The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) today voted to move forward with incorporating new projects into the region's transportation plan, including HOT lanes on I-95/I-395 and spot improvements to I-66.
TPB members voted to include the updates in an air quality analysis that is an integral part of the transportation planning process. Members will vote again in late 2007 following the analysis to determine if the proposals meet federal air quality standards. If approved, the updated Constrained Long Range Plan (CLRP) would add $882 million in high occupancy toll lanes and transit services to I-95/395 and $75.6 million in improvements to portions of I-66.
The vote was originally scheduled for April but was delayed for one month at the request of members who asked for more time to review plan amendments that addressed various concerns.
"This has been a very deliberate process but I feel it is important that it be so," TPB Chair and Fairfax County Supervisor Catherine Hudgins said. "This is an important step considering what direction we're going to move in, and I appreciate the involvement of all members of this Board.”
Refinements to the projects -- which evolved following discussions at the Board meeting in April -- addressed issues such as incorporating adequate shoulders on the I-95/I-395 HOT lanes and ensuring that parks and bike trails along I-66 will not be adversely impacted.
"In my view, these projects have progressed significantly because of the work done through this Board," TPB Member and Falls Church Council Member David Snyder said. "The main concern is safety, and I believe now that the issue has been adequately addressed."
Information on proposed changes to the 2007 CLRP is available at www.mwcog.org/clrp.