Allen Muchnick has been a cycling and smart growth advocate and traffic cycling instructor (LCI #538) for more than two decades. He served on the board of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association from 1992-2002 and has been a board member of the Virginia Bicycling Federation since 1994. Allen is a founding member of Active Prince William and currently lives in the City of Manassas.
By Charlie Grymes, Active Prince William Board Member
On September 8, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) reversed an 8-0 decision made just a month earlier and reinstated the Route 28 Bypass (Alignment 2B) in a 5-3 vote.
The BOCS voted before listening to any of the citizens who were waiting to address the Board during the scheduled 2:00 pm Public Comment Time, which was delayed for more than three hours, and they declined an opportunity to wait until the next Board meeting before finalizing their decision.
The decision split along partisan lines; all five Democrats switched.
One quote from the discussion is relevant – “we have not made a decision on construction.” A new road up Flat Branch is not yet guaranteed, though it came a lot closer to reality on September 8.
Over 50 homeowners are now at risk of having their homes “taken” for a commuter road. The equity lens associated with this issue bent under pressure and developed a cataract over the last 34 days.
$89 million was previously set aside by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) for construction of Route 28 improvements, but the Board will need to sell $200 million in County bonds to fund Alignment 2B.
The County’s finance staff made clear in early 2019 that selling the $200 million in bonds will require raising local taxes. The issue remains alive…
VDOT’s Centreville Road (Route 28) STARS (Strategic Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions) Study, championed by Delegate Roem, recently recommended a $38 million package of intersection, raised median, and pedestrian improvements that–in the absence of general roadway widening–1) would significantly reduce intersection delays and expand vehicle capacity and pedestrian access along Route 28 and 2) was ripe to receive VDOT SMART SCALE funding for design and construction in spring 2021.
Unfortunately, proceeding with widening Route 28 itself through Yorkshire could make the sensible and cost-effective STARS Study recommendations infeasible. Therefore, we encourage the BOCS to explore an alternative approach, integrated with a new land-use plan (Small Area Plan) for economic development and revitalization along this corridor. Alternative 4 could be modified to include a new multimodal street just to the west, so highway investment could stimulate transit-oriented, mixed-use redevelopment of the properties between and fronting the existing and future sections of Centreville Road. Integrated planning could foster the creation of a vibrant new livable community with affordable housing at a key gateway to Prince William County.
At the peak of the lockdown period from COVID19 we witnessed an “extreme” effect on carbon emissions, causing a 17% drop globally. As our economy begins to recover and emissions begin increasing again, we are presented with an enormous opportunity for growth.
The clean energy sector has been one of the fastest-growing in recent years and Virginia is #10 in the number of clean energy jobs, with more than 78,000 Virginians working in the industry with more being created as we facilitate the transition to renewable energy.
Though the task seems overwhelming there are concrete, significant actions our County Supervisors and citizens can take right now, which would result in significant benefits for our environment and economy.
Our panel will feature:
Jay Fisette, former Chair of Arlington County Board & Managing Principal, DMV Strategic Advisors.
Steve Walz, Director, Environmental Programs at Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Taylor Brown, Chief Technical Officer at Sun Tribe Solar
Tune it to find out about…and discuss these questions and more:
What localities are leading our region on climate action?
Do we need a community-wide climate plan?
Do citizens have a role?
What specific actions can our local leaders take this year?
Should the County and Schools work together?
Please register and you will receive the zoom link the day prior to the webinar.
Invite your local leaders to help inform and educate them on how they can act on climate right now!
Co-hosted by: Mothers Out Front, The Greater Prince William Climate Action Network, Youth Climate Action PWC, Active Prince William, Sierra Club – Virginia, Earth Rise Indivisible, The Climate Reality Project, Food & Water Watch.