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Get an Update on Street Grid, Potential Transportation Tax Tonight

by Karen Goff May 18, 2016 at 10:00 am 7 Comments

Reston Transit Areas/Fairfax County

The Reston community can get an update on the planned urban-style street grid — and the potential of a special tax to help pay for it — at a community meeting Wednesday.

Join Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) for another in a series of discussions on the Reston Network Analysis from 7 to 9 p.m. at South Lakes High School.

Residents will be able to learn more about the analysis, which is evaluating the concept of urban-style grids of streets in the areas surrounding the Reston Metrorail Stations, also known as the Reston Transit Station Areas. County staff will give a presentation on the status of the Network Analysis and potential recommendations for the transportation network. Staff will also answer questions.

The Reston Network Analysis Advisory Group has most recently discussed Tier 2 mitigation (see presentation below). The group is looking at ways to reduce congestion and waiting times at traffic lights. The presentation points out some of the worst trouble spots in the Reston area. The goal is adding traffic lights and turning lanes, but patience is needed as the plan covers mitigation over the next several decades.

At a February meeting, Fairfax County officials said Reston is going to need more than $2.6 billion in transportation improvements to keep up with development and population growth in the next 40 years.

Officials said Reston roadway improvements (overpasses, widening, extensions, and interchanges) will cost $1.28 billion. Intersection projects will cost $65 million and the enhanced grid network will cost $1.28 billion, the report said.

In February, the word “special transportation tax” was also mentioned. The RNAG Advisory Group said money to pay for those infrastructure improvements may come from a wide array of sources. Among them: a transportation tax, but also developer proffers, taxes, bonds, federal transportation grants and state funding, as well as a potential county meals tax.

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said a special tax district is just one of the “tools we are exploring in transportation improvements. We have done it with rail; we are doing it in Tysons.”

Tysons has had a special tax since 2013 to pay for transportation improvements there.

In addition to the meeting, the county has website to help gather comments from the community. If you are unable to attend meetings, you can still submit your comments on the project website.

Photo: Reston Transit Areas/Fairfax County

  • cRAzy

    The CRITICAL issue remains WHO PAYS FOR THE ROAD IMPROVEMENTS, not which roads get what improvements.

    According to Terry Maynard, whose Reston 20/20 blog has been following this closely, the County wants RESIDENTS (either TSA or ALL Reston residents) to pay for about one-third of the cost through the a special transportation tax district on tops of the STD#5 we already have. In fact, that is the only “option” the County discussed with the RNAG group at its last meeting. That “option” is nothing more than a public subsidy to corporate profits as Maynard argued in an op/ed here on RestonNow. (https://www.restonnow.com/2016/04/18/op-ed-reston-transportation-tax-proposal-is-grotesque-county-corporate-welfare/)

    According to an email Maynard posted on his blog, the County has backed away from an all-Reston transportation tax district, but not one covering just the TSAs. (http://reston2020.blogspot.com/2016/05/fc-transportation-backs-off-from.html) First, there is no reason even TSA residents should pay a special tax so developers can make greater profits. Second, don’t believe for a minute that the all-Reston tax district card won’t be played again, most likely by Hudgins at the Board of Supervisors.

  • Terry Maynard

    Focusing on the presentation in this article, please note that the County has already gotten the state transportation people to agree that an intersection level of service (LOS) “E” is the appropriate standard for the “urban” station areas. The fact of the matter is that, until this agreement, the County intersection standard was LOS “D”, which shortened the intersection delay by up to 55 seconds.
    So, yes, the County is planning is “improve” our roadways to generate worse traffic congestion, even for those of us who just want to get through the TSAs. Those North Pointers wanting to go to RCC and us south siders who want to go to Baron Cameron Park will just have to put up with greater delays.
    cRAzy’s comments are also right on regarding residential funding of these roadway improvements. All Reston residents show oppose a special tax on Restonians–community-wide or just the station areas–for roadway improvements that will only make traffic worse and allow developers to make greater profits.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    If you really want to do something about congestion, new roads are not the solution. The only fix for this problem is to thin the herd. Reston needs less development, not more.

    • Why do you bother?

      You “no roads” people are ridiculous. We’re already here, and we need to get where we’re going. Since the “herd” is not going to thin, the only DOABLE solution is to disperse traffic over more roadway options.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        New roads will only attract more people, encourage more car use and make the area more enticing for developers. It might seem that increasing road capacity would alleviate the problem — and it might have that effect in the short-term — but, in the end, it really only makes it worse.

        • Dentro

          You’re absolutely right about the problem, but wrong about the culprit. Building dense living spaces that aren’t car-dependent, while ignoring the inevitable traffic issues for people who insist on driving despite their options, is the only solution. Let people internalize the costs of their bad decision to drive, rather than have people internalize the cost of being born too late to have a home in a thriving metro area.

        • Why do you bother?

          Reread the second sentence of my comment. This is the only metro area I’ve ever lived in with such insufficient road infrastructure. It is ridiculous to demand that people not drive, then hold your breath ’til you turn blue and refuse to deal with reality. There’s a name for that…

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