Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance
To the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
May 2, 2012
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to ignore the past and forget the future.
Passions often mask the facts, but they don’t change them. Belmont Ridge Road/Northstar Blvd is not an outer Beltway. Never has been. Never will be.
For nearly two decades Loudoun Boards have focused on the facts and Loudoun’s future by designating the Belmont Ridge Road/Northstar Blvd corridor as having an ultimate six-lane condition. Past and current traffic analyses have confirmed their wisdom.
Subsequent land use decisions were made on this basis and this information has been available to every homeowner. Much more population, job and traffic growth is in the pipeline within Loudoun and surrounding jurisdictions.
Some traffic in this corridor is local, but more and more is regional meaning decisions require a big picture perspective and protection.
Repeating the mistakes of others is not smart. If downsizing or eliminating roads was the way to reduce congestion or protect communities, our region and communities would have the nation’s best traffic conditions. Instead by following this practice today it has the worst.
Thirty years ago few thought Loudoun would have 300,000 more people or Dulles 20 million more passengers.
Nothing beyond four lanes is likely for this corridor the next decade, perhaps two.
Yet, thirty years from now Loudoun residents, today’s children, will be grateful that this board had the foresight to look beyond the passion, respect the facts, and ensure good mobility by designating and keeping this corridor six-lanes.
As Fleetwood Mac admonishes us,
“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, it will soon be here.
It’ll be better, better than before,
If you protect six-lanes on Belmont Ridge and Northstar
Instead of four.”
Seriously, this is an important decision. It’s not about us; it’s about our children. Preserving transportation options for future generations and being honest about what is likely to be needed in this and other corridors is always the right choice.