The Safety Problem: Dangerous road conditions have been created by the policies of the Annandale Campus of the Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). These policies cause their students to park their cars on our residential roads and increase the traffic, especially during the morning rush hours. Some residents have been burdened by the need to set up residential parking districts. Although this has stopped students from parking in those neighborhoods, the unintended consequence is that students are now parking on different streets: on Wakefield Chapel Road and its side streets, as well as on the residential streets North of Little River Turnpike. These policies are endangering the safety of the students and residents alike. Students are walking in the street, crossing streets without looking while distracted by their cell phones, opening car doors in traffic, making U turns in front of oncoming traffic, speeding, and one was even observed skateboarding on the road to their vehicle. Their parked cars are blocking the line of sight of residents trying to exit their driveways and side streets. The high student traffic volume in the morning rush hours generated by the increasing enrollment and the concentration of class times on four week days, makes it very difficult and unsafe for residents to exit their driveways and side streets onto Wakefield Chapel Road.
The Causes of the Problem: These problems are not caused by unavailable parking on campus. Students park on neighborhood public roads because NVCC charges students $95/quarter to park on campus. NVCC keeps increasing its enrollment, which brings increased traffic to the residential area around the campus. NVCC does not spread out class times, but concentrates them Monday thru Thursday with many early morning classes. The result of these policies is increased parking off campus and increased traffic on our residential streets.
The Solutions: Parking charges must be included in mandatory fees, including possible credits for mass transit use or discounts for taking single classes; Enrollment must be capped; class schedules must be distributed evenly throughout the week. These policy changes would eliminate student parking on our neighborhood roads and spread out the traffic so that there is not as much traffic during the morning rush hour. NVCC must find creative and feasible ways to implement these policies for the sake of student safety and the safety and quality of life in our neighborhood.
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