Friday, April 27, 2012

Belmont Ridge Road - County Transportation Plan (CTP) Amendment

Catoctin Supervisor Geary Higgins writes in his April constituent newsletter, that "transportation has long been a key concern of mine, and this is an issue I have paid close attention to."

The board voted on this issue last week. I do not support the proposed 6 lane expansion of Belmont Ridge Road. I voted to keep Belmont Ridge Road as it currently is in the plan, which is a 4-lane road with a 150 foot right of way, and also to return the southern portion of Northstar Boulevard to the same right of way and lane structure. I think this satisfies both the desire of the community to remain residential in nature, as well as the need to provide easy access to the airport.

I supported because it gives Loudoun County the ability to make future enhancements to our transportation infrastructure. Dulles Airport lacks good access from the south and west, and building a better connection will be vital to airport development and resulting economic growth. The CTP, which is revised every five years, is a tool the county uses to look into the future to see what roads may need to be built as well as allows the county to reserve future road right of ways as development occurs along the corridor. Just because a road is on the CTP does not mean the road will be built, but having the right of way gives the county flexibility.

Some have expressed concerns that this will be an "Outer Beltway." This change to the CTP is not part of any such transportation project.

At this time, we are not even close to funding the widening of Belmont Ridge Road to four lanes. My focus will be on the many roads where heavy traffic demand exists before funding this project.

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