Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Neighboring Fairfax Sends Letter to FTA

At their meeting last night, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors took action and sent a letter to the Federal Transit Administration administrator James S. Simpson, exhorting the United States Department of Transportation and the FTA to take a detailed appraisal of Governor Timothy M. Kaine’s response to indications that the FTA was likely to declare the Rail to Dulles Project unfit for federal funding.

According to Fairfax's press release, the letter cited recent polling data showing that more than nine in 10 adults living in Northern Virginia favor an extension of Metrorail to Dulles International Airport. The proposed Metro Silver Line would alleviate traffic congestion in an area recently cited as having the second worst traffic in the nation. In turn, this would result in significant environmental and quality-of-life improvements.

Meanwhile, Fox 5 TV reports tonight that Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said today that he has been talking directly with Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to address doubts raised by federal officials that could kill the long-planned rail extension to Dulles International Airport.

And on WTOP Radio's "Ask the Governor" program, Kaine said he doesn't understand why the Federal Transit Administration sent a communication to Congress just last week saying the Dulles project had a green light. "The communication to Congress had been what we had expected, which was the project met the criteria," says Kaine. "Why on Jan. 24 (was there) a memo that said the project had a green light? What happened in the last week to change it?"

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