I am writing in response to Tony Hope, who is so upset about the additional six minutes (maximum) that he believes has been added to his daily commute by the installation of a traffic light at Democracy Boulevard and I-270 [letters, Sept. 10]. I have lived in that neighborhood for 22 years and frequently drive eastward on Democracy Boulevard. Before the installation of the light that has so incensed Mr. Hope, more than once I was almost broadsided by commuters racing off the exit ramp and onto Democracy without heeding the yield sign and warnings that it is a no-merge area.

I do not wish to imply that Mr. Hope was one of those drivers, but I would like him to know that for many of us who use the intersection regularly our drive has become dramatically safer and a lot less stressful. I, too, often have to wait for the light to change, but when this happens I remind myself of how dangerous it used to be, and am thankful that the authorities finally took steps to address the problem.

Democracy Boulevard is more than a commuters' thoroughfare. It is a neighborhood street with entrances to the Davis Library, Walter Johnson High School, a nursing home, two busy shopping centers and several medical offices. Not only is the new light an overdue improvement; I believe a good case could be made for lowering the speed limit on the stretch of Democracy between Fernwood Road and Old Georgetown Road and for installing a pedestrian crossing light between the library and the school.

LIZ JONES

Bethesda