Dear Lane Ranger: I've missed your last few columns -- my apologies if this topic has already been covered there. The new Horner Road parking lot is about finished. I have two questions.

1. Is VDOT or the county going to set up designated slug lines? The current system is a bit of a mess, with only one "real" line for the current lot. Sometimes the line is so long it spills into the entry lanes and people start going down to the shelter closer to the "downhill" lot. The "powers that be" could make life easier for everyone with a few signs.

2. Is Potomac Mills taking back its parking spaces when the other lot opens?

P.S. I see your column is not online. Why? -- Randy Avis of Woodbridge

Dear Randy: I don't know why my column is not online. The Lane Ranger is only a mere reporter, not one of those smart Internet Web masters who can do math.

Let's see, continuing to work backward:

Potomac Mills has not indicated any intention to eliminate commuter spaces when the Horner Road lot is complete, said Supervisor Ruth T. Griggs, R-Occoquan.

Her district contains the Horner Road commuter lot, which will be the biggest in the region when its expansion opens the end of July with 2,000-space lot.

"Potomac Mills is allowing commuters access to substantially more spaces than they committed to in the proffers for their project. They could, if they needed to, eliminate some of those spaces without prior approval from Prince William County. However, I would expect that they would give the county reasonable notice before taking such action," she wrote me.

Griggs said VDOT does not ordinarily mark slug lines specifically, but creates "rideshare" waiting areas for bus riders that also end up being used for slug traffic. There have been problems at the Tackett's Mill commuter lot as well, so the county is looking into the possibility of some kind of signs to indicate where rideshare passengers should stand to wait in order to avoid messing up the flow of cars through the lots.

"We move forward with caution on these issues, as we don't want to make more problems than we solve," she said. These slugs like government to stay out of the process.


Thanks for the flags

The Lane Ranger received 25 American flags for proper disposal, plus or minus a few small ones, since I haven't been keeping a strict count. I gave the first wave to a Boy Scout for his Eagle project, and those I received last week to a Girl Scout for her Star Award (the equivalent to the Eagle) and a Girl Scout troop that will retire flags at camp this week. Thank you for the response. For those who find flags to dispose of or find their car flag frayed, the local chapters of Veterans of Foreign Wars always take flags for proper disposal.


Lane Ranger welcomes and encourages your correspondence. Please send any questions or comments on area transportation to: Lane Ranger, c/o Potomac News, P.O. Box 2470, Woodbridge 22195; fax: (703) 878-8099; e-mail to or by phone: (703) 878-8062.