VDOT Plays the Grinch for Northern Virginia Residents

Coalition for Smarter Growth – Piedmont Environmental Council

DECEMBER 18, 2012

Stewart Schwartz, CSG, (703)599-6437 (cell)
Chris Miller, PEC, (540) 347-2334

With less than two weeks notice, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) scheduled two public meetings this week on their “North-South Corridor of Statewide Significance,” a revival of the long-controversial Outer Beltway.  Not only are the meetings set amid the busy holiday season when it’s hard for local residents to attend, but the comment period is scheduled to close on January 2nd, the day after the long holiday week — a time guaranteed to ensure that few people will have the time to comment.

Moreover, the meeting notice cannot be found on the main VDOT website, but is instead on a little known VTRANS website and the meetings will not be conducted in an open public hearing format.

“VDOT is truly the ‘Grinch who stole Christmas’ and is clearly not interested in transparent and robust dialogue with the public or local elected officials when it comes to the Outer Beltway project,” said Chris Miller, President of the Piedmont Environmental Council.

“VDOT’s pursuit of the Outer Beltway is yet another case of wasteful spending priorities, like Route 460, the Charlottesville Bypass and the Coalfields Expressway,” said Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth. “To propose spending billions on an Outer Beltway for Dulles air freight, which will never amount to a great deal of cargo shipments overall, and when Northern Virginians are stuck in traffic on existing commuter routes, and  when VDOT has zeroed out funding for local roads, is transportation malpractice.”

“What people in Northern Virginia really want is for the roads in their communities to be fixed and maintained. It’s time VDOT stopped trying to force through questionable spending priorities and it’s time they included local elected officials and state legislators in decision making as to where we should allocate our transportation tax dollars,” said Miller.


About the Coalition for Smarter Growth

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington D.C. region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies needed to make those communities flourish. To learn more, visit the Coalition’s website at www.smartergrowth.net.