Mark Center Traffic: Tame So Far | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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.

NPR

MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes: Poems Are Music, Language Our Instrument

Hayes, a professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized for "reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal."
NPR

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And The Risk Of Diabetes

There's a new wrinkle to the old debate over diet soda: Artificial sweeteners may alter our microbiomes. And for some, this may raise blood sugar levels and set the stage for diabetes.
NPR

House Passes Bill That Authorizes Arming Syrian Rebels

Even though it was backed by both party leaders, the vote split politicians within their own ranks. The final tally on the narrow military measure was 273 to 156.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

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