Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Who is responsible for removing dead deer from the public roads? A number of deer have been killed along Route 123 in recent months, and they are just left to rot. Surely this is a health hazard?

One morning, I called about one that was still alive but struggling, and it was dead and in the same place on my trip home.

As I write this, there is one rotting on the southbound side of Route 123 between the Fairfax County Parkway and Lorton, and another on the exit from the Fairfax County Parkway to West Ox Road.

Renee Brown


The Virginia Department of Transportation is in charge of removing dead animals from the roadways. To report one, call 703-383-VDOT.

We should drive cautiously at night along roads flanked by forests. Deer can run into our path without warning.

Eating on Metro

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Wow! People are so afraid that they fear speaking to eaters on the subway [Dr. Gridlock, June 23]! When I see Metro riders eating or drinking and I am near them, I always tell them that is forbidden.

Most are tourists who immediately put the food away. No one has ever told me to mind my own business or has gotten nasty. Quite the opposite: They thank me.

I always mention the incident of the young girl who got arrested for eating french fries a few years ago.

In defense of innocent eaters, Metro does very little in providing large signs for all to see easily. On the ends of the trains there's a small sign advising what is not allowed. Metro should place larger signs throughout the trains if it is really serious about this rule.

Linda M. Cajka

Lake Ridge

I agree: Metro can do more to warn riders that it is illegal to eat or drink on the system.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Metro's overreaction regarding its policy about food made headlines last year when a customer was arrested for finishing her snack as she entered a Metro station.

Imagine my surprise at the situation I encountered when I took the Red Line from Glenmont to Union Station on a recent Monday. Sitting on the train was a teenager sipping a big can of fruit juice. Across from him stood a Metro employee in uniform, watching. That continued for several stations, until the employee left the train.

The policy is enforced in some cases, but not in others.

Sonja Dieterich


In such a case, get the employee's name and report the incident to Metro at 202-637-1328. Metro should launch an inquiry and caution employees to warn offending passengers.

Bagging Free Parking

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

On 25th Street NW in the District on a recent day, around 6 p.m., I watched a man park in a metered spot, place a plastic bag over the meter and proceed into a building. He was in the building for at least 15 minutes.

I had many thoughts about how he was trying to trick parking enforcement. Then I wondered whether he was a food delivery person and this was an acceptable means of identifying himself to any potential ticket writers. Do you have any insight?

Ryan Grover


I've never heard of this and neither has Bill Rice, spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over parking meters.

Does anyone else have any thoughts?

Laggards Not Tolerated

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I have no problem stopping for a school bus that is discharging or loading kids; it is the law.

I do, however, have a problem with the kids. On my way to work, I have had to stop for a school bus, and the kids just take their sweet time walking to the bus.

On most occasions in the morning when they are loading the buses, the kids just saunter toward the bus as if they have all the time in the world, not caring about the drivers they are delaying. After a few minutes of this insanity, I find the car horn on the steering wheel! Enough is enough.

I think the school system should educate kids to be more considerate of those they are inconveniencing. After all, assuming that a motorist doesn't run them over out of anger, they will one day be behind the wheel of a car on their way to work.

James Evans

Silver Spring

A Lesson From Paris

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I recently had the good fortune to spend a week in Paris and used its Metro frequently. Their solution to seating near the doors seemed quite intelligent.

There were eight hinged seats near the doors that were used when the car was not crowded. Then, when a large group entered, the people on those hinged seats stood up, making room for the other passengers.

When it became less crowded, they sat back down. It worked well and provided flexibility within the cars.

Cathy D. Knepper


Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said Metro considered the Paris model but decided not to use it. Seems like it might have been useful here.

Seeing Red in Alexandria

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Are you aware of the status of the traffic lights on Washington Street in Alexandria, and what is being done to remedy an unsatisfactory situation?

In the last few weeks, they have changed from being one of the most nicely synchronized lights anywhere to being a major impediment to traffic flow.

In the early morning, it used to be that I'd stop at a light on the south end of town and then, if I'd drive about the speed limit, I'd just roll through. Some days, no stops.

In the last two weeks, the best I've done is five stops. I had one morning with eight, and averaged six lights . . . and they're one-minute lights.

Is Alexandria trying to support the oil companies by making us drive an extra five minutes?

John Wright


Why do commuters from Fairfax County and those farther south think they should have pass-through priority on a street owned by the City of Alexandria? Where do these commuters get that entitlement? And then they criticize Alexandria officials as incompetent for not giving them all the green lights they want.

I think Alexandria officials have shown restraint in allowing this commuting corridor to exist on downtown Washington Street, with an HOV-2 lane yet. I might be tempted to block it off altogether from these ungrateful, me-first commuters and turn it over to city residents.

Unfriendly Tysons Corner

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I read recently about the problem of making Tysons Corner pedestrian-friendly.

I certainly have had problems walking in that area, as recently two days ago.

Wouldn't it be possible to build several short tunnels at intersections so cars could continue unimpeded through Route 7?

If that were done, the relevant cross streets could be turned into pedestrian crosswalks that did not have to contend with Route 7 traffic.

There might have to be some left-turn and right-turn tunnels. That might be somewhat difficult but probably feasible.

Paul Rothstein

Falls Church