Starting in summer 2015, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has been holding a series of public meetings on VDOT’s proposal to impose tolls during rush hour on I-66. VDOT’s proposal has generated substantial support from smart growth advocates. They argue that this proposal is far preferable to the status quo.
However, on Oct. 1, Virginia Republican legislative leaders held a press conference to condemn VDOT’s proposal:
Calling the proposal “outrageously expensive” for commuters, [Virginia House Speaker William J.] Howell … called on the governor to trash the idea and launch a plan that includes promptly adding new lanes to the heavily congested highway.
Of course, “adding new lanes” presumably includes adding them to the portion of I-66 inside Arlington’s borders far sooner than such lanes would be added under VDOT’s proposal.
Regardless of the conceptual merits of VDOT’s proposal, the Virginia Republican legislative proposal, or any other proposal, critical details regarding the costs and benefits are missing from all of these alternative proposals. The Arlington County Board should NOT vote to approve any proposal (including VDOT’s proposal) until all critical details are supplied. Arlington residents also need a reasonable amount of time to examine and comment upon those details before any Board vote.
Among the critical details needed to evaluate the Arlington impacts of any proposal (including VDOT’s) are:
- numerical estimates of the traffic flowing on I-66 that will be diverted to major alternative routes (e.g., Lee Hwy., Washington Blvd., Route 50),
- specific infrastructure improvements necessary to accommodate the diverted traffic,
- how much each infrastructure improvement will cost,
- who will pay those costs, and
- what other Arlington neighborhood impacts will be incurred.
At this writing, none of this information has been supplied to nor vetted by Arlington residents.
Any estimates of diverted traffic (and all the improvements and costs attributable to that diverted traffic) will contain a high degree of risk. Such estimates depend on very subjective judgments regarding how many commuters will stop driving alone and choose to carpool instead, or choose some other transit option. Who bears the risk and pays the cost if these subjective estimates are substantially wrong?
If the VDOT toll proposal survives the Republican vow to kill it, Arlington should insist upon a toll exemption for all intra-Arlington trips on I-66. Arlington residents with vehicles registered to an Arlington County home address should be permitted to travel during rush hour on I-66 between any two exits from exit 68 to exit 75 without paying any toll.
The County Board should lead transparently on all these issues. The issues are complicated. There’s no need to rush to judgment.
After a two-day glimpse of gorgeous weather that followed a longer stretch of terrible weather, a sunny-if-cool fall weekend is upon us. As you firm up your weekend plans, be…
They say baseball is a game of inches. Okay, maybe that’s football. But for one Arlington Little League team, this can be taken somewhat literally. The Athletics (A’s, for short)…
The annual Army Ten-Miler race will prompt numerous road closures in Arlington this weekend. Runners will zip through parts of Rosslyn, D.C. and Pentagon City, starting and finishing the race…
Open Houses includes a 4 BD/2.5 BA brick home with newly refinished floors, brick fireplace and detached garage.
Encore Stage & Studio is excited to kick off its season with a swashbuckling adventure! What starts as a mystery turns into an adventure in an Encore adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel. Young Gemma Hawkins escapes a dull life to search for where “X” marks the spot on a mysterious treasure map left behind by an old sea captain.
Gemma meets a slew of thrill-seeking sea farers as she races to find the treasure before any pirates do. Encore Stage & Studio presents_ Treasure Island_ running October 14-23, 2022 at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre (125 S. Old Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA 22204).
Season subscriptions and single tickets are on sale now at www.encorestage.org. Single tickets are $15 for Adults; $12 for Children, Students, Military and Seniors. Season subscriptions begin at $33. Patrons can learn more about Encore’s COVID-19 audience procedures online at www.encorestage.org.
Friday, October 14 at 7:30pm
Saturdays, October 15 and 22 at 11am and 3pm
Sundays, October 16 and 23 at 3pm
Arlington kids can keep active this winter with Arlington County’s Department of Parks & Recreation’s Youth House Basketball League. Available for grades 1-12, this program begins in mid-November for grades 1-8 and early Jan. for grades 9-12 and costs between $75-90.
Come join the fun! Sign up by Oct. 12*!
Registration for grades 9-12 opens on Nov. 7.
If the league fee is a factor to signing up, check out the Department’s fee reduction program, which helps Everyone, Everywhere, Every Day! Access for All. Easy to apply! Whether you have a short-term set back or something longer-term. Learn more at parks.arlingtonva.us/fee-reductions or call 703-228-4747.
Mini Family & Pet Photo Sessions
Beat the rush and sign up to get your holiday photos now!
Bring your kids! Bring your dogs!
Check out the DeSilva Studios website. Look at the images and see if you like them