Tag: letter to the editor

Helping Virginia grow — wisely

The March 13 editorial “Leave well enough alone,” on the Virginia transportation bill, characterized the coalition that defeated the 2002 referendum on a sales tax for transportation as “anti-growth activists and anti-tax conservatives.” This is a false characterization.

The leading activists have consistently supported planning for robust growth in the region. During the referendum debate, the Coalition for Smarter Growth and the Piedmont Environmental Council released a plan for redevelopment and economic growth that focused on the areas around the region’s rail stations. The region has embraced this vision through its Region Forward plan and local implementation of new transit-oriented development projects.

In Fairfax County, business and political leaders recognize transit-oriented development as the pivot for continued economic growth. The Coalition for Smarter Growth has endorsed and supported millions of square feet of development and thousands of housing units that bolster a smart-growth future. The Post should recognize this.

Douglas Stewart, Fairfax

The writer is a grants specialist at the Piedmont Environmental Council.

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Manassas battlefield must be protected from traffic

Regarding Robert McCartney’s March 7 Metro column “Deal is near to shift traffic out of Manassas battlefield park”:

Everyone involved agrees on the need to direct commuter traffic away from the national battlefield park to protect the park’s history, meaning and visitors. However, not everyone agrees that the proposed new highways can solve traffic problems.

Omitted from Mr. McCartney’s column was the Virginia Department of Transportation’s agreement to analyze a package of practical, lower-impact transportation projects that could provide relief for east-west commuters and the park. That analysis must be completed and considered before this process moves forward. The draft agreement does not yet provide specific, enforceable provisions to close Route 29 and Route 234 inside the park if the new highways are built.

The ghosts of Manassas’s fallen soldiers deserve better. To move forward without an ironclad guarantee that the roads will be closed would put the history and culture of Virginia’s most recognized battlefield in jeopardy.

Joy M. Oakes, Washington

The writer is senior regional director of the National Parks Conservation Association.

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