I'm impressed by the initiative to make the Vienna Metro station a smart-growth area ["Commuter Behavior Key to MetroWest," Metro, June 27]. Growth is coming whether area residents like it or not, so we may as well do it right.

I've been renting a room near the Vienna Metro stop for three years, and I gave up my car more than a year ago. I'm aware of the challenges of living in the MetroWest area without a vehicle, but I'm also evidence that it can work.

I rent a car about once a month to get the "heavies" and the "bulkies": detergent, wine, bottled water, paper towels, etc. Every time I get behind the wheel, I get stuck in traffic, and I remember why I decided my car was a money pit and a time-waster in the first place.

This area is unnecessarily congested, and a few smart changes to where services and stores are located could make a big difference.

I hope Pulte Homes looks into a small grocery store within walking distance of the Metro (Safeway and Whole Foods are just barely out of reach), as well as a great salon so I can give up my hour-long Metro rides to Alexandria for a haircut. Metro also needs to run more off-peak trains and buses.

Any elected official who supports this effort can count on my vote.

AMANDA OLSON

Vienna