Infrastructure and Transportation
Transportation News, November 2013
Design Guidelines, Zoning Regulations for
Metrorail Area Under Review by Herndon's Town Council
The Herndon Town Council is holding a public hearing on Tuesday, November 12, on draft zoning ordinance regulations and urban and architectural design guidelines for redevelopment in the vicinity of the Herndon stop for Metrorail's Silver Line, slated to open in 2018. Included is a proposed rezoning for 10 properties near the future station, designated as the Herndon Transit-Oriented Core.
November 2013 -Provided by Town of Herndon's: On Board, E-Newsletter for the Town of Herndon's Business Community
Transportation News, October 2013
Route 28 Southbound Spot Improvement Project
Many of you have seen the recent installation of barricades and construction activity on Route 28 southbound near its intersection with the I-66 eastbound exit and I would like to update you on what is taking place at this location. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is extending the Route 28 southbound left-turn lanes to the I-66 eastbound ramps. The extension of the turn lanes will provide additional capacity, enhance safety by getting stopped vehicles out of the through lane, and provide some congestion relief. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of this year.
Clearly, this is a temporary solution to the greater congestion problems at this intersection. I've been working with Delegate Jim LeMunyon and Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton to construct the ultimate interchange at this location and monies have been allocated for the design of this project. In April of this year, VDOT held a public meeting to present two design options for the improvements. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is requesting that this project receive monies for construction as part of the VDOT Six-Year Plan. Here is a link to the VDOT web page for this project.
Transportation News, September 2013
Metro Launches Silver Line Website
Transportation News, August 2013
Transportation News, June 2013
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has scheduled its third round of public meetings on the Countywide Transit Network Study to provide an update on current progress and to seek feedback from the community. The public meeting, scheduled for July 10, 2013 at the Fairfax County Government Center, will be held in an open house format from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., with a twenty-minute presentation at 7:00 p.m. Additional meeting details are provided in the attached flyer.
We welcome your participation in the public meeting and workshop where we will discuss the Proposed High Quality Transit Network (HQTN) Concept. Our previous public meeting in November included discussion of preliminary network concepts and study alternatives. We are now at the important juncture of providing preliminary recommendations for the HQTN. Based on an evaluation of preliminary network concepts and an analysis of demand, cost effectiveness, land use and infrastructure, a preliminary HQTN was derived.
To make our effort more attainable to the public and to obtain input from the community, we have also developed an IdeaScale discussion board. Your ideas and comments will serve as valuable input in helping to guide the study.
A project website has also been developed to keep residents up to date on project related news.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 703-877-5600.
Transportation News, June 2013
These changes in the Reston-Herndon area have been approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and will go into effect with the opening of the Wiehle-Reston East station, now scheduled to open in January 2014.
Hunter Mill Bus Route Changes:
A new 599 express route from Reston to the Pentagon and Crystal City replaces Routes 595 and 597. It will basically run parallel to the Silver Line.
Route 555 from the Sunset Hills Park and Ride in Reston to the West Falls Church Station discontinued. Residents able to use the new 505 route from Reston Town Center to West Falls Church instead, with service to both the Sunset Hills and Reston North Park and Rides.
Route 507 (Hunter Mill): Implement a new weekday bus route that will originate from Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station and provide bus service to the east along Sunset Hills Road, Hunter Mill Road, Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue.
Route 558 (Hunter Mill): Implement new midday, evening and weekend bus route that originates at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station providing bus (86) Board Agenda Item June 4, 2013 service along Center Harbor Drive, Reston Parkway, Wiehle Avenue, Barron Cameron Avenue, Lake Fairfax Drive, Hunt Club Road, Ring Road and North Shore Drive.
Route 559 (Hunter Mill): Implement new midday, evening and weekend bus route that provides a transit link between the Reston South Park-and-Ride Lot and Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station providing bus service along Reston Parkway, Glade Drive, Twin Branches Drive, Sunrise Valley Drive, Wiehle Avenue, Soapstone Drive and Lawyers Road.
Several routes are modified to now use the Wiehle-Reston East station as their terminus, along with some schedule changes. They include Routes 551, 552, 553, 554, and 557.
Transportation News, May 2013
A recent breakfast gathering of the transportation cognoscenti of the region and hosted by the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance posed the question: How our various Northern Virginia jurisdictions will split up the pie of new transportation money? County leaders or their representatives from Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington and Loudoun comprised the panel of presenters. Perhaps the most interesting information, however, came from the discussion sheets provided to the audience.
To preface what we found on the sheets, readers need to recall that several years ago, voters approved the formation of a Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, which until now has had no abilities to function as intended, since there was no transportation money. That changed with the passage of the Governor’s transportation package, which makes available $189,475,000 for FY 14 projects. The Authority is comprised of appointees drawn mainly from the chairs/mayors of the nine cities and counties comprising the Authority, along with a smattering of General Assembly members, transportation officials and gubernatorial appointees. By its nature, the pie will be split according to parochial interests.
There is another transportation group that has been on the ground for a number of years, the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, headed by Bob Chase. Bob and his organizations are the gurus to which our chamber and most all other chambers pay attention when questions arise about transportation. They are non-partisan and they are expert at roads and bridges. Mass transit is not part of their core mission.
So now, back to the sheets. Both groups were tasked with providing a list of their prioritized projects for spending the new money. The Authority and the Alliance completely disagreed on designated projects for Fairfax County. The Fairfax representatives of the Authority proposed:
- widening to 6-8 lanes for Route 28
- a design/build for the Innovation Center Metrorail Station for which the County just agreed to assume the debt
- several smaller improvements in Herndon.
The Alliance chose instead:
- support rehabilitating I-66 outside the Beltway to a new multi-modal facility with additional conventional lands and rail extension right-of-way to Centreville, along with upgrade of the Route 28/I-66 interchange
- Widen to 6-8 lanes for Route 7 between Tysons Corner and the Loudoun line
- widen to 6-8 lanes on Fairfax County Parkway between the Dulles Toll Road and Rte. 50
- Add two lanes on Rte. 50 (Arlington Blvd.) between Fairfax Circle to I-495.
For Loudoun County, its Authority members requested:
- Construction start of Route 28 hot spot improvements (Sterling Blvd. to Dulles Toll Road)
- Design start of grade separation at Rte. 15 Leesburg Bypass and Edwards Ferry Road
- Leesburg Park and Ride
- 2 new transit buses
- Widening of Rte. 15 from Rte. 7 Bypass south to Rte. 234 in Prince William County
Meanwhile, the Alliance was recommending:
- Rte. 50 widening from FC line west to Rte. 15
- Adding 2-4 lanes on Rte. 7 Bypass between Leesburg and Purcellville
- Widening Rte. 60 as part of the Dulles Loop and constructing an interchange at Rte. 50
- Completion of Gloucester Parkway to Rte. 28 to alleviate Rte. 625 corridor congestion
Both the Authority and the Alliance concurred about widening Rte. 659 (Belmond Ridge Road)north of the Dulles Greenway.
The most expensive projects (as estimated by the Authority) for Fairfax would be the Innovation Center Metrorail Station at $41,000,000, followed by the Rte. 28 widening from the Toll Road to Rte. 50, priced at $20,000,000. Loudoun’s most expensive project would be the Belmont Ridge Road design/build at $20,000.
Only the Authority requested monies for public transit alternatives such as work at 3 VRE stations and two WMATA projects: traction power upgrades on the Orange Line and 10 new buses on Virginia routes, together totaling $12,000,000.
What does this mean to us the citizens? It gives you two varying views of how to prioritize transportation needs, one from a mainly legislative body, one from a transportation expert viewpoint, one encompassing both roads and mass transit, the other just roads. I hope you will use it as a road map to inform your own point of view and to share that with your legislators. It will be the Authority that cuts the pie. For more information, please visit our website.
2013 Legislative Session Outcome Overview on Transportation
- Secure new, sustainable, reliable, long-term regional and statewide transportation funding to meet our critical transportation construction and maintenance needs.
- Secure additional state funding to support completion of the Dulles Corridor Rail Project in order to minimize the impact of increasing tolls for Dulles Toll Road users and ensure that one of the Commonwealth’s major economic development drivers remains affordably accessible.
DRCC worked aggressively throughout the session to support passage of a transportation package that would achieve the top two priorities, maintaining a focus on the outcomes more so than on how to achieve those outcomes. At the conclusion of the session, a bipartisan consensus transportation package was passed by both bodies with strong support from the Governor that addresses the priorities above and accomplishes the following:
- Generates sufficient revenue to address the transportation construction and infrastructure needs at the state level, as well as in the two most congested regions of the Commonwealth;
- Provides a dynamic funding source for transportation that grows with the economy;
- Attempts to tap revenue from sources that have a nexus to transportation system uses, as possible;
- Eliminates the maintenance-construction cross-over challenge;
- Provides a dedicated funding source for Mass Transit and the Intercity Passenger Rail Fund – it is important to note that this includes $300 million in additional state funding that will be dedicated to Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail project; and
- Reflects a compromise on the use of existing General Funds for transportation.
It is also important to note that the Secretary of Transportation is committed to using $87 million of these new funds to redesign the I-66/Route 28 intersection, and widen Route 606 west of Dulles Airport. These are the two largest unfunded projects in the greater Dulles/Loudoun area at this time.
Beyond the transportation funding legislation, DRCC also worked actively to oppose a series of bills that would have harmed Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act and discouraged private sector entities from investing in Virginia’s transportation infrastructure. Maintaining P3s as a tool in Virginia is critical, particularly given our significant transportation funding shortfalls. We were very pleased none of these bills advanced this session.
2013 Policy Position
DRCC applauds the Governor, as well as leaders on both sides of the political aisle and in both houses, for making transportation a top priority this session.
The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) believes that efforts to secure new, sustainable, reliable, long-term regional and statewide transportation funding to meet our critical transportation construction and maintenance needs is a top priority. DRCC also supports protecting the funds within the Transportation Trust Fund, encouraging public-private partnership projects, and continuing to identify ways to increase the use of technology and improve efficiencies within our transportation system, which are all components of the Governor’s proposed transportation package. Given the tremendous transportation needs that face the Commonwealth and the fact that transportation funding is a core government service that is the state’s responsibility to fund, DRCC also supports the use of some General Fund money for transportation purposes.
In addition, DRCC strongly supports completion of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project to Washington Dulles International Airport and eastern Loudoun County, and securing additional state funding to reduce projected toll increase levels associated with the project, which this package would enable through the additional $300 million in state funding for Dulles Rail referenced in the Governor’s plan. This type of additional state investment is critical to the long-term economic development sustainability for the entire Commonwealth as well as reducing the burden Dulles Toll Road users will pay for Phase 2 of this infrastructure project.
It is critical to understand that new transportation infrastructure is an investment, not a cost, and historically Commonwealth spending on cost effective transportation projects, such as the Fairfax County Parkway, Route 28 and I-66 widening in northern Virginia, has yielded a direct return in new economic activity and tax revenues that greatly exceed Virginia’s initial investment. It is equally important to understand that failure to invest more in transportation will result in economic decline.
DRCC believes the time to address this challenge is now and stands firm in its commitment to consider and support this and other proposals that take significant steps toward addressing these needs, which impact our economic opportunity, ability to create and retain jobs, and overall quality of life for Virginia’s citizens.
2012 Policy Position
Completion of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project to Washington Dulles International Airport and eastern Loudoun County, and securing additional federal, state and private-sector funding to reduce projected toll increase levels associated with the project is a top priority to the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC). DRCC also continues to strongly support efforts to secure new, sustainable, long-term regional and statewide transportation funding to meet our critical transportation construction and maintenance needs.
Update January 2011
A Bipartisan Coalition is introducing Governor McDonnell's Omnibus Transportation Bill, which includes money for area projects including I-66 Gainesville, Rolling Road, Fairfax; Routes 7 and 28; HOV/HOT Lanes; and Metro. Read more.
2010 Policy Position
The Dulles Regional Chamber supports managed, thoughtful growth in the Dulles Region. This includes meaningful dialogue between Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, and between them and the Commonwealth, to provide support for well planned commercial growth and development that will bring additional resources to the Dulles Region to help address the infrastructure challenges we face. The Chamber supports use of public-private partnerships and other creative initiatives to encourage the availability of resources to invest in critical infrastructure, including schools, transportation, technology, parks and recreational facilities, and public safety, to meet the needs of today’s businesses and residents.
The Dulles Regional Chamber assigns top priority to securing new, sustainable regional and statewide transportation funding To that end, restoring regional funding (without prejudice) and addressing the Commonwealth’s growing statewide maintenance deficit should be a major priority of the 2010 General Assembly session. Responsibility for enacting new regional funding rests with the General Assembly, not local governments.
To better direct transportation allocations, the Chamber supports development of a performance-based statewide transportation plan focused on existing and new corridors of statewide and regional significance. Such a plan should include a short list of strategic priorities deemed most essential to the Commonwealth’s long-term prosperity, safety, security and quality of life.
The Chamber supports continued reforms within the Virginia Department of Transportation and use of public private partnerships, but believes that such initiatives are no substitute for the new funding required to address the growing backlog of unfunded priorities.
At the local/regional level, the Dulles Regional Chamber supports construction of a comprehensive transportation grid. The Chamber urges the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to be regional in its approach above all else, to establish regional priorities based upon performance-based criteria and to select Technical Advisory Committee members with strong professional credentials and regional perspectives. The Chamber further urges the Authority to leverage and invest new local, regional and state revenues in regional solutions that move the most people in the most cost-effective manner. The Chamber supports use of debt financing at the state, regional and local levels, accompanied by a dedicated revenue source for debt service, as an important tool to invest in transportation infrastructure.
The Chamber also supports more efficient use of current transportation dollars, including a re-examination of the state transportation allocation formula to provide for more emphasis on population, vehicle miles of travel and other congestion standards that would net a more equitable distribution of money for our region. The Chamber opposes using revenue from the Transportation Trust Fund for non-transportation purposes. The Chamber also endorses requiring the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund to be self-sustaining and supports efforts to prohibit transfer of construction funds from the Transportation Trust Fund to disguise maintenance funding deficiencies
In terms of specific projects, the Dulles Regional Chamber supports:
- Completion of the conversion of Route 28 into an eight-lane limited access freeway between I-66 and Route 7, including completion of projects on Route 28’s access roads;
- Restoration of the Western Transportation Corridor to the County’s Comprehensive Plan and completion of the Draft Environmental Impact Study;
- Upgrading the Route 606 and Route 50 corridors around Dulles Airport, completing a high capacity “Dulles Loop;”
- Expansion of Route 50, and improvements to the collector road network and interchanges in Dulles South area;
- Upgrading Route 7 to a limited access roadway between Leesburg and Tysons Corner, with an emphasis on the Route 7/Route 659 interchange;
- Identification of rights of way for and construction of additional Potomac River crossings;
- Acceleration, including identification of additional funding, for the completion of the Loudoun County Parkway and Tri-County Parkway along the County’s Comprehensive Plan alignment;
- Acceleration of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project to Washington Dulles International Airport and eastern Loudoun County and efforts to secure additional federal, state and private-sector funding for the project; and
- Multi-modal access to all the new Dulles Rail stations.
The Dulles Regional Chamber also supports consideration of graduated tolling and other options along the Dulles Greenway in order to determine if there can be increased utilization of that existing transportation corridor and reduced use of alternative, congested routes.
The Dulles Regional Chamber has long supported a sustainable revenue source for transit construction, operation and maintenance needs and urges that a portion of new regional revenues be dedicated for such purpose. We also support local transit to serve the major businesses and job centers in the County and the use of advanced technology and integrated communications, as well as teleworking, to help alleviate traffic congestion.
The Chamber acknowledges the importance of efforts to conserve and ensure the efficient use of energy and fuels. In addition, with regard to the environment, the Chamber believes the greatest reductions in greenhouse gases in the transportation sector will be achieved through the development of higher mileage and alternative fuel vehicles, and supports greater investments in these and other carbon dioxide reducing technologies. The Chamber also supports more intense use of the land to leverage the value of transportation investments to the best extent possible and encourage walkable communities.
The Dulles Regional Chamber recognizes the economic and tourism value of Washington Dulles International Airport. Therefore, the Chamber supports continued infrastructure investment at Washington Dulles International Airport, including the automated airport train system and new security area, construction of one additional runway, and expansion of concourses to provide additional aircraft gates and amenities. Further, the Chamber strongly supports maintaining compatible land uses in the areas surrounding the airport.