Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

VA Citizens Have Had Enough!

I spent a bit of time in rural Virginia this past week, and while driving there I noticed all of the effort that goes into mowing the highway medians. It struck me as a colossal waste of time and energy, and perhaps a perfectly sensible place for the perennially poor-mouthing VDOT to make cuts. Surely there are more important things we can do with all of the manpower and money this pointless activity takes. Apparently, I am the only person in Virginia who thinks this way. From the Washington Post:

[S]omething far more insidious is plaguing Fairfax County‘s suburban stretches: unmowed grass on public roadside land.

[ . . . ]

And with hundreds of complaints pouring into supervisors’ offices, that translates into one unified message: Something must be done!

“This is all people are talking about,” said [Fairfax County Supervisor] Bulova, who agreed to traipse through waist-high grass in the median of Braddock Road on a recent weekday to demonstrate the problem. “It is so awful. It is unsafe. It is unsightly.”

Seriously. This is what gets people upset enough to bother calling their representatives. Maybe we should make median maintenance a National Guard activity. Then folks would care enough about them being in Iraq, and not here, to do something about it.


Ride Report: Atlantic Cycling Blackwater Tour


Arlington/Alexandria Community Bike Ride this Sunday


  1. The job they do here in cutting the roadside is very bad. Some areas are mowed to the right of way, other places, not so much.

    I see merit in what you are saying, but if these people who complain about things like this have to do without or can’t have food or electricity, some of them will the biggest bitchers in the land.

    Do we make politics or more accurately, the state of our nation, more sexy? Should we sell policy like they sell us a car?

    Or do we find some way to galvanize more people to the cause, and hopefully complain more about Iraq and other atrocities, and less about roadside mowing.

  2. MB

    There’s such a gap between Iraq and tall median grass that I wouldn’t even know where to start, Mark.

  3. Oh, I agree with you.

    I just wonder what it will take. I was jumping ahead to a possible solution where more people get involved and help change things, instead of complaining about stupid stuff.

    I absolutely agree. Although this is not a national election year, the real change this year can come in getting our own legislature more productive members and get rid of the GOP deadwood.

    Then I will concentrate on bigger policy changes that I can help change by helping to elect more reasonable representatives in 2008.

    I need help though, because from where I sit on the party side of things for Democrats, it is a never ending merry go round. I just can’t get people interested or excited about taking part in change.

  4. Wow, could I have written parts of that any more confusingly?


  5. MB

    In terms of getting people involved, I suspect you’ll be suffering from a good bit of “What’s the point of it all?” discouragement from people who would otherwise be active participants. Even with the victories of last fall, there’ve been six years of such appallingly bad government without consequence to its perpetrators. That takes a toll on idealism and faith in good government, and I think it’ll take a fair bit of time and work to overcome that.

  6. No time like successful times to bring more peopke to the light.

    Or so the theory goes.

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