A tale of two parts of the regions transportation plan | More roads in VA, less in DC

[U]A tale of two parts of the regions transportation plan[/U] [I]More roads in VA, less in DC[/I]

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) last month approved 20 road or bicycle and pedestrian projects to be added to the regions constrained long-range transportation plan. Accordingly, the Virginia Department of Transportation proposed projects to build new roads, widen existing ones or otherwise add roadway capacity. DC went the other way, proposing lane-reduction or reconfiguration projects and changes to bike lane projects already in the plan. Virginias proposals are designed to accommodate expected growth, and DCs changes are designed to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Virginias plan calls for widening parts of Leesburg Pike, Jefferson Davis Highway, the 495 Express Lanes on the Capital Beltway and I-395. The updates also include new on- and off-ramps on the Dulles Toll Road near Tysons Corner and Leesburg and at the Beltway, plus a study of a new bypass in Manassas between Route 234 and I-66. Two of the projects need further study before TPB will approve them: the proposed new highway between Loudoun County and Dulles Airport on the airports western side, and the construction of two new lanes each way along part of the Dulles Toll Road between Spring Hill Road and Wiehle Avenue in Fairfax County.

Most of DCs proposals would remove one travel lane in either direction from roads that have four or six lanes. In most cases, the changes would slow traffic to a safer speed.

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