Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I'd like two things for the New Year. One is a law requiring headlights whenever wipers are on (I've done it for years, and in Florida it's the law). It lets others see you. {And} on the curves of I-495, between Georgia Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue, some grooves in the pavement, like the runways of airports. Better water removal and traction. That's how it is right now because they have stripped old pavement prior to repairing.

TED TASK Silver Spring

We need large street signs with the traffic lights at major intersections that can be seen from a distance. Denver, for example, has done this.


For the New Year, I would like Montgomery County traffic officials to become aware that Spring Street in downtown Silver Spring is not the major thoroughfare they think it is, and to adjust the lights accordingly. Every time I sit at a long red light waiting to cross Spring Street on Colesville Road or Second Avenue, the cars back up behind me while Spring Street is empty -- even at rush hour.


I would like to see Metro provide more parking around the West Falls Church station because it is impossible to use that station after 9 a.m.


I would like to see Kenilworth Avenue made into a divided highway in the vicinity of East-West Highway {in Prince George's County}. Too many people dangerously block traffic trying to make left turns at "intersections" where an extra left lane does not exist, e.g., people try to make left turns from northbound Kenilworth Avenue at Madison Street into the grocery store parking lot. Also, many people make dangerous attempts to get onto Kenilworth with left turns.


It has long been my suspicion that those who plan, design and build our roads never drive, because if they did it is inconceivable to me that they would be party to the construction of such shoddy and dangerous systems as exist today in the Washington metropolitan area. I would like to see those who submit the plans, those who approve them and those who execute them be required to spend one full week of each of the four seasons of the year driving over our local roads at all hours of the day and night. They should then be required to submit written public reports evaluating the roads traveled and recommending specific corrective action.


How about the Interior Department resolving to fix all the potholes and broken surfaces on Fourth and Seventh streets crossing the Mall?


The Virginia and Maryland highway officials could significantly improve the flow of traffic on our highways by posting signs throughout the state that read: "DON'T BE A LEFT LANE RIDER -- SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT." Too often we see the left lane riders stacking up traffic behind them by pacing the car on their right, instead of passing it and moving over to the right. The Capital Beltway and Rte. 50 to Annapolis should be the first highways to get the signs.

WAYNE VEACH Gaithersburg

Traffic from the Fair Oaks area to Fairfax City on Rte. 50 (eastbound) is forced into only one lane over Rte. 66 because the left lane suddenly becomes the on ramp to Rte. 66. One lane simply does not accommodate the massive volume of traffic that uses Rte. 50 here, and there is plenty of room to redesign this stupid place. I wish they would put a building moratorium on town houses and office buildings in Fairfax City and County. The current state of the roads cannot handle any more traffic, and the last thing this area needs is more town houses and office buildings.


As a New Year's resolution, I would like to see the Virginia Highway Commission resolve to add an additional lane to the northbound exit from I-95 onto the Beltway going to Fairfax. The trouble with the exit ramp as it now stands is with the people I call "lane hoggers." These people move in the middle lane until they get to Springfield. Then they stop and put on their right turn signal, hoping for a break into the right lane traffic which is exiting onto the Beltway. Eventually they make it, but there is usually someone else behind them doing the same thing. On Friday, Dec. 18, all three lanes of northbound I-95 were backed up for 2 1/2 miles; on Wednesday, Dec. 23, it was backed up for 2 1/2 miles as early as 3 p.m.

T.W. HOLCOMBE Alexandria

RESOLVED: To increase highway safety by painting both sides of all stop signs. How often is the stop sign behind a tree trunk, a low branch or an illegally parked vehicle; against a camouflaged background of shrubs, buildings or shadows; in line with the setting sun or in the dark with bright headlights coming toward you; or perhaps missing? By painting the backs of the stop signs that are across the intersections, the chances of observing our own signs are doubled.


One-liner for New Year's: Please improve signs at Chevy Chase Circle to teach the unknowing, or remind the unheeding, that the car in the circle has the right of way!

SALLY FOX Chevy Chase

For Jan. 1, 1988, I wish the traffic lights on Rockville Pike would be synchronized.


We would like to see Maryland highway officials resolve to improve the intersection of Kenilworth Avenue and Greenbelt Road in Prince George's County because it is confusing, dangerous and inconvenient. Our sentiments for some time.

RUTH and JAY GRANING College Park

The traffic department should ask for suggestions from both drivers and pedestrians for intersections where right turn on red is now permitted, or is now not permitted, but where the rule should be changed. And, ask Metro once again to put bus route numbers on the backs of the buses. It is still incomprehensible why this city can't add this convenience, but other cities can.


NOTE: Area road officials, particularly Tara Hamilton in the District, Mike Snyder in Maryland, and Marianne Pastor, Dayton Cook and Bill Scruggs in Virginia, are invited to acknowledge any of the above concerns. This is an effective way to get a number of ideas out, so we'll try it again next week.

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.