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Posted at 6:13 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Arlington drops HOT lanes lawsuit

By Christy Goodman

The Arlington County Board announced Tuesday that it would drop a controversial HOT lanes lawsuit against state and federal transportation officials and agencies.

"With the announcement last week by [Virginia Transportation] Secretary [Sean T.] Connaughton, it is clear that the county's objectives have been achieved and the lawsuit can be terminated," said Christopher Zimmerman, the board chairman, in a statement.

Connaughton announced a new High Occupancy Toll lane project Thursday that would run along new or current High Occupancy Vehicle lanes from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to Edsall Road in Fairfax County. The lanes would connect to HOT lanes under construction on I-495 or return to HOV lanes after Edsall Road.

The nearly $1 billion HOT lanes project will be managed as a public-private partnership with Fluor-Transurban, officials said.

The new project will go through an environmental assessment process, which Arlington officials wanted. Since the proposed project does not include the six miles of HOT lanes in Arlington, their complaints regarding traffic congestion no longer apply. The secretary also said that the Virginia Department of Transportation will include the public and officials in the affected counties throughout the process.

"It is crucial that the impacts of the implementation details of this new I-95 project be carefully evaluated and appropriately mitigated before turning the facility over to a private company for decades," Zimmerman said.

By Christy Goodman  | February 8, 2011; 6:13 PM ET
Categories:  Northern Virginia, Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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Comments

Arlington, the only county around here with backbone. Good job defeating the power grab of the lobbyists! Thank you for saving our public HOV lanes inside the beltway.

Posted by: AdventurerVA | February 8, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

The County Board's lawsuit was not only bad transportation policy, but it used outrageous legal tactics -- hurling baseless charges of racism, and suing public officials as individuals (threatening their personal finances).

Many of us in Arlington were appalled by the Board's action. And while the lawsuit has finally (belatedly) been withdrawn, it has done major damage:
(1) it cost Arlington taxpayers over $1.5 million in legal fees;
(2) it cost Arlington taxpayers $3 million in lost tax revenue, as the legislature penalized Arlington for its misbehavior;
(3) it will mean continued and worsening congestion on I-395 for years to come.

The County Board must bear the blame for the damage that this lawsuit has done to the region, to Arlington taxpayers, and to Arlington motorists.

Posted by: jrmil | February 8, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Ditto JRMIL! Total waste of taxpayer dollars and even worse using the race card as a bogus means to end; love to know just where those minorities are over there in the Shirlington "Village" lol. A page right out of Jim Moron's playbook for sure!

Posted by: gLo1 | February 9, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Arlington should be paved over with a street grid. Resettle anyone in the way in PG county. Win win.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 9, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@jrmil

"The County Board must bear the blame for the damage that this lawsuit has done to the region, to Arlington taxpayers, and to Arlington motorists."

jrmil, you make some good points.

Another consequence of Arlington's recalcitrant insensitivity to regional needs is a negative effect on goodwill towards Arlington from its neighbors. Many, myself included, have decided NOT to spend money in Arlington.


Posted by: ceefer66 | February 9, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I might have spent money in Arlington, if I could get there.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 9, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I doubt anyone but Adventurer is an Arlington resident.

We are not your highway or your right-of-way. It is not our fault you live in areas that lack urban planning and have become the nightmares Audrey Moore railed against back in the 70's. You were warned but chose not to listen.

Negative goodwill? I could care less, but I am not sure how. Please stay in Prince William or where ever. And Richmond punishing Arlington? Of course, we are extremely successful, the residents love living here, we live the Arlington Way (helping our fellow man) and we vote Democratic. That's fighting words to the Cuukies, Can'ters, Maccacas and do-nothings that have made the rest of Virginia such a back water.

We could have been working towards a sustainable traffic grid since the Gipper days, but the "no taxes" mantra meant no money to pay for transit solutions on a regular yearly basis, and no one was offering to build infrastructure for free. So, you get what you sow. Arlington got on the planning wagon in the 70's and never looked back.

I feel sooooo sorry that it just hasn't worked out that well for those who refused to raise revenue for transit and now wonder why traffic gets worse every year as the population grows and the transit budget shrinks so the millionaires can save a dime. Boo Hoo.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | February 9, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I enjoy my trip on the 3B from Rosslyn to WFC. The area has a nice combination of small businesses and various types of housing. I've often thought about moving there.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 9, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

RogerRamjet2,

You shouldn't be so quick to make assumptions.

As a matter of fact, I live pretty close-in (not in PW), also vote Democratic and I probably spend as much to "help my fellow man" inthe form of taxes anbd donations as many people like you MAKE.

Where you and I differ is that I'm not smug, snobbish, snarky, or enough of a jerk (pick one) to think I deserve a medal for MY "choice" and other deserve to be crapped on for THEIR "Choice".

You obviously do. and therefor aren't really worth the bother of any intelkligent person. Because after all isd said and done, you're STILL smug, snobbish, snarky, or a jerk.

Now go and have a happy landing. If you don't know what that means, imagine puckering up...

Posted by: ceefer66 | February 9, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

RogerRamjet2 has taken a few too many up the ramjet.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 9, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"RogerRamjet2 has taken a few too many up the ramjet."

Not to worry.

Guys like him would be funny if they weren't so sorry.

Those suburban wanabee neo-urbanists are a joke. They're afraid to REALLY move to the city because that would mean rubbing elbows with all those so-called minorites and with poor people in DC. So they pack themselves into close-in suburbs like Arlington and PRETEND they live in the city. Hence their anti-suburb, car-hating road-opponent rhetoric.

Mind you, they very likely grew up in the far-out suburbs they love to hate.

Posted by: ceefer66 | February 9, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"RogerRamjet2 has taken a few too many up the ramjet."

Not to worry.

Guys like him would be funny if they weren't so sorry.

Those suburban wanabee neo-urbanists are a joke. They're afraid to REALLY move to the city because that would mean rubbing elbows with all those so-called minorites and with poor people in DC. So they pack themselves into close-in suburbs like Arlington and PRETEND they live in the city. Hence their anti-suburb, car-hating road-opponent rhetoric.

Mind you, they very likely grew up in the far-out suburbs they love to hate.

Posted by: ceefer66 | February 9, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

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