Archive for the 'transportation' Category

Just plain dumb

‘Slug drivers’ being ticketed in D.C.

This is what comes of perverting our traffic ordinances into a revenue raiser. Shame on Fenty, Vincent Gray and the entire City Council for stooping to this.

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Three cheers for Arlington County

Arlington County sues over HOT lanes

Arlington County is suing Virginia, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for moving forward with the high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane projects on Interstate 95 and Interstate 395 without a full environmental and public health analysis.

It is time to build a transportation system for the post carbon economy, more ways to move cars is not the way to go.

Sign the Purple Line Petition

Coalition for Smarter Growth
Sign the petition for the Inner Purple Line

Tyon’s tunnel, it’s not over until its under

We're on Track!

Our informational fundraiser is this Monday, July 28th at Marco Polo Restaurant, Vienna at 7:30pm. Political speakers and attendees will include State Senator Chap Petersen, Hunter Mill Supervisor
Cathy Hudgins, Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, as well as a
host of other officials and candidates for public office.
Come show your support and hear the latest news on our efforts.
You must RSVP by Sunday, July 27, 2008 to info@tysonstunnel.org
Find out more


VIENNA INFORMATIONAL FUNDRAISER

Gerry Connolly on land use and transportation

VA-11 candidates on traffic, transit, and density

Connolly is more clearly in favor of density around Metro Stations. Here’s an article about it from the left-leaning (and pro-Byrne) blog Not Larry Sabato, which doesn’t support Tysons density and attacks the rail plan, though many of the commenters disagree.

Connolly also discusses further Metro expansion on his environment page, supporting Metro extensions of the Orange and Yellow lines to Gainesville, Ft. Belvoir, and Potomac Mills, and building the Purple Line. (We’ll put aside for now the question of whether LRT or Metro is better for Ft. Belvoir and other extensions). Byrne makes no mention of transit other than the Silver Line on her site.

On last month’s gas tax debate, according to the Springfield Connection, Byrne focused on the fairly unrealistic “windfall profits tax” idea also pushed by Hillary Clinton, while Connolly is hanging his hopes for the future on our brilliant scientists building a 100-mpg car. Perhaps not surprisingly, neither talks directly about the importance of Fairfax and Prince William growing less auto-dependent, despite plummeting real estate prices in the area for that very reason.

Connolly does show a very good understanding of the relationship between transportation and sprawl in his environmental plan with these points:

  • De-couple federal highway funding from increasing vehicle miles traveled (VMT), eliminating the incentive to build roads that immediately become congested by traffic from sprawl that they induce
  • Enhance share of federal funding for mass transit relative to roads
  • Eliminate funding for highway projects that are not projected to reduce congestion due to induced sprawl

Connolly also supports expanding the bicycle route network and adding funding for bike trails.

Byrne, on the other hand, doesn’t move beyond classic environmental issues in her environmental plan or anywhere else on her site. She’s for cleaner cars, but without mention of fewer highways; for protecting national parkland, but not for greater housing density that would reduce development pressure on greenfields.

Based on this research, it appears that Connolly would be the better candidate on Smart Growth and transportation issues. Anyone have other information to support or refute this?

Dulles rail

Rumors and uncertainty fill the void left by teetering Metro project

That argument is the underpinning behind the position of Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, who sees the FTA’s refusal to fund the current project as an opportunity.

“This gives us another chance to do the project right,” said Foust.

His vision for the future of the project echoes the stance of many Vienna and McLean residents and TysonsTunnel.org. They want the FTA to put the project and its allocated funding on hold, allowing planners to submit one that’s competitively bid and more palatable to Tysons Corner residents.

Highly placed sources in the Tysons business community say that this is what the FTA is leaning toward, but time will have to tell. Other sources close to the negotiations with the FTA say that the tunnel remains “a pipe dream.” Such a time out would almost certainly require at least another year of delay, during which construction costs for the project would almost certainly rise.

Immediately after the FTA’s announcement, rumors swirled that Northern Virginia’s congressional delegation would find some other way to appropriate the money. According those who work in Congress, the idea is problematic.

“I don’t know how that would happen. $900 million is a lot for an earmark,” said Austin Durrer, an aide to U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th).

Since this weekend, congressional and Fairfax County leaders have said they are not working on alternative solutions, but on bringing the FTA around.

Waiting in the wings is the specter of private funding, but since it would almost certainly involve ceding control of the Dulles Toll Road to a private backer – the same concept that was unsuccessfully proposed before the toll road was turned over to the airports authority – many area lawmakers are uncomfortable with the idea.

β€œIt would be very problematic to go forward with just private funding,” said county board chairman Gerry Connolly (D-At large).

I would hope it would be a deal killer.


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