How Much Have We Lost?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Weekly Column: Spring Transportation Update

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette and The Mt. Vernon Voice in the week of May 5, 2014.
Spring Transportation Update 
Spring has arrived which means a beginning to the construction season.  Here’s an update regarding transportation improvements in our area. 
U.S. 1 Widening  
Last week, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) started construction to six-lane U.S. 1 from Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway to Telegraph Road and reserve transit right-of-way in the center.  The project will take two years and is funded by the federal government thanks to U.S. Congressman Jim Moran. 
Jeff Todd Way/Mulligan Road Opening 
In September 2014, Jeff Todd Way will open between U.S. 1 (Roy Rogers) and Telegraph Road finally restoring cross-county connectivity between Woodlawn and Hayfield after access through Fort Belvoir was shut down thirteen years ago.  Listen for the loud sigh of relief in 22309 after opening.
U.S. 1 Transit 
The U.S. 1 Multimodal Transit Alternatives Analysis Study is progressing.  The team is currently evaluating which transit option is the best option for our community.  
The two-stop Yellow Line extension to Hybla Valley with bus rapid transit to Woodbridge or the “Hybrid Option” is the best choice bring the redevelopment, traffic, environmental, and quality of life benefits to our community.  Over 400 people have signed my petition urging the consultants to accept this option.   Please sign my petition and post up your comments at bit.ly/extendyellowline
Additionally, Senator Toddy Puller secured a $4 million in the senate budget which would accelerate the planning, engineering, and funding process for whatever option is recommended.  We are fighting to ensure its inclusion in the final budget. 
Fort Hunt Paving 
In my last online constituent survey, Fort Hunt Road was voted most in need of paving in the community.  It was originally scheduled for paving in 2014, but 2014 winter weather expenses doubled were double the anticipated amount and VDOT has sacrificed paving operations to make up the shortfall.  Fort Hunt Road later this year or next spring/summer at the latest. 
Neighborhood Paving 
Other significant paving work that was bid and contracted before the winter has begun in the Kirkside, Mason Hill, and Hollin Hills neighborhoods.  I have posted a map showing this year’s paving operations in the 44th District on my blog – The Dixie Pig at scottsurovell.blogspot.com.
Sherwood Hall Lane 
In February of 2013, several people complained about increased speeds and illegal driving behaviors on Sherwood Hall Lane.  At the request of Supervisor Hyland, I asked the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to investigate options for increasing traffic safety.  
After a public hearing and considering public input, the Fairfax County has recommended to VDOT that Sherwood Hall Lane be restriped to include bike lanes its entire length and that roadside parking be maintained.  Additionally, a separate discussion is ongoing about the addition of one or two crosswalks to provide better access to Hollin Meadows Elementary School along with other improvements to facilitate safer pedestrian movement across the road.
VDOT has advised me that paving on Sherwood Hall Lane will begin around June 1 and take approximately thirty days to complete.
Future Area Improvements 
A few people have asked me when we can expect to see the results of the transportation tax increases passed last year.  The new taxes became effective on July 1, 2013 so we have not seen twelve months of revenue yet.  Additionally, the law requires $100 million per year to be dedicated to the Silver Line for three years so much of the new revenue is already allocated. 
Anyone navigating the potholes on Fort Hunt Road or seeing the hay that grows in our medians during the summer, can appreciate how large the secondary road maintenance backlog is today and VDOT is playing catchup to get our roads back up to speed. 
Finally, the planning process for the road allocations is ongoing and the Commonwealth Transportation Board is implementing new “objective” metrics to allocate road spending.  I have concerns about the objectivity of the formula which I have raised and debated on the floor of the House since this idea was first proposed in 2010.  Notwithstanding, there are many good things happening in our area on the transportation front and I am hopeful we will see some big changes over the next decade. 
It is an honor to serve as your state delegate.  Email me at scottsurovell@gmail.com if you have any feedback!














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