Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

FC wants to hear from you about the Silver Line

Do you have comments about Dulles Rail, Phase 2 project cost, financing, and physical layout or wish to comment on proposed names for all future Silver Line stations in the County?
Click here for the full contents of this Fairfax County webpage.

Unfortunately, to our knowledge, neither Fairfax County nor anyone except MWAA has current information about "Phase 2 project cost, financing, and physical layout."
  • The independent cost estimate and the "100% preliminary engineering" study were turned in to MWAA on February 29 as planned we have been told, but Silver Line Project Manager  Pat Nowakowski said they would not be available to the "funding partners" for several weeks.  No commitment to sharing that information with the public anytime at all despite CEO Jack Potter's early public commitment to greater cooperation with its partners and greater transparency with the public.  So much for MWAA's credibility.
  • The only financing information available is a "preliminary" traffic and revenue forecast from CDM Smith.  The "final" forecast is expected at the end of March--after the last public meeting and hearing have been held.
    • It includes a solid socio-economic forecast from Renaissance Planning Group, although we disagree with some of the forecast growth.  
    • CDM Smith provides a summary table of tolls, traffic, and revenues with a brief explanation, most notably that it's based on MWAA guidance to use the 2009 "alternate vision" scenario (higher gas prices, lower value of time, and reduced trip  growth). 
    • We also need to know the projected financial requirements.  Presumably the toll road forecast is based on the forecast financial revenue requirement, but we don't even know that with any confidence. 
In short, Fairfax leadership and MWAA are giving county citizens the bums rush.  Board to Fairfax citizens:  Take what you can get, but we'll keep the real information to ourselves--if we can get it out of MWAA.  No need for you to worry; we'll take care of you.


So, please feel free to question and challenge the county, but don't expect to get any accurate or reasonable answers because either (a) they don't know the answers or (b) they are hiding the information from public view.

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