Funeral for Vampire? (Update on the Bi-County Parkway)

bi-countysprawlway The headline is “Bi-County Parkway project is dead.”  Maybe, but it’s only in stasis right now. There was a press conference held today at Sudley United Methodist Church to announce that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is no longer pursuing completion of the project – but hey, it was April 1…

Public opposition to the road became clear quickly. State officials took the lead in stopping the road, overcoming support from local supervisors, Loudoun County developers, the National Park Service, and officials at Dulles Airport who speculated that the highway would increase the value of airport land on Route 50 before that property is developed.

VDOT went so far as to run an advertising campaign to build support for the road with messages placed on top of local gas pumps, but that use of public funds backfired. Del. Bob Marshall noted at the press conference that the best way to ensure the project was not restarted was for local officials to remove the Bi-County Parkway from the county’s Comprehensive Plan.  Otherwise, like vampires and zombies, the road could be revived later and the approval/funding process re-started.

Pete Candland is expected to propose a Comprehensive Plan Amendment next Tuesday to remove the Bi-County Parkway from the County’s Plan. (You won’t find Bi-County Parkway in The Transportation Chapter of the county’s comprehensive plan refers to the Bi-County Parkway as the Route 234 Bypass – North, PA-13 on page 25.)  If a majority of the Board of County Supervisors act to delete the road, then re-starting the project becomes much much harder and the “Bi-County Parkway project is dead” claim is more realistic.

One other stake could be driven through the vampire’s heart.  If Prince William County started a Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program like Fauquier County, then properties along the route of the proposed Bi-County Parkway could be protected in perpetuity as farmland through conservation easements.

bi-countyApril 1, 15 press conference at Sudley United Methodist Church announcing the Bi-County Parkway is “dead”

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