TPB Newsletter (and the TPB) Ignore Majority I-66 Input

Posted on March 17, 2015 in: I-66I-66 Inside the BeltwayI-66 Outside the Beltway

A recent Transportation Planning Board newsletter summarizing the public comments received regarding VDOT’s I-66 improvement proposals claimed that “A majority of the comments sought more details and greater commitments from VDOT that the multimodal aspects of the proposals, especially the new commuter and rapid bus services, would indeed be implemented.”

Not quite

A review of the actual 194 public comments on the I-66 projects submitted and posted on the TPB website finds that:

  • 58% (113) stressed the need for additional lanes and increased capacity in the corridor with no mention of concern regarding transit commitments, while
  • 31% (61 including 4 from one individual) expressed concern regarding transit services.

With regards to I-66 inside the Beltway many recorded comments, including those submitted by ten chambers of commerce and business organizations representing thousands of employers and tens of thousands of commuters throughout Northern Virginia, recommended that transit improvements be tied to the construction of new lanes as opposed to VDOT’s proposed approach of implementing bus service, tolling and HOV-3 in 2017 and new lanes as late as 2040.

The TPB newsletter’s failure to mention what clearly was majority public sentiment is alarming; the TPB Board’s even more so. At its February 18th meeting the TPB Board adopted an Arlington resolution delaying any I-66 inside the Beltway widening until the tolling/transit/HOV-3 changes were in place and fully evaluated.

Ignoring public input discourages public involvement.

The need for additional lane capacity along the entire I-66 corridor has been documented for decades.

The Public Knows that the I-66 Corridor
Needs Additional Lanes.
The TPB’s Failure to Acknowledge this Need
Does Not Serve the Public Well.