- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009


Dump ‘Smart Growth’ ” (Nation, Thursday) regarding growth restrictions raising the price of housing in the United States. While I certainly agree with Stuart Butler on that, there is another reason for high housing prices that wasn’t discussed in Mr. Butler’s piece, and it is one quite obvious in Fairfax and even more so in Arlington. It is the grossly inadequate and poorly designed road systems in Northern Virginia.

The recent headlines in Arlington have often been filled with arguments against improving Interstate 66 made by citizens and the county officials. The reason is that the terrible roads make it difficult for commuters who, given a choice, would pay anything to move in closer to the District rather than spend two to four hours daily stuck in traffic. I-66 inside the Beltway was inadequate before the concrete was dry and I-395 is a choke-point-filled stretch of poorly designed road.

The few secondary roads such as Route 50 are filled with uncoordinated stoplights and choke points. The unspoken argument supporting this is that higher property values raise more taxes and more profits for builders and owners of real estate.

At one time I dealt with some who were trying to demand that taxes should be raised to provide affordable housing in Arlington. If they were really serious about lowering housing costs, they could argue for better transportation systems.



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