By David Schultz
Traffic planners in Northern Virginia are predicting major congestion in Alexandria next year, when the Army moves more than 6,000 of its workers to a site off I-395, far from a Metro station.
But Arlington is faced with a troubling paradox next year, once the Army's Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, process finishes. It will lose tens of thousands of jobs, but it may gain crippling traffic jams.
"There are going to be a number of short trips back and forth between Arlington and Alexandria," says Andrea Morris, the coordinator of Arlington's response to BRAC.
She says the Army workers moving to Alexandria frequently do business at the Pentagon. Right now, Morris says, most are located in South Arlington, within walking distance. In Alexandria, they'll be five miles away.
"That can mean additional traffic on our residential streets, trying to avoid I-395. So we're concerned about that," she says.
Congressman Jim Moran, a vocal opponent of the BRAC process, is holding a town hall meeting next month to discuss its consequences on traffic in the region.