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Fairfax Planning to Undo I-66 Decision

The setback suffered by the I-66 spot improvements project two weeks ago is likely to be reversed by the Transportation Planning Board.

i_66_shield.jpg

Sharon S. Bulova, the chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, told Post reporter Eric M. Weiss that the county's representatives on the regional planning board will switch their earlier votes against the I-66 plan.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I object to Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova's heavy handed tactics in ordering Fairfax County Supervisors Catherine M. Hudgins and Linda Q. Smyth to change their recent vote on the Transportation Planning Board to stop the I-66 "spot improvement" project until VDOT does a comprehensive study of alternatives in the corridor.

Hudgins and Smyth were presumably appointed to represent Fairfax County on the TPB because of their interest and expertise in transportation matters. They were not appointed to do Sharon Bulova's bidding.

Also, if as Bulova asserts, Fairfax County residents have always supported widening I-66, it's because VDOT refuses to present them with any alternatives to widening I-66. It is precisely for this reason that Hudgins and Smyth demanded a corridor study that might recommend another way to eliminate congestion on I-66 at a fraction of the cost in dollars and green house gas pollution.
Audrey Clement
Co-Chair, Green Party of Virginia

The transportation board's decision to block the project was a shocker. Even Chris Zimmerman, the Arlington County Board member who sponsored the resolution, didn't expect it to pass. It got through because under a voting system weighted by population, the two Fairfax County votes had a lot of clout.

Since then, the supporters of the project, who tend to come from the outer suburbs, where the highway commuters live, have regrouped. Bulova is saying that the county's representatives on the transportation board will have to fall in line with the county's position.

Even if the transportation board's vote this month proves to be nothing more than a gesture of dissatisfaction, I hope the Virginia Department of Transportation still will take it to heart and get at the underlying cause of concern. Virginia commuters need more options. Widening roads may ease congestion temporarily, but unless the widenings are part of a broader plan providing more options for travelers, the relief will be fleeting.

Road Essentials:  Incident Map  |  Traffic Cams   |   Key Routes

By Robert Thomson  |  February 25, 2009; 11:55 AM ET
Categories:  Congestion , Construction , Transportation Politics  
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Comments

Contary to what has been reported, Bulova did not strong-arm Hudgins and Smyth.

The reason they voted against the proposal is because VDOT said they would not have the time or money to conduct a study which was promised to the TPB. Apparently since the vote occured, VDOT has changed its tune and the study will be finished by years end, so that is the reason the Fairfax reps are going to change their votes.

Of course no matter the outcome Zimmerman and his cronies will still vote against the widening.

Posted by: ImpeachObama | February 25, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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