Route 29 Corridor – a nightmare today – but hey, relax, a blueprint is coming with a “Vision for the Future…”

VDOT has scheduled public meetings for planning the future of the Route 29 corridor, including one on October 1 from 5-8:00pm in Warrenton (John Barton Payne Community Room, 2 Courthouse Square, Warrenton, VA 22186).

This Route 29 Corridor Blueprint is intended to create a multi-modal corridor from North Carolina to I-66.  It will even consider expanding railroad capacity as an option for reducing truck and passenger car congestion on the highway.  The final report is due to go to the Commonwealth Transportation Board this November.

What should we do about Route 29?  Should we keeping adding extra lanes, build a bypass around Buckland, solve the congestion through other means – or do everything?

VDOT’s answers to Frequently Asked Questions show that the agency understands traffic is intimately connected to land use planning:
The reason so many principal arterials are congested and have high traffic crash counts – like many parts of the Route 29 Corridor – is because multiple entrances, intersections, and traffic signals have been allowed to serve development, affecting the arterial’s primary function to move traffic.

Based on that understanding, it’s time that taxpayer-funded transportation infrastructure be designed to do more than just “move traffic.”  The proposed Buckland Bypass is a throw-back to 1950’s thinking, where we would carve a new road through Stoney Lonesome Farm and other undeveloped land in the Rural Area because we’ve done such a bad job managing congestion on the existing Route 29.

Warrenton has built two bypasses already, because VDOT and local officials failed to manage access and created new congestion on new roads.  We can’t afford more “build-another-road” solutions.  VDOT is broke, and the Buckland Bypass would destroy one of the few remaining green areas in the county.

Road improvements shape where new development will occur – widen a road, and we’ll induce new traffic from new subdivisions and new commercial development, as well as stimulate existing residents to drive more frequently once traffic jams are removed.

Taxpayers need to maximize the “bang for the buck,” if we’re going to fund road expansion or new transit capabilities – and we need consider the land use impacts, as well as the potential to “move traffic.”


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