Loudoun County Transportation Plan
Technical Basis Falls Short — Changes to Near Term Priorities and Mid-Term Fixes Needed to the Plan
We appreciate the extensive work by the Planning Commission and staff. The plan breaks new ground in talking about the importance of transit, pedestrian/bicycle transportation, environmental protection, and linking land use and transportation. Yet, when one looks at the meat of the plan — the main focus of projects and spending — the focus is on massive and unaffordable road capacity expansion, inadequate investment in transit, and no implementation of land use and urban design changes. A core problem underlying the report is flawed traffic modeling overwhelmingly based on assumptions of never-ending increases in vehicle travel and capacity expansion, and done without an integrated analysis of land use and transportation alternatives.
Given the flaws in the underlying analysis, the Campaign for Loudoun’s Future elected last fall to offer a way to prioritize projects out of the extensive and largely unaffordable list of projects generated by the capacity-driven modeling. The Coalition for Smarter Growth agrees and believes it is important for the Board to:
- Take the time to understand the flaws in the transportation analysis;
- Consider the exorbitant cost of many of the road expansions and interchanges, given long-term reductions in state and national infrastructure funding capacity;
- Focus on west-east commuting with an emphasis on additional commuter transit services;
- Delete north-south roads to Prince William and in the transition area — that cannot be justified by traffic needs and will fuel more scattered development;
- Focus on very local transportation fixes that may involve adding retail within walking distance of underserved communities and making local street and bike/pedestrian connections;
- Require supplemental analysis and reevaluation of the plan to be conducted over the next year.
Due to the very short time between the Planning Commission’s vote and the Board hearing on the matter, we also ask that the Board hold open the public record for an addition 2-3 weeks to allow for additional public input.