WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Mark Center Traffic: Tame So Far

Play associated audio
Commuters to the Mark Center and surrounding offices had prepared for major traffic jams this month when DOD employees started moving in. So far, though, traffic hasn't been too bad.
Jonathan Wilson
Commuters to the Mark Center and surrounding offices had prepared for major traffic jams this month when DOD employees started moving in. So far, though, traffic hasn't been too bad.

Federal workers have started moving into the Department of Defense's new Mark Center complex in Alexandria, Va., and so far, the traffic jams that many feared would come with the building's opening haven't arrived. But it may be too soon for motorists in the area to breathe a sigh a relief.

Katie Test works in commications for the education leadership organization ASCD, which is headquartered in the shadow of the new Mark Center building. For months, the organization's management has been prepping employees for coping with the extra traffic expected to come with the 6,400 federal workers the giant building will house as a result of the military's Base Realignment and Closure Process (BRAC).

But Test says in the past few weeks, she's noticed extra police presence more than any extra cars.

"I'm secretly optimistic, though I feel like I should knock on wood," she says. "I feel like if it weren't for the cop presence I probably wouldn't have noticed that BRAC had moved in."

City of Alexandria transportation director Richard Baier says one thing that's helped so far is DOD's plan to phase the arrival of workers. Only about one-third have moved into the building so far. He fears the complex will produce some serious traffic problems going forward.

"By the end of the year, they'll have about 4,900 people, and by October of next year, we'll have 6400," Baier says.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who's long criticized the project, also warns that traffic tie-ups near the building could get much worse when the Department of Defense sets up a security checkpoint for vehicles entering the complex.

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Twitter Faces Challenges As It tries To Balance Profitability, Popularity

The social network Twitter is popular with users, but that's not enough. It also needs to be profitable, and by its 140-character nature that's a challenge.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.