According to their own website “The Virginia
Department of Transportation (VDOT) is responsible for building,
maintaining and operating the state’s roads, bridges and tunnels.” So
you’d hope with this mandate that they’d consider how these roads would
be used, and what their impact might be… apparently not!
In an article in todays Washington Post (linked here)it becomes clear that many roads get built without their impact on
local communities, and the bigger traffic system even being considered.
The article contains some truly amazing quotes from within VDOT, such as
“Should VDOT tell Fairfax that if they approve the new development being
proposed at Tysons, conditions on the Toll Road and the Beltway will
worsen?” VDOT traffic engineer Robert L. Moore wrote
Surely the answer to this question is “YES” otherwise what purpose does
the Virginia Department of Transportation serve being on any planning body?
In another exchange, several VDOT employees worried about the
precedent the agency might be setting by conducting such a complex study
on one local development proposal.
Homer agreed with them: “We can’t make that a habit,” he responded. “We
don’t have the resources to do that for every rezoning.”
So here we have a VDOT employee explaining that the impact of rezoning
frequently doesn’t get considered when requests come in! This is both
amazing and terrifying, especially when the VDOT study in question, the
first of its kind to scrutinize the regional impact of development,
predicted hours of daily gridlock on more than a dozen major roads and
highways in Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax counties.
Looks like I better get used to sitting in traffic, especially with all
the new developments (and associated deforestation) in this part of