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A Resident’s Opinion: The Key to Transportation

By Ken Reiman

People. Relationships. Heart. You need all three. In fact, according to my six year old son, life is about relationships first and foremost.  How lucky we are to have air conditioned and heated public transportation in the United States of America and safety and security standards to keep our loved ones safe.  We are truly blessed.  Pause and say thanks.

I have lived and worked in countries where public transportation pales in comparison to what we enjoy here.  I have also witnessed public transportation systems in other countries that I wish we could emulate here.  In a global world, a global mindset is necessary, one where we value diversity and are humble enough to learn from one another.  That’s the beauty of the United States and the value we bring to the world.  It starts and ends with the quality of our relationships. Share your strengths with others.

Transportation echoes life.  All of us regardless of nationality, religion, gender or background ride the journey of life.  The stops we get off on may be different, but we are all headed somewhere.  Take a moment to think about the people you encounter and their families next time you ride public transportation.  Say thank you to those heroes that protect you and get us to and from work safe.  Theirs is a noble calling. Honor those servants of humanity.

You’ll never see transportation the same way if you view it in terms of relationships: moving hearts and minds.  Even the goods that are transported fulfil a relational purpose – they mean something to someone.  An added benefit of public transportation: you can cultivate a new relationship, strengthen an existing one, pray, read and even write. Move your heart and mind to recognize all those blessings
in disguise. 

Since you made it this far, let me share with you something personal.  My mother came to the U.S. as a student from Japan and faced a car accident that nearly took her life.  She was in the hospital for a year in a coma like stage.  The doctors said she would not live.   Miraculously, she did, obtained her PhD, and became a Professor of Japanese languages, helping American college students learn to love her mother tongue.  Had that crash ended her life, I nor my son would be alive to share this message with you. Be grateful for life and the people in it.

I am a public servant and an author who has taken public transportation all my life.  I always enjoy a good book.  If you are interested in poetry, foreign languages and children’s books or international affairs, my books are available on my website:  My memoir comes out this year – a story of overcoming adversity to embrace diversity and fight for justice.  Each of us has a story to tell. Thanks for listening to mine and I can’t wait to hear about yours.  Live more, live well, the world is a better place because you are in it..


Road Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

By Norah Ocel P.E., Safety Partnerships Coordinator ñ FHWA Office of Safety

Our communities experienced 37,133 traffic related deaths in 2017.

Think about that number for a minute…. It means more than 100 fatalities every single day. Each death is someone’s family member or friend not arriving home!

Road Safety is a US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) strategic goal. It aims to reduce transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries across the transportation system. 

The FHWA Office of Safety’s vision and mission is ZERO traffic related deaths on our transportation system. The Office of Safety provides tools and technical assistance to states and local agencies to make better and more informed decisions that will result in saving lives. (

We have taken a focused approach to safety.  This means that based on crash data, FHWA provides additional resources to high priority states to address critical safety challenges.

There are three focus areas: Roadway Departure, Intersections and

Did you know that on average 50% of roadway fatalities every year are related to roadway departure? Followed by intersections?

There are safety countermeasures that can help with roadway departure, for example rumble strips, guardrail, enhanced delineation, high friction surface treatments, and
SafetyEdgesm. The Proven Safety Countermeasures ( .

Initiative (PSCi) began in 2008 and now it has a total of 20 countermeasures and strategies. This initiative encourages the widespread implementation of those treatments and strategies to accelerate efforts and save lives as well as prevent injuries on our roads.

During project development, FHWA encourages agencies to use data-driven safety analysis ( ) during the planning, alternative analysis, design and construction, operations & maintenance processes to have the additional benefit of better targeted investments while reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries.

While states and local agencies work hard at incorporating safety into their processes to make better and more informed decisions every day that will lead to zero deaths, they can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help. We need you! 

Drive, bike and walk alert always.

Don’t get distracted–that text or call can wait.

Wear your seatbelt!

At the end of the day we ALL want to get home safely.


Dulles Matters: A New Way to Lounge at Dulles International Airport

Across the travel industry there is a focus on helping travelers maximize their time on flights, in hotels and also in airports. This winter, Dulles International Airport embraces this trend with the debut of a new traveler lounge giving passengers a reason to explore more often, comfortably and effortlessly. 

Sleepbox Lounge is one of the first in-terminal lounges of its kind featuring 16 comfortable, secure and sound-proof modular rooms where travelers can work and relax. Offered at a fraction of the cost of a traditional hotel room and far more
convenient, Sleepbox Lounges are a comfortable option for travelers to enjoy their time at the airport.

Keeping comfort and convenience as the priority features, each Sleepbox is equipped with a memory foam extra-long twin bed, a pull out desk, organizational drawers and a reading lamp to meet the multiple needs of passengers. To enhance the experience, rooms are outfitted with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth speakers, mood lighting, privacy window tint and charging ports.

Accessibility to Sleepbox modules is simple. Travelers can instantly make
reservations through the Sleepbox smartphone app by the hour or in 15-minute increments after the first hour. The Lounge is full-service and fully staffed around the clock with concierge attendants, maintenance staff and hospitality personnel.

Beyond the visible amenities and the service advantages, Sleepbox Lounges are also sustainably conscious as a hotel model using existing and underutilized spaces like airports. Each Sleepbox room is built in America with sustainable materials and energy-efficient lighting.

Sleepbox is conveniently located on the Mezzanine level of Concourse A between Gates A6 and A14. 

Photos: Sleepbox Lounge and Sleepbox Room.


Metro Matters: Dynamic Testing Begins on Phase 2 of the Silver Line

By Marcia McAllister

The first Silver Line Phase 2 trains now are running between Innovation Station and the west side of Dulles Airport; they aren’t shiny new cars and they aren’t carrying passengers.

The very first trains that rolled in early February were actually two-car trains used to grind or polish tracks to get rid of rust that had appeared since the tracks were laid. That’s a common natural occurrence when track is put down and not used right away. Once the rust was gone, testing trains moved in and dynamic testing started.

Dynamic testing takes place on energized tracks and signals a major milestone as the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and its two major contractors continue to build Phase 2 of the rail line. Phase 1 opened in 2014.

The testing is being done by Capital Rail Constructors (CRC), the contractor building the $2.7 billion dollar system, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The testing operations go on for several months.

Meanwhile, construction continues at all six stations and support facilities such as traction power substations and storm water ponds.

Drivers along the Dulles Toll Road now see pedestrian bridges from both sides of highway to the stations are in place. Each station is clearly visible and crews continue to work on the systems that will power the trains.

Project officials have asked the public to remember that the rail line tracks are now “live.” The site is secured, but everyone should pay attention to all warning signs and keep away from secured areas.

“Trains could be running and sections rail can be energized day and night,” according to a CRC spokeswoman. 

The Silver line is a 23-mile extension of Washington’s Metro system. Phase 1 runs from the East Falls Church Metrorail Station through four stops in Tysons to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station. Phase 2 will run from the Wiehle station to Reston Town Center Station, Herndon Station, Innovation Station, Dulles Airport Station and into Loudoun County with stops at Loudoun Gateway Station (near Route 606) and terminating at Ashburn Station (near Route 772).


The Nation’s Only Statewide House and Garden Tour Continues to Keep Virginia Beautiful

April 27-May 4, 2019 

“Historic Garden Week is unprecedented as a fundraiser that underwrites restoration projects and supports our centennial project with the state parks,” explains Jean Gilpin, President of the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV), the event’s sponsoring organization. With 40 active restoration sites and 24 grants to Virginia’s parks in the past three years, the work of the Garden Club of Virginia has broad and significant statewide impact. 

While Virginia might be the “Mother of Presidents,” Historic Garden Week, as the oldest and largest house and garden tour in the nation, is surely the “Mother of House and Garden Tours.” The inspiration happened early in the organization’s history when a flower show organized by GCV volunteers raised $7,000 to save trees planted by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. The first tours, known as “pilgrimages,” took place two years later. Tour proceeds have continued to fund the restoration and preservation of the Commonwealth’s significant historic public gardens ever since. 

“Historic Garden Week has raised millions of dollars to keep Virginia beautiful,” notes Lynn McCashin, the Garden Club of Virginia’s Executive Director. “The grounds of our most cherished landmarks including Mount Vernon and Stratford Hall have been restored with tour proceeds.” Additionally, this annual event funds a historic landscape research fellowship program that is building a comprehensive library of Virginia’s important gardens and landscapes. Since its inception in 1996, it has documented twenty-five. 

“Much more than a benefit, Historic Garden Week is a beloved springtime tradition – for both our members and for the nearly 24,000 people that attend,” commented Stephie Broadwater, the event’s State Chair. The only statewide house and garden tour in the nation, it promotes tourism while showcasing communities both large and small across the Commonwealth. “Perhaps most importantly, this enduring legacy brings our membership together towards a common goal,” Gilpin adds. “Historic Garden Week would not be possible without the hard work of our 3,300 members.” 

“Virginia is especially beautiful during Historic Garden Week,” Gilpin continues. “For eight days at the end of April and early May visitors from all over the world will tour beautiful homes and gardens and enjoy all Virginia has to offer.” The 2019 event encompasses 31 tours organized and hosted by 47 member clubs. Approximately 200 private homes, gardens and historical places will be open especially for Historic Garden Week. “Every year the properties opened and the tours offered are different, making each year a unique experience,” she explains. 

“It’s hard to conceive of the scope of Historic Garden Week, so we like to share some surprising numbers,” Broadwater notes. “In addition to the amazing interiors and gardens on display, our volunteers will design over 2,200 spectacular floral arrangements to decorate rooms open to the public. Most of the plant materials will come from their very own gardens.” 

The event’s 2019 marketing materials will showcase the Virginia bluebell and Waverley Hill, the former home of the President of the Garden Club of Virginia from 1928 to 1930. “Designed by William Lawrence Bottomley, with gardens by the landscape architect that did the restoration at Colonial Williamsburg, Arthur Shurcliff, this gorgeous Georgian- Revival country house was completed in 1929 – aptly, the year of the first Historic Garden Week,” Broadwater shared.