Have you ever driven around Loudoun County and observed:
- Shopping centers designed exclusively for automobile access even though they’re walking distance from residential developments?
- Pedestrians venturing to cross dangerous very wide divided highways to get from a residential area to a shopping center?
- Jogging and bicycle paths to nowhere; paths that border a residential development and then abruptly stop?
- Major routes where bicycles and pedestrians are simply prohibited?
If you ever wondered who thought this is not only acceptable, but a “good idea,” look no further than the NVTA. Since NVTA President Robert Chase sent his letter to Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce President Tony Howard and Delegate Randy Minchew, I’ve spent some time on their highly informative [NOT!] web site trying to understand their point of view. Aside from their support of Metro, the NVTA lobbies for exclusive automobile infrastructure that is exclusive of other modes of transportation. The NVTA might as well be called the automobile uber-alles society.
After a less than satisfying browse through the site, I decided to put “pedestrian” into the search engine, and discovered an article called “…the Bad and the Ugly 01/07/09.” The article listed “‘bad or ugly’ federal investments in mobility and prosperity.” Here they are:
- Eisenhower Trail Underpass (Alexandria) – $500,000
- Sidewalk improvements (Falls Church) – $250,000
- Streetscape revitalizations (Herndon) – $3 million
New trolleys (Alexandria) – $2.4 million Columbia Pike streetcar (Arlington)- $50 million
- Washington Boulevard Trail Phase 2 (Arlington) – $1 million
- Holmes Run Bike Trail Reconstruction at I-395 (Alexandria) – $3 million
- Pedestrian-bicycle bridge from Commonwealth Avenue to Eads Street (Alexandria) – $6 million
- Old Cameron Run Bicycle Trail (Alexandria) – $2 million
- Route 110 South Trail (Arlington) – $300,000
- I-66/Custis, Four Mile Run and W&OD trails Enhancements (Arlington) – $2 million
Except for the trolleys and streetcar (strikethrough mine), they are all pedestrian and bicycle projects.
This requires further research.
Is the article missing a hyperlink to other multi-modal projects that the NVTA does support? Do pedestrians and bicycles fail to “bring home the bacon” to board members and their parent companies? Does the NVTA perhaps have different definitions for “mobility” and “prosperity” from an ordinary citizen?
There may be differences in the definitions of “bad” and “ugly” too. Citizens may find a good bit of “bad” and “ugly” here.