Few appreciate more than we, the humor, wit and perspective of The Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles.

Imagine our shock to see him demonstrate a bad case of Geographic Illiteracy on today’s editorial page. As luck would have it, we were in our doctors office for an early AM physical when we saw the cartoon and so medical aide was close at hand for us. No word on Toles location or condition. We know Tole’s heart is in the right place but spreading Geographic Illiteracy in cartoons is serious, very serious.

For the record when we look at the “Military Moves” map in Monday’s Business section this is what we see: The four locations with three or more buildings to be “possibly effected” are all in Beta Villages which have too many jobs and too few houses, services, recreation and amenity to make a balanced contribution to their communities. (Ballston and Rosslyn in Greater North Arlington, Crystal City in Greater South Arlington, Carlyle/West End in Greater Alexandria and Mark Center in Greater Baileys Crossroads.)

When we look at the map of the primary potential relocation site in Virginia we see Fort Belvoir in Greater Lorton at R=17 Miles from the centroid of the Subregion. If you look at a 1958 (sic) Comprehensive Plan for Fairfax County you will find Greater Lorton is designated a Planned New Community (aka, a Balanced Community). Almost 50 years of unintelligent planning, implementation and investment (public and private) has nearly buried the potential but it is still there.

Municipal, state and federal governance practitioners who are calling for a federal contribution to make Greater Lorton into a Balanced Community if there is a relocation of federal jobs to Fort Belvoir are right on target. It is a shame there are not regional and subregional strategies and plans in place for this rational relocation.

The Fundamental Change necessary to create the Fuller/Florida prosperous future outlined in the discussion of Fairfax County in our “Antidotes” column requires these regional and subregional strategies/plans, not unilateral military realignment.

We also need to be sure Tom Toles gets an antidote for that virus before it spreads.


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  1. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    I don’t understand. If those four Beta communities have too many jobs and too little of everything else, thenisn’t it easier and cheaper to move the jobs than to create all that other stuff from scratch, especially since the local residents don’t want any more density?

    If they’ve been planning Lorton for 50 years and it hasn’t happened, doesn’t that say something about the plan? The last time I went through Loton it was becoming a community of large homes on large lots, with golf courses etc.

    Belvoir and Quantico are already towns in their own right and are able to supply the kind of security the government seems to think it needs. Many peopel who now commute to Crysatl City already live in those places, and I suspect VMT will go down as a result of the moves.

    What’s the problem? Sometimes plans change. Any plan for balanced communities is going to have to have continual input to maintain the balance, because balance is dynamic, not static.

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