Alliance Endorses Some HB 2 Recommendations and Proposes Improvements
In recent testimony before the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) the Alliance endorsed several projects in the first round of HB 2 projects while recommending changes to transform Six-Year Improvement Program into one more focused on investments of greatest long-term benefit.
The Alliance endorsed the selection of I-66, I-64 and the I-95 Rappahannock Bridge crossing as the three most important immediate investments of statewide transportation dollars and praised the combining of Route 7 Phase 1 and 2 to add a new lane in each direction between Tysons and Reston.
At the same time the Alliance observed that the current process evaluates projects largely submitted by local governments and that a major defect in this approach is the policy, not law, that limits the CTB to only two projects selections and in effect the Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to none. “It makes no sense for the responsible entities (for Virginia’s transportation network) to have no voice, because at the end of the day, the state, not localities or MPO’s, is the one that local governments and state legislators hold accountable.”
Other specific Alliance recommendations include:
- Awarding more than 45 points (out of 100) for congestion reduction.
- Normalizing construction and land use costs statewide to avoid penalizing Northern Virginia where costs are higher.
- Adjusting project costs by people throughput because the current focus on costs tends to elevate lesser performing projects over larger projects that move more people.
Adopting such an approach, the Alliance said would enable the Commonwealth’s Six-Year Improvement program to “become less a collection of projects and more focused on giving Virginia the 21st century transportation network it needs.”