NIMBY Madness Leads to More Congestion
Arlington County’s 2009 lawsuit to stop the I-95/I-395 HOT Lanes project was just one in a long list of Northern Virginia locality actions that have delayed, downsized or defeated and run-up the cost of badly needed transportation improvements. It’s not by accident area residents lose more time and money stuck in congestion than just about anyone in the nation.
- Virtually all Northern Virginia localities oppose Virginia Department of Highways comprehensive 1969 Northern Virginia Major Thoroughfare Plan “to meet traffic needs to the year 1985.” The plan proposed improving 794 miles of existing “thoroughfares’ and the construction of 198 miles of new highways. Estimated cost: $1.1 billion.
- Arlington County opposes I-66 inside the Beltway and succeeds in reducing design from four lanes to two in each direction, thus creating a major regional bottleneck that will require hundreds of millions of additional dollars to re-open.
- Fairfax County removes Monticello Freeway connector to Prince William County from its plan, thus eliminating an I-95 and I-66 traffic relief valve, along with the Northern Virginia Expressway and portions of the Second Beltway.
- Fairfax County kills Ridgefield Road connector between Fairfax and Prince William counties and another opportunity to provide I-95 and I-66 corridor relief.
- Fairfax County also removes a new Northern Potomac River crossing from its plan.
- City of Alexandria opposes and delays efforts to replace the Woodrow Wilson Bridge the federal government had deemed structurally deficient in 1985.
- Loudoun County removes Western Transportation Corridor from its transportation plan despite federal, state and regional studies demonstrating major demand and benefits.
- Loudoun County rejects Route 9 and US 15 alternatives despite county-commissioned study documenting major safety and congestion-relief benefits.
- Arlington County sues the Commonwealth over the proposed I-95/I-395 HOT Lanes project, resulting in VDOT cancelling the I-395 segment of the project that would have brought major congestion relief and $200 million in private sector public transit corridor improvements for the corridor.
- Prince William County removes Bi-County Parkway from its transportation plan despite state, regional and local studies demonstrating major demand and benefits of a north-south connection between Prince William and Loudoun Counties.
Transportation has been a primary state responsibility since 1932.
Commonwealth deferrals to NIMBY interests have exacted a higher economic and quality of life tax on Northern Virginia residents than any proposed new transportation tax or fee.