Saturday, October 12, 2013

Building Route 1, Version 2.0 - First Public Hearing For The U.S. 1 Transit Study

Last Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit held the first public hearing on the U.S. 1 Multimodal Transit Study ("the U.S. 1 Transit Study").  The U.S. 1 Transit Study was funded by language that Senator Toddy Puller and I secured in the State Budget last session.

The purpose of The U.S. 1 Transit Study is to review all of the prior studies that have been done, examine projected population and job growth in the future, look at possible transit investments, consider all of the plusses and minuses of various investments and come up with a locally preferred alternative.  To do this, they consider a variety of factors explained in this presentation below.

Here are some stats which explain why this is important:
  • Today, Fort Belvoir employs more people today than the U.S. Pentagon.  It's served by two bus lines - that's it. 
  • An average of 64,000 cars per day go on and off base peaking at 74,000 on Thursdays. 
  • Fort Belvoir is projecting employment growth of 17,000 more jobs by 2030 and 5,000 more people living on base.
  • The County has also projected 44,528 more people living within 1/2 a mile of U.S. 1 by 2040 and 18,394 new jobs. 
The question is how are we going to handle all of that?

The most important thing to remember is that the mode of transit must be tied to land use.  Personally, I believe extending the Yellow Line to Fort Belvoir would be a game changer for our area.  However, you can extend the Metro unless you allow sufficient housing and commercial density to support it like the Ballston-Clarendon-Courthouse Corridor in Arlington.

Additionally, if we are going to have any transit component, our communities must be more walkable, bikeable and interconnected so everyone does not need to drive on U.S. 1 to move around.  Right now, virtually all development on U.S. 1 is car-oriented. 

Public input is absolutely critical in this process.  Moving forward we need to hear from you.  Please stay tuned and provide your input when you can. 

This decision is the most important decision that our community will face.  It will have consequences not just for our transportation network, but it will determine how our community looks, will affect our schools, property values, environmental quality, and our quality of life. 

More information about The U.S. 1 Study can be found online here:

Also, you can watch a video of the entire meeting here. 

1 comment:

  1. If I could take rail from Prince William to somewhere I could connect with Metro to Belvoir, and, if I could be assured of reliable, timely transit from the Belvoir station to my office, I would seriously consider it.