Virginia Officials Again Face Skeptical Reaction To Bi-County Parkway | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Virginia Officials Again Face Skeptical Reaction To Bi-County Parkway

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The proposed north-south roadway would connect Prince William and Loudoun counties.
Virginia Department of Transportation
The proposed north-south roadway would connect Prince William and Loudoun counties.

In Virginia, the Department of Transportation again tried to answer the concerns of residents about a major north-south highway coming through a region where the problem is east-west traffic jams.

Just about everyone in a packed auditorium yesterday stood in agreement: they don't want the road. "I would just like everyone who is opposed to this to please stand up," said one opponent to loud applause. "Thank you!"

"I find this process insulting, but I will read my brief statement!", said a furious Linda Budreika, who lives in Haymarket. She and hundreds of other homeowners who crowded into VDOT's public meeting in Manassas last night don't believe what officials say about plans for the Bi-County Parkway, a multi-lane, divided highway connecting Prince William and Loudoun counties west of Dulles Airport and planned for completion by 2020.

Opponents of the project also expressed concerns that the new highway would be tolled, because VDOT's own study of the project mentions the use of high occupancy toll or HOT lanes.

"It's difficult to toll a road unless you build a limited access roadway like the Beltway, like 95," offered VDOT's Charlie Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick tried to ease residents' concerns with a lengthy Power Point presentation, but that seemed to leave some people even more confused about whether the highway is necessary, and whether it will reduce congestion or help bring cargo freight traffic into Dulles Airport.

"You have VDOT saying one thing and the [Commonwealth Transportation Board] saying another," said Elena Schlossberg, who lives in Haymarket.

As the evening wore on, opponents remained unconvinced that a new north-south highway will alleviate Northern Virginia's notorious east-west bottlenecks.

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