The Virginia Railway Express “Meet the Management” series continues this week at our Broad Run station on Wednesday for its morning trains.

Give them feedback and have refreshments.

VRE works on fare machines

To prepare for its new fare collection equipment, VRE will move existing ticket vending machines at some of its stations or install new pedestals.

Contractors will be in Fredericksburg on Monday, Leeland Road on Tuesday, Brooke on Wednesday, Quantico on Thursday and Rippon on Friday.

Dear Lane Ranger: I have a comment regarding the excessive striping at the intersections along Potomac Mills Circle. Bravo to your reader, Judy, who wrote in with her bewilderment. She is right to express that this is not only confusing but outright wrong. These broad white paint stripes, sometimes referred to as stop bars, are intended to indicate where the driver is to stop their vehicle at an intersection.

The locations of these stop bars are not accidental, instead, they are designed and located based on a number of design issues related to the intersection. Primarily, sight distances affect these locations, often requiring staggered stop bars at certain intersections. The appearance of warning stripes is generally different in width, spacing and annotation.

The agency that has jurisdiction over the maintenance of this road should reexamine the incorrect use of these painted stripes. Many drivers carelessly disregard stop bars, thereby blocking the sight lines of vehicles that may have the right-of-way to proceed through the intersection, but cannot due to the blocked vision. Drivers have become so lax to the rules of the road, it is a shame that the rules are befuddled by the very people who are charged with making our highways and byways safe for our use. And this problem is not remedied by the conditions described by Judy, as well as the picture you printed. — Jim of Lake Ridge

Dear Jim: The stripes are on a road that is owned and maintained by Potomac Mills. I am checking with the Virginia Department of Transportation and federal highway types to find out what their criteria are for such multiple-striped designs.

Are they really up there?

The Associated Press recently reported that the signs along interstates 66 and 95 declaring Virginia’s aerial speed enforcement that began in July 2000 are more deterrence than actual occurrence.

The report: “According to state police, officers have barely used their Cessna 182s in Northern Virginia. And when the planes are used, they said, it’s with limited success because of the region’s unrelenting congestion. According to statistics, of the 733,441 tickets issued in Virginia in 2001, officers issued 1,673 tickets, 0.2 percent, through the aerial program. Just over 170 aerial enforcement tickets were issued in Northern Virginia.”

Lucy Caldwell, a state police spokeswoman, said the program went on hold for several months after Sept. 11, when state police resources were redirected to security efforts. The first time officers took to the air along I-66 since Sept. 11 was this month. Caldwell said congestion hampered the officers, who decided they couldn’t make safe traffic stops. So that day, they wrote about a dozen tickets.

They’re really up there

Fairfax County police were up in a bucket truck on U.S. 1 using laser detectors to detect speeders in the northbound lanes two weeks ago. That’s a laser gun 20 feet in the air. Does that count as enforcement from above?

Traffic light update

VDOT completed a signal study at the intersection of Dale Boulevard and Benita Fitzgerald Drive and a traffic signal should be installed in late fall.

Lane Ranger welcomes and encourages your correspondence. Please send any questions or comments on area transportation to: Lane Ranger, c/o Potomac News, P.O. Box 2470, Woodbridge 22195; fax: (703) 878-8099; e-mail to [email protected] or by phone: (703) 878-8062.

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