Active Prince William

Helping to make Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park a More Livable, Sustainable Community.

Category: Public Hearing (page 1 of 3)

Tearing Down Houses and Paving Over Wetlands for a New Highway – What Is the Alternative?

Route 28 Alternatives Studied in the 2018-2020 Environmental Assessment

Prince William County (PWC) needs a Department of Mobility, not a Department of Highway Paving. Since the Shirley Highway reached the Occoquan River in 1949, we have paved and paved, at great expense to the environment and taxpayers. Has traffic congestion been eliminated? The answer to this is ‘no’. Expanding highways is not the answer to creating livable communities with sustainable transportation.

Under the last Board of County Supervisors, the scheme was to keep building new roads and widening old roads. Everyone knew it would not “fix” the highways, but land speculators could get rezonings for building new subdivisions if the county would plan to pave more roads. Expanding roads will not solve congestion; that is a lesson learned from several decades of previous road projects in the region and across the country.  However, if the county’s land use planning remains isolated from transportation planning, we will just keep repeating the old mistake. A citizen-led Multi-Modal Transportation Advisory Commission, similar to those in Fairfax and Arlington Counties and the City of Alexandria, could increase transparency and citizen involvement in determining how PWC will grow and its residents, workers, and visitors will travel.

So, what is Plan B, if “build roads, build new houses, create new congestion, build roads, build new houses…” does not work? The County’s Strategic Plan is clear – build live-work-play communities that locate housing together with stores and offices, so people can walk, and bike, more rather than drive everywhere for daily living.  Invest in increasing the number of jobs within Prince William, rather than fund more roads that incentivize long commutes. We need smart growth planning.

The twenty-four jurisdictions in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments agreed on a clear solution on September 11, 2019. PWC joined in setting regional housing targets, with new development concentrated in “Activity Centers.” Each will offer high-capacity public transportation, but walkability within the community will be key. PWC’s six Activity Centers were designated in 2013, based on assumptions about expansion of Virginia Railway Express. Those assumptions turned out to be incorrect. Developing the 2040 PWC Comprehensive Plan creates a great opportunity to re-assess where high-capacity transit really will be provided, vs. drawn as a line on a map and then ignored.

Sadly, on August 4 the supervisors are considering a proposal that would repeat the mistakes of the past.  They could approve Alignment 2B of the Route 28 Bypass/Godwin Drive Extension, to build a new commuter highway through the flood-prone Flat Branch stream valley. At least fifty-four homes would  be destroyed, and many more would be degraded by increased traffic noise and air pollution.

A community with affordable housing, including a trailer park, would be disrupted so commuters from Fauquier and other counties can temporarily drive a bit faster through PWC. Over six acres of wetlands would be filled in, impacting the natural environment and resilience to climate change. A noise wall would be constructed from Sudley Road to Bull Run, blocking all potential bike/pedestrian access across the highway barrier except at a Lomond Drive intersection.

The traffic analysis report (check the tables on pp. 23-24, and p. 40 for Godwin Dr and for Rte 28 in Fairfax County) indicates that the Alternative 2B commuter Bypass road would create clogged, “failing” intersections on existing Godwin Drive, at all four new Godwin Dr Extension intersections, and along Centreville Rd in Fairfax County (between the north end of the Bypass and I-66). If this Bypass is approved, a future “Fix Godwin Drive” campaign will require even more funding – hundreds of millions for more highway paving. New flyover ramps might have to be added to the interchange of Route 28 and Prince William Parkway/Route 234 Bypass, and Godwin Dr between Nokesville Road and Sudley Road would need widening and intersection improvements . This is not a smart growth approach.

There are better alternatives (including these recent VDOT STARS [Strategic, Targeted, Affordable Roadway Solutions] Study recommendations for Centreville Rd in Yorkshire) but the county’s current Department of Highway Paving will be promoting Alignment 2B on August 4. To stop repeating mistakes and to start applying lessons already learned, the new supervisors need to vote no on Alternative 2B and pursue new innovative solutions.

Residents of Prince William County need a government that uses smart growth principles to guide future land use and transportation decisions. Prince William County residents want livable communities that are great places to work, live, play, and raise a family. Prince William County residents want a sustainable environment that provides a resilient approach to the effects of climate change.

Please call, or email, BOCS Chair Ann Wheeler and your magisterial district supervisor, asking them to vote NO, on August 4, on the proposed Route 28 Bypass/Godwin Drive Extension (Alternative 2B), to pursue innovative smart growth solutions to our mobility issues, and to create a citizen-led Multi-Modal Transportation Advisory Commission that would provide the public and supervisors with thoughtful information and ideas regarding land use and transportation planning decisions.   

Email the BOCS with this easy Sierra Club action alert page

More information about the proposed Route 28 Bypass

Virginia Legislative Town Hall Meeting, Sunday, January 27, 2-4 PM, in Woodbridge

Join State Senators Scott Surovell and Jeremy McPike and State Delegates Luke Torian and Jennifer Carroll Foy for a town hall meeting to discuss the 46-day 2019 session of the Virginia General Assembly, which is now well underway.

The meeting will be held on Sunday, January 27, from 2-4 PM, at the Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Dr, Woodbridge, Virginia 22191

The legislators will present updates on the 2019 General Assembly Session and listen to citizens’ questions and priorities.

Find these legislators on Twitter at @JCarrollFoy, @ssurovell, @DelegateTorian and @JeremyMcPike

Regional Transportation Planning Board Seeks Public Input for Its Updated Plan

News Release: TPB seeks public participation in upcoming transportation forums

Apr 10, 2018

NCR-TPB’s Regional Activity Center Map

View interactive map of the seven transportation initiatives

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) is seeking public input for Visualize 2045, a new long-range transportation plan for the National Capital Region. The input will help elected leaders and regional planners better understand public attitudes and opinion as they make decisions about the region’s transportation future.

Visualize 2045 includes transportation projects for which funding is expected to be available between now and 2045, as well as those for which funding has not yet been identified.

A series of public forums have been scheduled to discuss seven unfunded initiatives recently endorsed by the TPB that have the potential to significantly improve transportation in the region. The TPB will gather feedback at the forums that will help decision makers better understand the universe of needs and potential projects and how they can affect the region’s transportation future.

These unfunded initiatives include: bring jobs and housing closer together; expand bus rapid transit regionwide; move more people on Metrorail; increase telecommuting and other options for commuting; expand express highway network; improve walk and bike access to transit; and complete the National Capital Trail.

The TPB will be holding nine forums in the following locations across the region:

Frederick County – Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | 7:00-9:00 P.M. | Thomas Johnson H.S.
Prince George’s County – Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | 7:00-9:00 P.M.  | College Park Airport
Charles County – Wednesday, April 25, 2018 | 7:00-9:00 P.M. | County Government Building
Montgomery County – Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 7:00-9:00 P.M. |Executive Office Building
Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, May 1, 2018 | 7:00-9:00 P.M. | COG
Arlington – Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | 6:30-8:30 P.M. | Arlington County Central Library Auditorium
Fairfax County – Tuesday, May 8, 2018 | 7:00-9:00 P.M. |Providence Community Center
Loudoun County – Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | 7:00-9:00 P.M. | Government Center
Prince William County – Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | 7:00-9:00 P.M. | PWC Government Center

MORE: Sign up for email updates, or to view forum details, visit visualize2045.org. Stay updated and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #VIZ2045.

Contact: Laura Ambrosio
Phone: (202) 962-3278
Email: lambrosio@mwcog.org

Innovation Park Small Area Plan Town Hall, March 10, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Patriot High School

The Planning Department has announced a Town Hall/Charrette on March 10 to discuss the Innovation Park Small Area Plan. Public input will be collected via a series of exercises, which will guide the establishment of the vision, goals, and objectives for development of the area. The event will be held in the cafeteria at Patriot High School, 10504 Kettle Run Road, Nokesville, VA   20181.

The Innovation Park SAP webpage has been updated with a variety of new resources—notably, reports from the three preliminary stakeholder meetings:

June 7, 2017
June 14, 2017
November 28, 2017

The meeting agenda:

  • Introduce the Small Area Plan project and charrette process
  • Conduct SWOT and TOWS analysis for the development of the vision, goals, objectives, and design guidelines
  • Conduct an exercise exploring the site analysis of existing conditions including assets and liabilities in the study area
  • Conduct a visioning exercise to create goals and objectives

Small Area Plan: Innovation Park

There are a number of opportunities to shape (and reinforce) the area’s vision to provide for safer multimodal transportation infrastructure, outdoor recreation, and livable, walkable community development; among them:

  • Two grade-separated interchanges along Prince William Parkway—at University Blvd and at Sudley Manor Dr. These are already planned.
  • The U.S. Tennis Association will build a new regional headquarters and tennis facility near the intersection of Freedom Center Blvd and Wellington Rd, with anticipated completion by the end of 2021. While the center will raise the profile of sports and physical fitness in the county, the traffic plan will require careful design and management to accommodate the anticipated influx of 300,000+ annual visitors.
  • GMU may also be constructing additional recreational facilities in that area, which will further increase the traffic load.
  • A large town center development along Rt 234 between Wellington Rd and University Blvd, which has been dormant for some time, appears to be moving forward again. This large, mixed-use development (dense residential, retail, commercial) represents a good opportunity to walkably/bikeably connect residents throughout the Innovation Park area with both the new commercial/retail jobs, as well as those nearby but outside the scope of the plan (Micron, Lockheed Martin, etc.).
  • The development will also increase the prospects of connecting new and existing trails and bike lanes/paths in the area—GMU campus trails, Innovation Park trails, Sudley Manor Dr sidepath, University Blvd sidepath, etc.

If you have an interest in responsible development and non-motorized transportation, please make time to participate on March 10.

 

Prince William County Delegation 2018 Virginia General Assembly Public Hearing, Saturday, January 6, 1-4 PM

virginia-state-capitol-1

The Prince William County delegation to the Virginia General Assembly is holding a joint pre-2018 Legislative Session public hearing for local residents to relate their concerns.  All Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park residents and organizations are invited to attend and speak.  Please sign up in advance, using this form.

Prince William County 2018 General Assembly Public Hearing
Saturday, January 6, 2018
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

James J. McCoart Administrative Building
1 County Complex Court
Woodbridge, VA 22192

To accommodate as many speakers as possible, all participants are asked to respect these guidelines:

  • Speak for no more than three minutes
  • Sign up only once
  • Each organization is limited to two speakers
  • Participants should bring 15 copies of any materials they wish to give to the PWC delegation
  • All speakers be on time

Should you have any questions, please contact Devon Cabot in Senator Jeremy McPike’s office at 571-316-0581 or district29@senate.virginia .

If you are interested in addressing the Prince William County Delegation regarding your concerns for the General Assembly Session, please sign up using the link provided:

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY PUBLIC FORUM SIGN-UP FORM

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