18th & Patrick Henry Intersection

Here are recent updates on our inquiry into making this intersection safer.

Response from County Board on December 9, 2021

John, Sarah, and Stacy,

 

Thank you for your note. I’ve touched base with the County Manager and Greg Emanuel and Mike Moon who lead our Department of Environmental Services, which includes our transportation leadership, as well as they have shared what is occurring. 

 

We are working on this: the steps you mention APS needs to take have resulted in our transportation staff working on the analysis you request with speed commensurate with the concern you raise. I should add that the measures you identify—four way stop and flashing beacon—do still require analysis prior to our knowing if and what may be appropriate at this intersection.

 

Greg and Mike’s staff are and will do that work as quickly as practicable and we will get back to you. That work will take time, but please know that we are working on this as expeditiously as possible given our responsibility to serve the County as a whole on urgent safety matters.

 

We will work on this and be back in touch.

 

Sincerely,

 

Matt de Ferranti 

Email to County Board on December 8, 2021

Dear Chair de Ferranti and members of the Arlington County Board:

 

On behalf of the Cardinal Elementary School PTA, Swanson Middle School PTA and the Tara-Leeway Heights Civic Association, we request an expeditious review of pedestrian safety at the intersection of N Patrick Henry Drive and N 18th St. 

 

We believe the county review should result in imposition of traffic calming measures around this intersection, either via a new 4-way stop or flashing beacon or other warning to traffic on N Patrick Henry Drive. 

 

The opening of the new 725-seat Cardinal Elementary School just two blocks away has exposed many additional neighborhood youngsters to a harrowing street crossing and could lead to tragic accidents we all wish to avoid.          

 

We understand that APS has already urged county transportation staff to study measures to enhance pedestrian safety at this intersection of a major county arterial road and a well-traveled street linking several neighborhoods with the bustling Westover Village shopping center, county branch library and now, our new Cardinal School.

 

It is also our understanding that the APS Demonstration Slow Zone initiative limiting vehicle speeds near schools, including Cardinal School, extends only along N 18th St. to a point just west of this intersection, and thus will not ameliorate the current situation.  

 

Cardinal School was envisioned and is now celebrated as a school with high "walkability," and our neighborhood sidewalks are now filled with many young students walking alone, in groups or with parents to school. The Cardinal students are joining many Swanson middle schoolers and many older neighborhood residents in trying to safely navigate this problematic street crossing.

 

We have recently celebrated National Walk to School Day.  Please take the steps necessary to ensure that our neighborhood children can safely continue to do so. 

 

Respectfully,

 

 

John Ford                                              Sarah Van Velsor                              Stacy Rosenthal                President                                               President                                           President

Tara-Leeway Heights                            Cardinal Elementary                        Swanson Middle 

Civic Association                                   School PTA                                       School PTA