TAX INCREASE FUNDS A FLAWED TRANSPORTATION PLAN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 12, 2001
CONTACT: ARTHUR PURVES
phone: 703 281-0176
NORTHERN VIRGINIA TRANSPORTATION PLAN IGNORES ZONING
TAX INCREASE FUNDS A FLAWED
The Northern Virginia sales tax increase proposed by SB1368 and HB2776 funds a transportation plan that will not work because it does not require high-density commercial zoning along rail lines. So charged Fairfax County Taxpayer Alliance president, Arthur G. Purves. "The recently approved Northern Virginia 2020 Transportation Plan calls for over $6 billion in rail construction but does not require high-density commercial zoning along rail lines," Mr. Purves stated. "In addition, the plan calls for over $3 billion of Interstate highway improvements that will tempt commuters and new commercial development away from rail lines. "Commuters will not ride rail unless they live or work near it," Mr. Purves stated. "Without commercial zoning along rail lines, ridership will be low resulting in large subsidies and congestion on the proposed 12-lane Beltway and ten-lane I-66. Also since there will be no 'reverse commute', rush-hour trains will be full in only one direction, resulting in lost revenue." The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has not allowed significant commercial development at Metrorail or Virginia Railway Express stations. A recently approved plan for the Vienna Metrorail station is primarily residential. The lack of commercial zoning at train stations has contributed to a $12 billion shortfall in Metrorail's planned maintenance budget (Washington Post, 1/31/01, p A20). "Suburban rail construction requires rezoning established residential neighborhoods for commercial use. Thus far the Fairfax supervisors have not provided leadership to do this. Therefore construction of new rail, while a windfall for developers, will only drive up taxpayer-funded rail subsidies and not end traffic congestion."