Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Blueprint for Better Transportation in Northern Virginia

The Virginia Sierra Club released the Blueprint for Better Transportation in Northern Virginia this week. The Blueprint recommends a set of transportation projects to expand bicycling, walking, and transit access across our region. 

FABB is proud to support the Blueprint with the Virginia Sierra Club and the following groups: Environment Virginia, Piedmont Environmental Council, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the Climate Reality Project: Northern VA Chapter, the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, Network NoVA, Friends of Accotink, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Audubon Naturalist Society, and the Prince William Conservation Alliance. Whew!

In addition to expanding transportation choices, the Blueprint’s recommendations, if enacted, would reduce pollution and create better communities. By creating more walkable, transit-oriented communities and strategic road connections, Northern Virginia could relieve congestion and achieve a host of other benefits, including cleaner air, better communities and stronger economies.

The primary goals of the Blueprint are to: 
  • Prioritize Transit-Oriented Development and access to regional transit, including on foot and by bike. 
  • Revitalize activity centers by building walkable street grids.
  • Expand transit capacity through investing in Metro, VRE, Bus Rapid Transit, and expanded express bus service, supporting a network of transit-oriented development.
  • Make the road network more efficient by improving street connections and strategically adding capacity at key areas.
The Blueprint suggests the prioritization of road funds to create a more efficient, interconnected street grids and create key connections for transit corridors in existing and emerging walkable, mixed-use areas. These include Route 7 from Alexandria to Tysons, Route 1 in Fairfax and Prince William, Columbia Pike and Gallows Road, and Tysons to Inova with local connection to Annandale.
The Blueprint’s supporters are promoting and encouraging others to promote these recommendations with the local and state elected officials on the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) Board.  The Board is holding a public hearing on May 10 to approve funding for regional projects. There are 62 candidate projects that total around $2.5 billion. With only around $1.5 billion in funding available over the next six years, NVTA has to select and prioritize what can be funded. FABB joins the other Blueprint supporters in wanting to see the Blueprint’s principles and recommendations shape these priorities.  

You can help by attending the May 10 public hearing and speaking up in favor of one or more of the Blueprint’s recommendations. Sign up here

You also can share your views and ideas during the public comment period through May 20 with NVTA here with the subject: Regional Projects Funding. 

FABB encourages its members to sign this Sierra Club petition and share it with your friends. 

Finally, you can contact local NVTA representatives to express your opinions and demand transit for everyone. A list of representatives with their email addresses is available at the bottom of the Blueprint webpage here.

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