Loudoun Focus of Traffic Analysis

Loudoun Focus of Traffic Analysis

Last month Del. Bob Marshall (R-13) sent a letter to Gov. Tim Kaine (D) requesting the governor authorize a transportation study of the proposed Greenvest projects located in the Upper Broad Run/Upper Foley Transition Policy Areas.

Last week, Marshall received his answer.

Traffic impact studies were one of the tools Kaine requested this year from the General Assembly, which the Assembly approved before Marshall sent his letter. Although the legislation does not go into effect until July, Kaine has authorized a pilot program for Northern Virginia that focuses on Loudoun County specifically.

"This is part of the governor's push for a greater link between land planning and transportation," Kevin Hall, spokesperson for the governor, said.

The Greenvest application Marshall is concerned about is a $1.3 billion project that would rezone 4,200 acres in four parcels both north and south of Route 50. In addition to residential development, the plan would include the development of schools, including the new George Mason University campus.

In his letter Marshall said the project included 28,000 new residential houses, a number that has often been attributed to the Greenvest project alone, but Greenvest says is inaccurate.

"There might be 28,000 houses in the entire area, but only four of the six projects are Greenvest's," Packie Crown, vice president of planning and zoning for Greenvest, said.

Crown said that the total number of houses for its projects is around 15,000.

Hall said that Kaine's legislation and resulting pilot program for Loudoun are an attempt to allow VDOT to provide more assistance to local governments when it comes to traffic analysis.

"The [people] at VDOT don't look at things in isolation," Hall said. "With the VDOT experts we will be able to look at what the overall affects or ripple affects could be."

The point of the legislation and the VDOT analysis is not to provide judgments or opinions on specific projects, Hall said, but simply to provide facts.

"We just want to give more information to local governments then they might have had otherwise," he said, "so they can use it in making their decisions. This is a cooperative effort."

The Loudoun traffic study, which includes the Greenvest project, began in May and preliminary data is expected within the next couple of weeks.