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Lawmakers Claim Small Victory In Mark Center Dispute

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Local lawmakers are lauding the imposition of a parking cap at the Mark Center as a win.
Jonathan Wilson
Local lawmakers are lauding the imposition of a parking cap at the Mark Center as a win.

Northern Virginia's congressional delegation has been fighting the Department of Defense's Mark Center complex in Alexandria for years -- and for the first time in a while today, Northern Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, who represents Alexandria, was able to claim victory. He says they finally have some tools to fight the traffic nightmare that is developing at the Pentagon's massive new office complex.

Moran joined fellow representative Gerry Connolly and Senator Mark Warner to applaud the inclusion of Mark center related provisions in an Appropriations bill voted through today.

One measure forces the Pentagon to revise its transportation management plan for Mark Center with more accurate traffic data, and another sets a 2,000 space parking cap at the new complex, which is designed to hold 6,400 workers. Moran says it means the Pentagon can't make traffic any worse than it is now.

"My staff went out and basically counted them," says Moran. "We have 2,000 spaces being used so they just can't use anymore."

The legislation says the parking cap can be lifted if congestion at intersections around the Mark Center can be graded above a failing level of service for 90 consecutive days.

Moran says the traffic is already at failing level in the area, and isn't likely to get better until substantial improvements to local roads are made.

Virginia's department of transporation plans to build an HOV ramp off of I-395 into Mark Center, but construction on that isn't scheduled to start until next year.

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