Wednesday, February 9, 2011

U.S. 1 & Yellow Line Not on Anyone's Lists

One thing that I always on the front of my mind is how do we get the improvement of U.S. 1 and the extension of Metro to the top of everyone's list (let me know what you think of my new map on the right). There won't be any funding for anything until there is a broad consensus that the condition of U.S. 1 and the extension of the Yellow Line is a priority.

Yesterday, in a story entitled "What Do Va. Comuters Need?", Dr. Gridlock reported that the organization TRIP reported on the Top 50 Transportation Projects that need to be funded in Virginia. U.S. 1 and the extension of the Yellow Line are not on it.

The Governor's Office has given me a list of projects that they expect to fund with their transportation plan. There is one small project $540,000 project to realign Old Mill Road with Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. Other than that, nothing for U.S. 1.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance has a list of Northern Virginia Regional Priorities. It only has one transit project listed (Metro to Dulles) and U.S. 1 and the extension of the Yellow Line are not on it.

My number one focus is getting U.S. 1 and the Yellow Line extension on to everyone's list. In the meantime, we must do the following so that when funding is available, we will be in the best position to achieve it:
  • Complete the U.S. 1 Transit Study;
  • Update our environmental impact statement;
  • Revise the U.S. 1 Centerline Study;
  • Agree on a U.S. 1 Transit option; and
  • If light rail or a Metro Extension is adopted as a feasible option, then Metro must agree to make a Yellow Line extension part of their extension.
As Senator Puller and I wrote last July in the Washington Post - to make this happen it will also take a joint Task Force encompassing local, state, federal leaders along with citizens' grounds, the Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce and affected property owners to bring this to some conclusion.
It will also take some money from Virginia and statewide attention which is why I wrote an editorial this past summer that appeared in the Richmond Times Dispatch.
There's no question the above process will take some time, but until that happens, we will not appear on any list. In the meantime, I intend to make as much noise as possible so that our part of Fairfax County is heard from.


  1. Hear, frickin hear! Scott, let us know what MVCCA Transportation Committee can do to help...

  2. I need to post up an action plan. That's a good point.

  3. Maybe a premature comment but any extension of the Yellow Line needs to include a provision for express trains from Huntington to Ft. Belvoir, especially with all the new people headed down there to work. That is too far a distance to not have express trains. As a New Yorker, I totally miss the express trains of The Big Apple!

  4. Thanks Billy.

    Good points. We're probably 15-20 years from rails in the ground, but we gotta start the discussions now.

    If Metro is ever double tracked, they will definitely need to move to more express trains.

  5. Perhaps easier and less expensive to plan and implement to Fort Belvoir would be something akin to the Transitway system that is so well liked and successful in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Now almost 30 years old, the system has the flexibility of using buses and rail.

  6. As a quick introduction into the Transitway mentioned above, see this web page:

  7. Thanks Al!

    I'm sure all options will be on the table for the U.S. 1 Transit Study.