Accountability for Rt. 28: Legal Authority to improve Rt. 28 in Yorkshire or build an alternate road rests with Prince William County Supervisors. State delegates and citizens can make suggestions to Supervisors, (which I have) but only Prince William Supervisors can amend the County Comprehensive Plan to improve Rt. 28. I asked the PWC BOCS when the last time major improvements to this section of Rt. 28 had been added to their Comp Plan and it was 1964! Shortly after I asked this question the PWC BOCS added one of the proposals from the Rt. 28 Study Committee I serve on to their Comp Plan. This is the first step in a traffic solution for this corridor being funded.
Legislator Powers: The General Assembly appropriates our tax money for rail and roads across Virginia but VDOT will NOT fund projects unless formally requested by Supervisors. State delegates can urge, but cannot order, Fairfax or Price William Supervisors to improve Rt. 28, build overpasses, etc. Overpasses in Fairfax and Loudoun were built by VDOT after their Supervisors put them on their Comp Plans. However, overpasses on the Yorkshire section of Rt. 28 would require taking a massive amount of property for righ-of-way and the cost would be very high.
Reversible Lanes: In 2012, shortly after this section of the Rt. 28 corridor became part of the 13th District, then Senator Colgan and I requested and received an estimate of $5.5 Million plus $1 million/year to operate, reversible rush-hour lanes on Rt. 28 in Yorkshire for a short term solution that could be built in 6 months until longer term solutions could be implemented. This estimate included costs for overhead signals, traffic control, curbs and jug handle left turns lanes. Coles Supervisor Marty Nohe, who is also the chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, and Manassas Park Mayor Jeanette Rishell have rejected reversible lanes. They are used safely elsewhere in the DC Metro area.
Task Force on Rt. 28: I serve on the Route 28 Executive Committee studying Rt. 28 improvements and hope it will result in a real solution. Road planners told us (7/31/17), that projects will take approximatly 7 years to complete with costs around $240 Million for environmental studies, taking land/homes/ businesses, moving utilities, and construction. Fairfax and Prince William Supervisors may both have to agree on one route. More information on the study is available at http://route28study.com/
Dense Developments: Prnce William County & Manassas Park continue to approve dense developments that use Rt. 28. I have regularly urged Prince William Supervisors to deny re-zonings for dense developments that will worsen traffic, but legal authority for rezoning homes belongs to Supervisors, not state delegates.
Budget Amendments: From 2014 through 2017 I offered amendments to the State Budget to improve Rt. 28, even though the measures had little chance of passage, in order to call attention to this crisis.
Wrong Spending Priorities: I expressed my strong concern over NVTA’s spending $28 Million to widen Rt. 28 near Linton Hall Rd. where only 37,000 vehicles travel daily, when 57,000 travel Rt. 28 in the Yorkshire corridor.
The Bottom Line: No matter which long-term Rt. 28 fix the Counties agree to, we should further examine reversible lanes on Rt. 28 for a short term solution. Little to no asphalt is needed. Homes and businesses will not be condemned. The existing median could be reversed with overhead lane signals. Both former Manassas Park Mayor Jones and Senator Chuck Colgan thought the idea had merit.