At the City Council meeting, Congressman Jim Moran indicated that Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton was considering extending the HOT lanes by moving the ending ramps from Edsall Road to Seminary Road.
Residents in Fairfax County near Landmark Mall are protesting the ending of the HOT Lanes—new ramps—that will impact their neighborhood, especially air quality. They are asking people to sign a petition on line. Some have suggested ending the HOT Lanes at Seminary Road. SHA is opposed to this idea.
Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton announced that the State of Virginia no longer plans to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395. The State never responded to Alexandria’s 2009 request for an impact assessment of building these lanes on life in Alexandria.2011-02-03 Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton announced that the State of Virginia no longer plans to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395. The State never responded to Alexandria’s 2009 request for an impact assessment of building these lanes on life in Alexandria.
The leadership START, a citizens group opposed to building the HOT Lanes on I-395, has changed. Junior Bridge is taking a leave of absence for personal reasons. Kristine Gager volunteered to set up an interactive website to foster grassroots support. The group still plans to meet on the first Wednesday of the month, most likely at the Fairlington Community Center. Members continue to lobby officials in the State and on Capitol Hill for ways to move people rather than cars. Governor Bob McDonnell wants to get the project "back on track," and his transportation secretary Sean Connaughton wants to make the project a priority.
Junior Bridge—the head of START—reported that Arlington County won the first round in I-95-I-395 HOT Lanes lawsuit; it was not dismissed as requested by the State of Virginia. Governor McDonnell wants off-shore drilling so he can get bonds for HOT Lanes. Inova Hospital in Alexandria is opposed to HOT Lane access at Seminary Road. START needs a lawyer who can work this issue and the BRAC occupancy. START's new theme song "Cool the HOT Lanes" was performed at Fairlington Day May 15 at Utah Field. Tim Lovaine—Chairman of the Northern Virginia Streetcar Coalition—advised that funding for trolleys may come from developers and the federal government that gives emission credits and tiger grants.
The Arlington lawsuit requesting an environmental impact study of the HOT Lanes on I-395 is stalled because of funding shortfalls, as is this section of the HOT Lanes inside the Beltway. The rumor from Richmond—Secretary of Transportation and Delegate David Englin—is that the redesign of the Shirlington rotary is off the table.
Congressman Moran may be working with the District’s DDOT on the ability to expand 14th Street Bridge. Smart Transportation Alternatives for Riders Tomorrow (START) members consider widening congested roads "old thinking" and typical of the "failed policies" in the metro area.
START members suggested that the BRAC-133 at Mark Center will create a transportation nightmare on I-395 and are investigating the possibility of preventing the Army from opening the building until access is provided. START continues to believe mass transit has to happen in the I-395 corridor.
The 2nd meeting of Smart Transportation Alternatives for Riders Tomorrow (START) had three organizational goals: 1) to identify actions to oppose and mitigate I-395 HOT Lanes and BRAC-133 transportation impacts, 2) to advocate for better people moving alternatives, 3) to identify “who, what, where, when, why, and how” to take action. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on April 1 at the Fairlington Community Center.
SHA President spoke to Alexandria’s Legislative Council representatives during their public hearing, expressing opposition to the proposed HOT Lanes on I-395 because they will degrade our quality of life—increasing traffic, pollution, noise, and accidents—and the company profiting is Australian.
Smart Transportation Alternatives for Riders Tomorrow (SMART) meeting at the Fairlington Community Center, 3309 South Stafford Street, Arlington.