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Monthly Archives: November 2007

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TysonsTunnel.org has sued several federal government agencies claiming many businesses will be adversely affected by the currently proposed aerial rail option. They’re seeking to prevent the rail from being constructed. Gairy Baise is their attorney, he also lost the race for Fairfax County chairman by a wide margin.

TysonsTunnel.org will be joined by Ratner Cos., the company actually claiming to be affected by the traffic congestion, and “unsightliness” of overhead rail.

The suit seeks to prevent the FTA from approving a full funding agreement, which would grant a necessary $900 million for the Silver Line’s extension. The group says they’re “Suing as a last option because political leaders have ignored them.” The FTA has not responded yet because they have no information regarding the suit.

Interestingly these companies will be even more adversely affected if rail is not built, and some companies might loose money in speculative land investments. Traffic congestion would be associated with an aerial or underground option, as both would require extensive infrastructure realignments. If their suit is successful it could possibly end the currently proposed rail plans.

Update 11/29/2007:

Ratner Cos has pulled out of the suit, after receiving word from their legal department. They also say “We don’t want to be viewed as blocking the rail extension.” It is probable that TysonsTunnel.org will be approached by other plaintiffs. If they can’t find anyone else the suit would be discarded. Thanks to John for updating us.

The McLean Citizens Association wants to make sure bridges built over the widened toll raod include space for bikes and people. 40 years ago these bridges had little or no pedastrain traffic, so such a plan didn’t make sense. Now the group is pressuring the county and state to construct these when the bridges are replaced to allow for a widened beltway.

Joan Morris, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, says they have nothing to worry about.

“There will be pedestrian facilities on every bridge, we just don’t know the design details,” Morris said.

According to Morris, the project will be more specific after a public hearing in early 2008. “It’s all being worked out now,” she said.

Fairfax Counties trail plan does include alternate transportation connections, but it’s still good the group is making sure the State and County do their part.

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A survey from the Dulles Corridor Rail Association has found that ninety three percent of Northern Virginians favor the silver line extension. Overall eighty six percent of the Washington region supports the extension, with even nineteen percent strongly favoring the rail extension.

The poll was funded by the Dulles Corridor Rail Association. Other findings suggest most people are most excited about being able to travel from DC to Dulles Airport. Surprisingly, the ability of the rail project to reduce traffic congestion is lowest on the list of perceived benefits. The poll was a random telephone survey of 500 people.

Phase one of the Silver Line project should be completed by 2013, with four stations through Tysons Corner. Phase two should be completed by 2015, and will extend past Dulles Airport to Ashburn.