesign the entrance to the Beltway from northbound I-95, and the southbound entrance to I-95 from the outer loop of the Beltway. These places are extremely dangerous at all times and cause a never-ending traffic snarl. SHARON J. LATHEROW Burke

My recommendation is for Metro officials to time the trains and buses so that riders make connections instead of barely missing them. This goes for Ride-On and other local services, too. DAVID J. EDMONDSON Silver Spring

I would like to see Alexandria City police ticketing the cars westbound on Gibbon Street that block southbound Washington Street in the afternoon, thus causing no one to be able to move. In nine years, I have never seen police at that intersection. NANCY GRIGGS Alexandria

I would like to see D.C. and Montgomery County work together (what an unlikely concept!) to improve the Friendship Heights (Wisconsin Avenue and Western Avenue) intersection by adding a left turn arrow for northeast-bound traffic on Western Avenue that wants to go into Maryland. JOHN STIEHLER Bethesda

I would like to see the appropriate officials improve the lane markings and provide directional lane signs at the section of Woodmont Avenue behind the Bethesda Metro complex. The through lanes are not straight. This causes confusion and is a potentially dangerous situation. ROBERT RESNIK Bethesda

I would like to see Rock Creek Park officials {National Park Service} resolve to turn on the road lights from the National Zoo north to Maryland. It is pitch dark driving home at night from the Kennedy Center, and very dangerous, not only to drivers but to the park police who must patrol the road. Cut costs somewhere else. FRANCES L. COX Silver Spring

My suggestion is that local jurisdictions (or more properly, the states), in cooperation with local radio and television stations, broadcast brief public service messages on "rules of the road," e.g., passing on the right on interstate highways, interpretation of the "yield" sign, and the penalty for swift lane changes or following too closely. There must be many others. DAVID RABADAN Annandale

NOTE: Public officials who are willing to fix any of these concerns, or explore them, or even to acknowledge that they are good concerns, are welcome to say so.

Dr. Gridlock appears in this section each Friday to explore what makes it difficult to get around on roads, from misleading signs to parking problems to chronic bottlenecks. We'll try to find out why bad situations exist and what is being done about them. You can suggest topics by writing to GRIDLOCK, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Please include your full name, address and day and evening phone numbers.