The Dulles Regional Chamber supports managed, thoughtful growth in the Dulles Region. This includes meaningful dialogue between Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, and between them and the Commonwealth, to provide support for well planned commercial growth and development that will bring additional resources to the Dulles Region to help address the infrastructure challenges we face. The Chamber supports use of public-private partnerships and other creative initiatives to encourage the availability of resources to invest in critical infrastructure, including schools, transportation, technology, parks and recreational facilities, and public safety, to meet the needs of today’s businesses and residents.
The Dulles Regional Chamber assigns top priority to securing new, sustainable regional and statewide transportation funding To that end, restoring regional funding (without prejudice) and addressing the Commonwealth’s growing statewide maintenance deficit should be a major priority of the 2010 General Assembly session. Responsibility for enacting new regional funding rests with the General Assembly, not local governments.
To better direct transportation allocations, the Chamber supports development of a performance-based statewide transportation plan focused on existing and new corridors of statewide and regional significance. Such a plan should include a short list of strategic priorities deemed most essential to the Commonwealth’s long-term prosperity, safety, security and quality of life.
The Chamber supports continued reforms within the Virginia Department of Transportation and use of public private partnerships, but believes that such initiatives are no substitute for the new funding required to address the growing backlog of unfunded priorities.
At the local/regional level, the Dulles Regional Chamber supports construction of a comprehensive transportation grid. The Chamber urges the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to be regional in its approach above all else, to establish regional priorities based upon performance-based criteria and to select Technical Advisory Committee members with strong professional credentials and regional perspectives. The Chamber further urges the Authority to leverage and invest new local, regional and state revenues in regional solutions that move the most people in the most cost-effective manner. The Chamber supports use of debt financing at the state, regional and local levels, accompanied by a dedicated revenue source for debt service, as an important tool to invest in transportation infrastructure.
The Chamber also supports more efficient use of current transportation dollars, including a re-examination of the state transportation allocation formula to provide for more emphasis on population, vehicle miles of travel and other congestion standards that would net a more equitable distribution of money for our region. The Chamber opposes using revenue from the Transportation Trust Fund for non-transportation purposes. The Chamber also endorses requiring the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund to be self-sustaining and supports efforts to prohibit transfer of construction funds from the Transportation Trust Fund to disguise maintenance funding deficiencies
In terms of specific projects, the Dulles Regional Chamber supports:
- Completion of the conversion of Route 28 into an eight-lane limited access freeway between I-66 and Route 7, including completion of projects on Route 28’s access roads;
- Restoration of the Western Transportation Corridor to the County’s Comprehensive Plan and completion of the Draft Environmental Impact Study;
- Upgrading the Route 606 and Route 50 corridors around Dulles Airport, completing a high capacity “Dulles Loop;”
- Expansion of Route 50, and improvements to the collector road network and interchanges in Dulles South area;
- Upgrading Route 7 to a limited access roadway between Leesburg and Tysons Corner, with an emphasis on the Route 7/Route 659 interchange;
- Identification of rights of way for and construction of additional Potomac River crossings;
- Acceleration, including identification of additional funding, for the completion of the Loudoun County Parkway and Tri-County Parkway along the County’s Comprehensive Plan alignment;
- Acceleration of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project to Washington Dulles International Airport and eastern Loudoun County and efforts to secure additional federal, state and private-sector funding for the project; and
- Multi-modal access to all the new Dulles Rail stations.
The Dulles Regional Chamber also supports consideration of graduated tolling and other options along the Dulles Greenway in order to determine if there can be increased utilization of that existing transportation corridor and reduced use of alternative, congested routes.
The Dulles Regional Chamber has long supported a sustainable revenue source for transit construction, operation and maintenance needs and urges that a portion of new regional revenues be dedicated for such purpose. We also support local transit to serve the major businesses and job centers in the County and the use of advanced technology and integrated communications, as well as teleworking, to help alleviate traffic congestion.
The Chamber acknowledges the importance of efforts to conserve and ensure the efficient use of energy and fuels. In addition, with regard to the environment, the Chamber believes the greatest reductions in greenhouse gases in the transportation sector will be achieved through the development of higher mileage and alternative fuel vehicles, and supports greater investments in these and other carbon dioxide reducing technologies. The Chamber also supports more intense use of the land to leverage the value of transportation investments to the best extent possible and encourage walkable communities.
The Dulles Regional Chamber recognizes the economic and tourism value of Washington Dulles International Airport. Therefore, the Chamber supports continued infrastructure investment at Washington Dulles International Airport, including the automated airport train system and new security area, construction of one additional runway, and expansion of concourses to provide additional aircraft gates and amenities. Further, the Chamber strongly supports maintaining compatible land uses in the areas surrounding the airport.