VDOT reveals North-South Corridor Master Plan Study on Wednesday, December 19 – and hopes no one will come to meeting

How do you hold a public meeting, but minimize public participation?  Hide the announcement on a rarely-visited website, hold the meeting during the December holidaze, and cut off public input on January 2.

That’s the game VDOT is playing with the Northern Virginia North-South Corridor Master Plan.  There is a meeting Tuesday night in Loudoun County at the Stone Bridge High School, and Wednesday (December 19) from 6:30-8:30pm at the Four Points Sheraton Manassas Battlefield (at 10800 Vandor Lane, Manassas, VA 20109).

Yeah, as if, no one has any other activities scheduled this time of year.  If VDOT wanted public participation… well, it’s obvious this is just an exercise to meet the legal requirements for public involvement.

After all, the proposed road does nothing to reduce current congestion on I-66.  The North-South Corridor is designed to crack open the Rural Area in Prince William, the Transition Area in Loudoun, and the agricultural reserve in Montgomery County across the Potomac River.

Instead of investing scarce funds in expanding the capacity of VRE or existing roads to speed up commuter traffic headed towards DC, VDOT’s priority is… to help trucks get from Dulles Airport to I-81, leaving commuter fixes unfunded.  Is that the #1 traffic problem to solve in Northern Virginia?

The VTrans 2035 Update to Virginia’s Statewide Multimodal Long-Range Transportation Policy Plan is supposed to highlight the best way for the state to invest funding from taxes/tolls/fares into the transportation network of the future.  VDOT is slowly revealing its closely-guarded secret – that road priorities are disconnected from cost-benefit analyses.

If VDOT was investing for cost-effective performance rather than politics, it would be unable to justify using public funding to subsidize profits for private businesses at Dulles, or for developers of the private parcels along the road corridor.

VDOT is wise to fear that low-tax advocates might figure out the governor’s push for higher gas taxes is driven by so-called “unmet needs” as the North-South corridor.  Better hold the public meeting at an inconvenient time…

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