Dear Lowell —
We've been telling you about the McDonnell Administration's push for the Outer Beltway over the past two years, making the case that the project is a waste of money and will make traffic worse.
Last Tuesday, our opposition gained a major champion when Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10)sent a scathing letter to Governor McDonnell expressing “serious reservations” about the project.
Congressman Wolf's opposition is just the latest in a string of objections: At the end of April, six legislatorsfrom Northern Virginia announced their opposition to the project (including the Tri-County/Bi-County Parkway segment between I-66 and Route 50).
Citizens like you are mounting opposition to the project, too. Over 400 people attended one recent town hall alone.
Add Your Own Voice to the Opposition >>
This road project matters to everyone in Northern Virginia because it will have far-flung impacts — wasting limited state resources, enabling sprawl, increasing traffic, and harming existing communities and the environment along the way.
Stand Up Against the Outer Beltway >>
The Project Doesn’t Add Up
With VDOT about to allocate the next six years of transportation dollars, we need to prioritize improvements that will make the most difference to people who are stuck in traffic today. The Outer Beltway is not a good use of transportation dollars, because:
- It doesn't address our overwhelming traffic problems on roads like I-66, Route 50, I-95 and other major commuter routes.
- It diverts funds that the state should be using to invest in Dulles Rail Phase 2, Tysons Corner transportation needs and the Route 1 corridor.
- It would cost at least $1 billion according to VDOT, and the associated connector roads to the west side of Dulles could cost another $500 million or more.
- It would add more traffic to already congested commuter routes I-66 and Rt. 50 due to higher levels of residential development within the Prince William Rural Crescent and the Loudoun rural Transition Area, .
Ideas that Make More Sense
This is not a situation where we have to choose between the Outer Beltway or nothing. There are lots of alternative transportation solutions that have been long-promised and would improve traffic flow right away. Things like:
- Improving the interchange at Braddock Road and Rt 28.
- Expanding the interchange at I-66 and Rt. 28.
- Extending VRE to Gainesville and Metrorail to Centreville.
- Investing in Dulles Rail Phase 2 instead of forcing northern Virginians to pay most of the costs.
- Targeted use of roundabouts to keep people from sitting at key intersections in Loudoun and Prince William.
And that's just to name a few. We’ve joined the Piedmont Environmental Council in listing a set of alternative transportation solutions in Loudoun, western Prince William and western Fairfax that can be found in more detail on our website: smartergrowth.net/virginia/outer-beltway, and would welcome your feedback.
We personally thank the six Virginia State Delegates and Senators, as well as Congressman Wolf, for their leadership in questioning this wasteful highway. Please add your voice to the list of citizens who demand smarter, more effective transportation solutions going forward.
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Coalition for Smarter Growth
P.S. – On May 29, VDOT will hold a public hearing on their proposed projects for funding in the state Six-Year Transportation Plan. VDOT has also announced a Public Information Session on the project on Monday, June 3 in Manassas. There's also a meeting about the Dulles Access Road alternatives on Thursday, June 13th in Ashburn. Learn more here. Yes, it's a full-court press, and they need to hear your strong opposition to the highway.