The Prince William County-Loudoun County Parkway (Bi-County Parkway)
The North-South Corridor Master Plan includes the Bi-County Parkway extending Route 234 from Interstate 66 to in Prince William County to Route 50 and Northstar Boulevard in Loudoun County. Often referred to as the “Outer Beltway” by opponents, the project is designed as a north-south transportation alternative to Routes 28 & 15. The Prince William Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance support this project. The planned improvements to U. S. Route 1 in Prince William County and the Town of Dumfries should help the increased traffic from Route 234 (Ronald Wilson Reagan Memorial Highway) if the connection is built between Loudoun County and Prince William County.
Opposition stories to the Bi-County Parkway are in Northern Virginia media outlets every week as a group protesting against its construction continues to pressure local leaders to stop the Virginia Transportation Board and Northern Virginia Transportation Authority from authorizing funding of the Prince William County-Dulles Airport-Loudoun County highway. The alternative to this project is simple. Continue to pack more commuters on Centreville Road (Route 28) between Manassas and Centreville or build an alternate route for Prince William County residents to travel to work in Chantilly and points beyond in Northwestern Virginia.
Most opposition to building the outer beltway in Northern Virginia appears to come from those considered as ‘Not in My Backyard’ protesters. They have been effective enough to cause the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors (PWCBOCS) to remove the Bi-County Parkway from its six-year plan of necessary highway construction projects. I invite the members of the PWCBOCS to enjoy a commute on Route 28 to help decide the necessity of the Bi-County Parkway. Outside of the group of protesters protecting their self-interests (which we understand) NOBODY believes this project is unnecessary. Listen to the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce for the economic opportunities and prosperity this project would bring to the Prince William County business community. Stop caving to the pressure of a small group of protesters, and remember the benefits of residents having an extra option to commute to Dulles Airport, Chantilly, Reston, Ashburn, Tyson’s Corner, and Leesburg Pike (Route 7) in Loudoun County.
There have been decades of Northern Virginia residents complaining about officials dealing with regional transportation as an afterthought of commercial and residential development. This problem can change direction with the Bi-County Parkway. But the Prince William County BOCS have committed themselves to pulling support away from a project so necessary to their constituents, it reminds us of a school system trashing a widely accepted nutrition program because one student’s mother is complaining of peanut allergies. Again we sympathize and understand those few residents facing eminent domain of property for this project. But the masses in stop-and-go traffic between Prince William County and Loudoun County deserve local leaders who support beneficial transportation projects.
If anyone believes development and sprawl will not occur in Northern Virginia if the Bi-County Parkway project is not built, we urge you to read the VTRANS2035 Report. A sharp population increase is coming during the next 20 years, and our transportation network is not ready to handle the residential and commercial development during the next 2 decades. Arguing this point would contrast any measure of clear thinking. Local residents can embrace the idea of improving regional transportation, or allow developers to dictate where highways will serve future development.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has developed TransAction2040 as an updated to the Northern Virginia 2030 Transportation Plan. TransAction2040 prioritizes the transportation initiatives in the 2030 plan. We have studied this plan and firmly agree with it. It is a best project first analysis of getting traffic moving in Northern Virginia. It does not consider the personal concerns of voters. It simply fixes our biggest regional problem.
Read Build the Bi-County Parkway for more analysis and commentary.
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