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Debate Over Toll Lanes In Northern Virginia Takes On Racial Aspect

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Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity calls it "class warfare." "I think Arlington will do whatever they can to block this project," he said.

Herrity is talking about a project to install High Occupancy Toll or HOT lanes on I-95 and I-395 in Northern Virginia. Arlington County sued state and federal officials to block this project, citing concerns about air quality near the highway.

But buried within the 72-page legal filing, Arlington officials use some strong languge. The HOT lanes only benefit "financially-able" and "primarily Caucasian" residents from the outer suburbs, it says.

County attorneys argue the project blatantly and intentionally violates anti-discrimination laws.

Herrity says this argument is unfair. "In addition to class warfare, they're playing the race card," he says.

Chris Zimmerman, a Democratic Member of the Arlington County Board, wouldn't respond directly to Herrity's remarks. But he says Herrity, a Republican, is trying to score political points.

David Schultz reports...

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