JOHN KELLY: Why are Arlington’s fire hydrants the colors they are? – The Post
Minutia lovers will probably enjoy this Answer Man column about the color scheme of Arlington County fire hydrants.
Having read Answer Man, you are able to ascertain your whereabouts. You know that in Fairfax County, fire hydrants have a silver barrel and a red top, or bonnet. In Alexandria, they have a yellow barrel and white bonnet and outlet caps. The District has green fire hydrants. In Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, they are gray with green bonnets.
You focus your eyes and examine the hydrant. It is yellow with a pale blue top. “Aha!” you say, “I am in Arlington County.”
You would also be in Arlington County if the hydrant had a green top, orange top or red top.
A good look at something that I may not have ever occurred to me. The colors are based on how many gallons a minute will flow out of the hydrant — between 1,000 and 1,500 gpm for the one above.
ARLINGTON, Va. — Around 9:30 a.m., I followed up my earlier Alexandria reading with one from the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington. I’m calling that 1 inch.
ARLINGTON, Va. — It has been about two months since the extended Fairfax Drive on-ramp to Interstate 66 westbound was opened. As somebody who drives from Ballston to Tysons Corner most mornings, this new ramp has improved my commute. My anecdotal evidence suggests that Ballston is less congested due to the extended ramp. I cannot say if I-66 westbound has improved traffic flow though. It would not surprise me if the backup has just been shifted further west by the new lane. I am curious to hear what drivers who get on I-66 westbound before Ballston have to say.
I still would like to see the new lane extended all the way to EXIT 67 (Dulles Airport/TO I-495 NORTH). I believe that would improve traffic flow and not cost that much money or expand the highway’s footprint significantly. Furthermore, I anticipate additional relief to come when the Silver Line Metro opens. How much this will offset the growth of the Ballston to Rosslyn Orange Line corridor remains to be seen. I think the option of the Silver Line is going to make that stretch more appealing to “reverse commuters” headed to Tysons.
ARLINGTON, Va. — A lane from the Fairfax Drive ramp at EXIT 67 is being extended along Interstate 66 westbound all the way to EXIT 69, Sycamore Street. This “spot improvement” (Virginia Department of Transportation) is less ambitious than I had hoped for and I am curious if it will provide much relief after it opens next week.
Since January, my morning commute has been between Ballston and Tysons Corner. I typically took I-66 west out of Ballston, dealing with the Fairfax Drive ramp merge until I got sick of it and started going a different way. When I commuted between Pentagon City and Tysons Corner (2001-2007) I concluded that traffic flow could be improved by extending the Fairfax Drive ramp lane all the way to EXIT 67, the Dulles corridor exit, plus a similar plan for the other direction:
My solution is to add lane between exits 67 and 71 in each direction, rather than all the way to/from Rosslyn. Experience from my daily commute on the road suggests that the backups occur in large part due to the lane drops after the Dulles Access Road (eastbound) and Fairfax Drive (westbound) on-ramps. If VDOT just extended those merge lanes into travel lanes, merging would significantly be reduced and traffic would probably flow a little better. Heading eastbound, have the new lane become the EXIT 71 off ramp to Ballston. In the westbound direction, the new lane would split as part of the EXIT 67 ramp.
The spot improvement may help, but it is just that, a spot improvement. Extending the Fairfax Drive ramp lane all the way to EXIT 67 might eliminate a great deal or merging since many drivers getting on I-66 at Ballston also get off for the Dulles Toll Road. They could just stay in their lane.
Also, VDOT appears to have re-used some old sign gantries that were on the Dulles Access Road inside the Beltway. This keeps with the brown/rust aesthetic that I-66 was built with originally. Even the backs of the big green signs are painted brown.
ARLINGTON, Va. — I have been critical of the marketing of the Washington Nationals in the past, so I thought I would share a positive sign. For years, I’ve wondered why I can’t find a Nats pocket schedule anywhere but the ticket windows at Nationals Park. I am pleased that this season, Harris Teeter, the team’s official grocery store (like this one in Ballston) is making pocket schedules available. I am not pleased that the font office learning curve is a sphere though — this should not have taken six years.
I don’t know if marketing analytics support widespread pocket schedule distribution in 2011, but my instinct says that putting them at the check-outs in area grocery stores is worthwhile for brand awareness. Someone who doesn’t regularly go to Nats games might suddenly be inclined to pick one up and check out that “new stadium.”
Now, the next thing the Nats ought to do is get some sign in the front of every Harris Teeter store like the Redskins have: