7/1/19: A COMPARISON: CUT-THROUGH TRAFFIC SLOWED BY SPEED HUMPS IN OLD-GROWTH NORTHERN VIRGINIA; HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! BE MINDFUL OF FIRE RISKS

speedhump

The Beacon made a jaunt to Old Town Alexandria recently and enjoyed sightseeing in the highly coveted, old-growth sanctuary neighborhoods south of Old Town. In a beautiful section called Hollin Hills, the local civic association ensures the preservation of mostly single-story mid-century contemporaries that were designed to bring sunlight and nature indoors. Neither sidewalks nor garages are a standard feature of Hollin Hills.

The photo above illustrates how Fairfax County, Va., uses speed humps and reduced speed limits to slow down traffic cutting through one of its heavily wooded desirable neighborhoods between Old Town Alexandria and Mount Vernon. The street depicted is a connector between the thoroughfare Fort Hunt Road, which intersects at its north end with U.S. Hwy. 1, and the George Washington Memorial Highway, which runs along the Potomac River and is used by commuters.

The Southern Shores Town Council has approved a cut-through traffic committee to study and reports on ways to better manage the heavy flow of traffic through Southern Shores’ year-round residential areas on summertime weekends. Installing temporary or permanent speed humps and lowering speed limits have been suggested in the past.

Speaking of sidewalks, the big concern in Old Town Alexandria and elsewhere in the greater-Washington, D.C., area is their disappearance, as the popular new trend of riding motorized scooters has chased pedestrians away.

Scooters are easily available on Old Town and D.C. street corners for rent, as are bicycles. With pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists, skateboarders, and scooter riders all vying for roadside space, sidewalks have become more dangerous for those on foot.

TWO FIRES IN SOUTHERN SHORES SUNDAY CAUSE MAJOR DAMAGE

You probably have heard by now that two fires were reported in Southern Shores within minutes of each other after 2:15 a.m. Sunday. The first fire occurred in the 100 block of High Dune Loop and was reportedly caused by a barbecue grill being too close to the house; the second fire occurred in the 300 block of Duck Road and was attributed to an electrical problem in a detached garage.

According to a Southern Shores Police Dept. spokesman who spoke with The Outer Banks Voice, no one was injured, but the house at each location sustained major damage. See https://outerbanksvoice.com/2019/06/30/two-overnight-fires-damage-houses-in-southern-shores/.

The Fourth of July is a holiday when fire hazards such as still-burning barbecue coals and fireworks, detonated or not, can result in tragedy. Please be mindful of fire (and other) risks while you enjoy your celebrations.

HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE FOURTH OF JULY

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 7/1/19

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