Reston Spring

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Reston Spring

Friday, May 31, 2013

Transportation pie, Fairfax Times, May 31, 2013

This commentary by Eileen Curtis, President of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, provides an interesting perspective on the different views of the No. Va. Transportation Authority vs. the No. Va. Transportation Alliance on the proposed allocation of the $189 million coming to the area for transportation improvements.
A recent breakfast gathering of the transportation cognoscenti of the region and presented by the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance posed this question: How will our various Northern Virginia jurisdictions split up the pie of new transportation money? County leaders or their representatives from Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington and Loudoun comprised the panel of presenters. Perhaps the most interesting information, however, came from the discussion sheets provided to the audience. . .
. . . The Authority comprises appointees drawn mainly from the chairs/mayors of the nine cities and counties comprising the Authority, along with a smattering of General Assembly members, transportation officials and gubernatorial appointees. By its nature, the pie will be split according to parochial interests. There is another transportation group that has been on the ground for a number of years, the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, headed by Bob Chase. He and his organizations are the gurus to which our chamber and most all other chambers pay attention when questions arise about roads and bridges. They are nonpartisan, and they are experts. Mass transit is not part of their core mission.
After presenting the differing lists of the Authority vs. the Alliance, the article continues:
 Only the Authority requested monies for public transit alternatives such as work at three VRE stations and two WMATA projects: traction power upgrades on the Orange Line and 10 new buses on Virginia routes, together totaling $12,000,000.
What does this mean to us citizens? It gives two different views of how to prioritize transportation needs, one from a mainly legislative body, one from a transportation expert viewpoint, one encompassing both roads and mass transit, the other just roads. I hope you will use it as a road map to inform your own point of view and to share that with your legislators. It will be the Authority that cuts the pie.
Get the details here. 

Its useful to have this kind of perspective from a regional business executive as we think about what to do with the scarce funding available to improve our abominable transportation situation.  

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