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Governor McDonnell Announces Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Launches Route 1 Multimodal Transportation Alternatives Analysis

Press Release

Location: Richmond, VA

Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) has initiated a multimodal transportation alternatives analysis along U.S. Route 1 ("Route 1") in Northern Virginia. The study will consider a range of transit, roadway, and the supporting pedestrian and bicycle options that will set the stage for implementation of a program of projects that address the need for improved connections and access for people who live, work, and travel in the corridor.

In Northern Virginia, Route 1 serves as a "Main Street" for access to local communities and as a highway alternative to Interstate 95 for both commuters and non-local traffic. The Route 1 roadway segment in Fairfax County (extending roughly from the I-95/I-495 Beltway to Route 123 at Woodbridge in Prince William County) has a long history of suburban style strip mall development, single and multi-family residential, major military installations, tourist attractions, and commuter travel. The amount of public right-of-way for road development varies considerably along the corridor and the complex mix of land uses and access patterns present a unique set of transportation challenges that are not easily solved.

Governor Bob McDonnell noted, "We are committed to doing everything we can to improve transportation in the Commonwealth. Route 1 in Northern Virginia has long been known as a highly congested roadway and any resident of the area knows well the delays that are frequent and all too common. This analysis will enable DRPT to take a comprehensive look at the traffic situation and determine what steps would best help to alleviate congestion and improve the daily lives of those who live and work in the area."

Thelma Drake, director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), said, "Governor McDonnell's administration has been committed to finding solutions to help alleviate traffic congestion and provide transportation options in the Commonwealth, and Northern Virginia is one of the fastest growing regions in the State. We need to examine the most viable options to address the transportation needs and improve mobility within the Route 1 study area to address current and future needs."

This multimodal alternatives analysis will define the key transportation issues, establish a "needs statement," and consider a range of multimodal transportation solutions to address those needs. Initial alternative strategies will include bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail transit (LRT), extended Metrorail service, roadway widening, and restructured pedestrian and bicycle facilities and pathways. Through a process of stakeholder and public participation, as well as technical analysis, the study will recommend transportation improvements. The study will also benefit the localities by providing long term economic development, promoting revitalization, and developing appropriate land use strategies.

The alternatives analysis will involve opportunity for input from a range of stakeholders including local and state elected officials, residents and business owners, staff from Fairfax County and Prince William County, and agency staff from VDOT, WMATA, PRTC, FHWA, and FTA. The 12-month study will include public meetings and workshops to involve the public in the process and the recommendations.

The alternatives analysis will conduct a traffic impact analysis, develop ridership projections, and conduct a land use analysis that will be essential in developing the transit alternatives and communicating the mixes of uses and densities that are necessary to support major transit capital investments. An economic impact analysis will quantify the range of potential return on investment as it relates to increased tax base, jobs, and housing. A funding analysis will be conducted to examine potential local, state, and federal funding mechanisms in light of opportunities provided in the new federal transportation reauthorization bill (MAP-21).

For more information about this project, please contact Lynne McCarthy, DRPT Public Information Officer, at (804) 786-4443. Information may also be obtained at the DRPT website

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