The meeting took place at Hayfield Secondary School Wednesday evening.
"The purpose of the meetings is to get community feedback on unfunded projects," said Beth Francis, PIO for FCDOT. "We have this massive list of projects, and we want the community to provide their input on what their priorities are, then ultimately submit a list of projects to the board."
Francis explained that in April, HB 2313 passed and opened up a lot of funding for transportation in Northern Virginia. Because the house bill passed, several changes were made to "the revenues collected by the Commonwealth, and the distribution of such revenues, primarily for the benefit of transportation." According to FCDOT, because of HB 2313 Fairfax County will have $1.2 billion from various sources to fund transportation projects in the county.
As many Fairfax County residents may know, there are hundreds of transportation projects that are currently being funded. FCDOT has identified just as many projects that are unfunded.
"We have 214 projects on the list. Not every project is on this list, and it's not the only list of projects in the county," said Tom Biesiadny, FCDOT director.
Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay spoke to residents during Wednesday night's meeting, emphasizing that these projects will help ease congestion in the county.
"These projects will help improve gridlock in the county. What we want to do is get your feedback on what your priorities are for transportation," McKay said. "We have a massive list, but it's not the only list. We're at an important point where we're receiving funds and have the opportunity to move forward with these projects."
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland also spoke about the importance of improvements on Route 1. Hyland said he is supportive of a rail system, heavy or light, on Route 1 to improve transportation. Hyland also said there needs to be widening along Richmond Highway from the Alexandria city lines.
Biesiadny provided a quick presentation for a small group of residents and took questions and suggestions. Some residents spoke out in support or against projects on the list. Others stressed the importance of certain projects.
Among the 214 projects on the unfunded list, the Mount Vernon and Lee districts have about 80 projects being considered for funding, including those that are combined with other districts such as Springfield and Braddock.
SFDC Executive Director Edythe Kelleher Frankel endorsed project No. 60, which would widen Richmond Highway from Mount Vernon Memorial Highway to Napper Road. Frankel said SFDC supports the funding of this project because it will assist in the revitalization of Route 1.
Biesiadny clarified that the department will not focus on ongoing maintenance needs throughout the county. The state will receive additional funding for maintenance from HB2313.
"All projects are for new capacity," Biesiadny said. "They do not address ongoing maintenance such as cutting lawns." Biesiadny said these projects deal directly with improving congestion and transportation in the county, including improving bicycle and pedestrian paths.
"If we can make our bike and pedestrian network more efficient, you can cut down on the amount of times you're getting in your car every day to go to the store or the laundromat," he said.
FCDOT plans to have individual meetings with board members and return to the Transportation Advisory Committee with results of public outreach in mid-November. In early December, FCDOT will distribute a summary of recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for review and to discuss the project list.
FCDOT has three more public meetings scheduled in November to receive more community input.
- Monday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.
Falls Church High School
7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church
Transit accessible via: Metrobus 1A, 1B, 1Z
- Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
Fairfax County Government Center
Conference rooms 2/3
12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax
Transit accessible via: Fairfax Connector routes 605, 621, 623
- Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
Forest Edge Elementary School
1501 Becontree Lane, Reston
Transit accessible via: Fairfax Connector routes 552, RIBS 1, RIBS 3