On behalf of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, I wish to register our strongest objections to the conduct of the "North-South Corridor of Statewide Significance (COSS)" study and to the very concept of the proposal. Our first objection is to the lack of transparency and seriously inadequate public involvement and notice that have characterized this proposal from the outset, including...
The major North-South highway that is being planned for Loudoun and Prince William counties got a public rollout of sorts last week. “Open houses” were held at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn and the Four Points Sheraton in Manassas. There were no formal presentations for this new “Northern Virginia North-South Corridor,” just a series ofinformational boards that showed roughly where the limited-access highway would go and why local and state officials think it’s needed. This is not just the previously discussed Tri-County Parkway between I-66 and Route 50. This is the whole enchilada: a 45-mile limited-access highway from Route 7 in Ashburn all the way to I-95 in Dumfries. And the discussion is now officially beginning about extending this road across the Potomac River into Maryland, which makes the warnings from environmental and smart-growth groups of an emerging “Outer Beltway” connecting with the Intercounty Connector and then I-95 in Maryland seem more plausible.
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.
Vince Gray beamed as he strode down the aisle, trailed by a cluster of aides and constituents hoping for a photo with the mayor, clutching a fork in one hand and a plate of appetizers in the other. “Imagine how many jobs this will create!” he said. The scene last Wednesday was a preview reception at D.C.’s first Costco, the evening before the 154,000-square-foot store officially opened. Giddy Washingtonians, Marylanders, and local politicos availed themselves of the copious free food and gazed admiringly at the megajugs of liquor and electrical appliances stacked five feet high. Arriving almost exclusively by car, visitors put a solid dent in the Shops at Dakota Crossing’s 2,000-spot parking lot, near the heavily trafficked intersection of New York and South Dakota avenues NE.
Status Report: Northern Virginia Bi-County Parkway and North South Corridor of Statewide Significance
The General Assembly of Virginia directed the Commonwealth Transportation Board, with assistance from the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, to conduct a comprehensive review of transportation needs in corridors of statewide significance and regional networks.