In his opinion “New Residential Development in Reston Essential…”, Mark
Ingrao suggested new housing development in the Metro areas would not
significantly increase vehicular traffic congestion. I disagree.
He stated that all the consulted experts believed the “single best
tool to mitigate traffic congestion impacts are balanced jobs to
household ratios”, where workers would live in the new residences
and walk to work, thereby keeping them from driving and creating new
traffic problems. This plenary concept is attractive but sidesteps
reality. No one can control how employees travel to work when
parking and metro fees are a factor, and when freedom of choice in
personal mobility is available. Those who live in new Metro area
housing units too far from work to walk will drive. Others who
live there but do not work in Reston and don’t commute by train will
also drive. Both groups will add to the traffic congestion already
present, and those unknown numbers of future drivers will not be
contained in the Metro areas, but distribute throughout the town,
especially on evenings and weekends. Others in the household
will also drive for other reasons.
Mr. Ingrao further stated that limiting residential
development is not in the community interest, but he did not
explain why. I’m certain many in this town will not agree. We must
do exactly that. Keep the density cap where it is. We must limit Reston
growth in order to save the way of life we have known here, including
the ease of movement and parking, the natural beauty, peace and
quiet, uncrowded schools and the many educational and
recreational enhancements offered by the founder’s original vision.
Without effective controls, all will be swept away by unnecessary,
creeping urbanism. We are seeing that happening now.