- Speak up in support of bicycling and active transportation by September 18 deadline.
- Help re-direct funding away from traffic-inducing projects to serious multi-modal efforts.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) is seeking your thoughts on TransAction, the region’s long-range transportation plan. The draft plan addresses regional transportation needs through 2045 and is comprised of 429 candidate transportation projects totaling more than $75 billion.
This survey, which occurs only once every five years, is an important opportunity to Speak Up! in favor of more emphasis on supporting bicycling and other active transportation measures that reduce traffic and the associated congestion and pollution.
Billed as enhancing mobility, increasing accessibility, and improving resiliency with its equitable, sustainable and safe multimodal transportation network, the plan is an important step in improving transportation priorities. Respondents in their comments should note their support for the proposed 51 “non-motorized” projects budgeted at $1.5 billion.
Still, the plan favors projects that focus on motor vehicles. And, this is not what Northern Virginians want or need.
You may recall that in 2021 NVTA conducted another survey to determine transportation priorities. FABB asked respondents to add comments seeking the prioritization of low-cost solutions involving ped/bike infrastructure and safety design measures rather than massive highway expansion projects. We also asked for people to express support for making public health and climate change mitigation the top planning considerations for all projects.
Among all respondents, the priority most frequently ranked 1st, was “more transit, walking, biking options.” When broken down by location, survey respondents from inner jurisdictions selected “more transit, walking, biking options” as the top priority while those from outer jurisdictions chose “reduce traffic congestion.” TransAction should better recognize that more biking, walking, and transit options contribute markedly to reduced traffic congestion.
That 2021 survey also asked respondents to allocate hypothetical investment dollars in transportation. Respondents allocated biking and walking 27 percent of the total hypothetical allocation, which easily topped the just under 21 percent given to road improvements. While relatively inexpensive bike/ped projects probably would not require a 27 percent level of funding, limiting road improvements to just a fifth of the projected cost seems right to us. The TransAction Plan’s projected 2 percent of funding for non-motorized projects should be increased with an emphasis on improving “final mile” connections throughout the region as quickly as possible. The plan also needs to include proposals for expanded secure bike parking for commuting and shopping trips.
Before commenting, you can review the draft TransAction Plan document summarizing travel conditions, challenges and opportunities through 2045, a draft TransAction Project List, an Interactive Mapping Tool, and Sortable Project List here.
The TransAction draft plan and online comment form are available in English, Spanish and Korean here. You also can leave a voicemail at 571-354-0065 or send a letter to Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, 3040 Williams Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22031. The deadline for comments is September 18, 2022.
When providing comment, please provide your first and last name, email address, zip code, and feedback on the TransAction Plan. If also commenting on the project list, please provide the project ID and/or project name.
There will be a remote public hearing on September 8, 2022 at 7:00 pm. FABB will have more on this meeting at a later date.
Don’t wait. Comment today in favor of more protected bicycle infrastructure and compete bicycling and walking networks and let NVTA know that traffic, economic, and climate solutions will not be found in more and wider roadways.