0
Votes

Herrity Addresses Chamber at Luncheon

Former board chairman advocates spending more money on roads and less on Metro.

Jack Herrity has not served on the Board of Supervisors since 1988. However, he is still involved — and interested in the politics of Fairfax County, both as a resident and as a business owner of Solutions Group.

Herrity addressed a group of Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce members at the September Business Lunch that was held at Primo’s Family Restaurant and gave his views on the state of transportation in Fairfax County.

“Transportation is like the weather. Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it,” Herrity said.

He feels that this has been the case since 1994 and said that while half a billion dollars was spent on transportation between 1981 and 1994, very little had been spent since then.

“The priorities in Fairfax County have shifted,” Herrity said. “You spend money where the priorities are.”

He believes those priorities have shifted from transportation to development. He also doesn’t think mass transit is the solution to all problems. Instead he believes that since most people ride on roads that Fairfax County needs to build roads.

“The county has to be involved financially,” he said.

Herrity is opposed to the current push to develop Metrorail to Dulles, calling it a "vanity project" by developers and politicians. He believes that a better solution would be to use Bus-Rail Transit and said that an independent assessment by a 1999 panel of advisors to the Virginia Department of Transportation favored the development of BRT over Metrorail by a 6 to 1 vote.

Chamber members asked Herrity his views on Metrorail to Belvoir; he responded that there are better solutions. When asked about the impact of BRAC, Herrity said, “It is a great opportunity, but will be a hell of a mess if not done properly.”

Dan Rinzel asked Herrity if he knew how much it will cost to build Metrorail to Dulles. He said he wasn’t sure, and had heard that they decreased the proposed figure from $2.4 billion to $1.8 billion. He feels that this is still too much money and that there won’t be any money left for other projects. His figures also show him that this will only serve 15,000 new riders.