Thursday, May 20, 2010

Citizens Seek More Affordable, Sustainable and Effective Loudoun County Transportation Plan

Loudoun County residents hire own transportation consultant for second opinion

Citizens for a Countywide Transportation Plan (CCTP), a coalition of residents from across Loudoun County, has been raising a number of concerns about the cost, scale, impact and effectiveness of the draft Countywide Transportation Plan (CTP). Using contributions from community members they hired Smart Mobility, Inc, a transportation consulting firm, to review the draft CTP and have just released the consultant's initial findings to the County Board of Supervisors and staff.

"We have a number of technical professionals in our coalition who perceive significant problems with the draft transportation plan, including the high price-tag $1.6 to $2 billion, large highway expansions through communities, and failure to evaluate alternatives," said Steve Hines, spokesperson for CCTP. "We decided we needed an independent professional review of the draft plan and the modeling analysis used to create it. That review has confirmed our concerns.

"In our view, a $1.6 to $2 billion wish list of large road projects isn't a real plan if we could never afford it, and we can't," said Karen Ficker, Ashburn. "Any corporate CEO would take one look at an unaffordable proposal like this and at the failure to look at alternatives, and would tell the staff to try again."

The Citizens CTP suggests advanced solutions for traffic choke points while preserving community character and setting the stage for the kind of economic development Loudoun needs. It's a pro-business residents' perspective that serves the community and calls into question who is served by the County's current draft.

Key findings of the Smart Mobility report from the coalition's perspective:
  • The transportation model used is not up to the state of the art in multimodal planning. It has structural flaws and is not calibrated to Federal Highway Administration standards, leading to many flawed strategies.
  • The model overestimates future car trips, resulting in road projects, road widths and priorities detrimental to Loudoun residents:
    • North-south or circumferential travel is 33% too high resulting in too many of those roads
    • External trips into and through the county are overestimated and do not account for rising energy prices
    • The level of service focus leads to road widening through neighborhoods, instead of addressing intersection bottlenecks which can be managed through other neighborhood-friendly techniques
The full report is posted online ( and includes an up-front summary of the technical findings.

Read the complete press release from the Citizens for a Countywide Transportation Plan.

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