Alliance Applauds Transportation Planning Board Decision to Include Southside Express Lanes in Region’s Air Quality Analysis

Posted on June 20, 2024 in: Transportation Planning Board

Today the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) voted to include the Southside Express Lanes in our region’s Air Quality Conformity Analysis.

“This is an important step forward for both the thousands of people who are stuck in traffic on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge every day and faster, more reliable transit service in this corridor,” said Jason Stanford, president of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance. “Weaponizing this process to prevent a full and fair evaluation of this project would have been a disservice to our community and regional collaboration. The Alliance applauds Transportation Planning Board members for finding a fair path forward that lets Virginia complete the project study, while working with Prince George’s County and WMATA to address their concerns and identify further transit and community benefits.”

As the region’s designated Metropolitan Planning organization, the TPB evaluates the combined air quality impacts of every regionally significant transportation project we plan to build in the next twenty-five years to ensure we are meet our federally mandated air quality goals. The compromise proposal allows the TPB to run two models – one with the project and one without – so that Prince George’s County and the region can continue to evaluate the merits of the project as Virginia’s study proceeds.

Demonstrating air quality conformity is an essential requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process that all regionally significant transportation projects are required to meet. Including this project on the list of projects evaluated for air quality conformity does not green light the project for construction. It simply allows the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to complete their NEPA study.

In a letter to Prince George’s County dated June 13, 2024, VDOT confirmed, “The Commonwealth cannot and will not advance this project to implementation without the support of Prince George’s County and the region.”

The Transportation Planning Board will now vote to approve Visualize 2050 – the region’s new long range transportation plan – in December of 2025, once the new Air Quality Conformity Analysis is completed.


The Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance is a partnership of business and community leaders committed to advancing a visionary, regional, multimodal, transportation network to create a better quality of life and greater economic prosperity for all.