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Widening Rt 7 from Reston Ave to Tysons

10 January 2014

Delegate Thomas Davis Rust
House of Delegates
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, VA 23218

Transparency in Law Making and
Widening Rt. 7 from Reston Ave. to Tysons

Dear Delegate Rust:

Thank you for chairing the Delegates' meeting with the public in Loudoun on 4 January. You’ll recall I cited the lack of transparency in passing the Transportation Tax Bill, the delay of over two months for the fiscal impact statement and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority's lack of candor to the public about funds mostly going to transit projects rather than roads. In addition I noted there is no budget for expanding Route 7 from Reston Avenue to Tysons and the project is not in the NVTA 2040 Plan and the list of current NVTA projects.

Attached is documentation to back up what I said about Route 7:

Please explain why the expansion of Rt. 7 from Reston Avenue to Tysons is not even on NVTA's 2040 project list. The expansion has been discussed for at least 30 years; nevertheless discussions do not fund roads, but budgets and written commitments do.

You may recall that Fairfax County put this Rt. 7 expansion in "Table 7" regarding Tysons at $160 million. I thought the real cost would be around $300 million. In 2012 I contacted VDOT; they wrote me agreeing and provided the numbers in Annex I. It took two months to get Fairfax DOT and planners to use the $300 million. That is one-year borrowing capacity of Fairfax, but it is not in Fairfax’s plan or budgets.

It seems the implicit plan is to make commuting on congested roads so bad people are forced to take transit. At least Fairfax explicitly stated increased congestion was their expectation in the 7 November 2013 Dulles Corridor Plan.

Annex VI provides an example of how cost benefit analyses of alternatives should be done. None of the NVTA documents provide such analyses.

I appreciate your service and hope you could provide more transparency in law making and information to the public on the extent transit is to receive most of NVTA's funding.

Thomas L. Cranmer, First VP, Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance