Dear Lane Ranger: If Bob Hugman of Woodbridge (Potomac News, June 4) is frequently being tailgated or cutoff on the Prince William Parkway, I suspect that he may be the problem.
By his own admission, Bob is one of those “timid” drivers who cringe every time they even get near certain sections of road in the county.
The easy solution for Bob would be to use a different road or to just move over to the right lane that is intended for slower traffic. If he is still tailgated and cutoff then, maybe he should find an alternative means of transportation.
It is not Bob’s job to enforce the speed limit on Prince William Parkway.
If he is driving in the left lane and someone wants to get past, why doesn’t he just move over and let them go. Otherwise, he is the real danger on the highway.
White-knuckle drivers who cringe on the parkway are a hazard to everyone. Besides, the 45 mph speed on the six-lane divided portion of the parkway is set too low for those sections without an inordinate number of traffic lights.
Come on Bob. Move over or stay home.
Charles Gallion, Lake Ridge
Both Charles and Bob have good points. But the police officer using radar to catch speeders on Prince William Parkway last week had the best point of all.
If you’re going to adhere to the limit, do stay in the right lane.
You’ll make way for the folks who want to risk a ticket.
Dear Lane Ranger: I have been using Benita Fitzgerald Drive daily since it opened to its terminus at Cardinal Drive several months ago.
I have an issue with its intersection at Dale Boulevard where the two main lanes of Benita Fitzgerald serve as right hand turn lanes.
Rarely have I seen a driver in the rightmost lane turn into the correct (rightmost) lane of Dale Boulevard.
The few times I have seen others use, or have used the center lane myself to turn right (when green), it usually results in nearly being sideswiped because the drivers seem to turn right into the center lane on Dale.
It is marked with white dashes leading to the correct lane, but people just don’t pay attention to the lines. This is something they used to teach in driver’s education (turning into the appropriate lane).
Can you pass this along to the proper authority so that additional signage can be placed at the intersection?
Dear Oscar: It’s a wicked, wicked world.
Driver’s ed also teaches defensive driving – and for a good cause – the Virginia Department of Transportation says they’ve expired their arsenal of signs, signals and helping hands in this case.
An engineer with VDOT said there are already short turn skips (those dashed road markings you noticed) and directional signs telling drivers how to turn and in which lanes.
The rest is up to drivers.
“This may just come down to drivers making individual judgment calls when merging [to] a lane when they are behind the wheel of their vehicle,” wrote Ron L. Sutphin, transportation engineering lead technician for VDOT. “Only the driver can make those calls.”
He observed the intersection and saw exactly what you described.
He guessed drivers were just merging as quickly as they could into the left lane.
A sound of your horn might make those line-crossing drivers aware of your presence before they move haphazardly into your lane.
Send signal questions or report an issue to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Traffic Center: call (703) 383-VDOT, write [email protected] or visit virginiadot.org/travel/citizen.asp.
For the latest road conditions, call 511 from any telephone in Virginia.
Please send questions or comments on roads, rail and transit to: Lane Ranger, c/o Potomac News, P.O. Box 2470, Woodbridge, VA 22195; e-mail: [email protected] news.com.