Complete Techway Feasibility Study
(June 20, 2001)
In a June 20th statement to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), the Alliance called for the Maryland and Virginia Departments of Transportation and the TPB to accept the responsibility that has been there’s all along which is to complete the new Potomac River crossing feasibility study started earlier this year by the Federal Highway Administration.
Board member Nancy Bright delivered the Alliance’s request. The text follows.
“Congressman Frank Wolf deserves credit for much of the region’s transportation progress.
“Thus, his reversal on the Potomac River Crossing Study was no small shock. In fact it is no exaggeration that it would be impossible to measure who was more shocked by this event – the vast majority of area residents who support the obvious need for additional Potomac River crossings or the small minority that is in denial.
“That study is in the past. It’s the future that matters. The cessation of a single study does not change the facts or eliminate the need. Studies on both sides of the Potomac show that new multi-modal Potomac Crossings would move in excess of 100,000 trips per day, divert traffic from the Capital Beltway and American Legion Bridge and provide badly needed balance to a regional network lacking in lateral and circumferential corridors. Surveys also show broad public support for new bridges despite well-financed, frenetic efforts to distort the facts.
“Last fall, when news that $2 million had been secured for a federal study of new Potomac Crossings, some area officials expressed concern, even pique, that such a study really was the responsibility of the states or a regional body such as the Transportation Planning Board.
“Those observations were true then. They are true now. The question today is whether the termination of the federal study will inspire the state departments of transportation or the Transportation Planning Board to accept the responsibility that was there’s in the first place which is to complete this study in a quick, professional manner?
“Perhaps the best summary of this issue is found in a letter from Fairfax Board member Stuart Mendelsohn to his constituents that said, “Until an independent study is conducted… we will not know which (statements on this issue) are factual and which are incorrect. No one should be afraid of the facts except those who know they are being misleading.”
“The TPB’s Vision Statement’s endorsement of the need for multi-modal connections between suburban activity centers and new Potomac Crossings is clear. The region’s response to the untimely cessation of the Federal Highway Administration Study will be indicative of the level of commitment behind its words.”