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Want to Talk Metro? Phase 2 Meeting Monday

Third in series of public meetings, as well as Board of Supervisors discussion, on tap this week.

Fairfax County residents will get one more chance to discuss Metro's SIlver Line Phase 2.

The third and final in a a series of public meetings will take place Monday (7 p.m., Fairfax County Government Center conference rooms 9/10, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. (Reachable by transit via Fairfax Connector Routes 605, 621 and 623.)

Also, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Silver Line and Phase 2 at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20 at Fairfax County Government Center, but will not be discussing station names.

The meetings are a county effort to inform the public about the funding of the $2.7 billion project and gather input on what to name the stations, which will extend west from Wiehle Avenue in Reston to Dulles International Airport and locations in Loudoun County.

Funding for the entire Dulles Metrorail project from Falls Church to Loudoun, including the first phase currently under construction, can be broken down as follows: 16.1 percent from Fairfax County, 4.8 percent from Loudoun County, 4.1 percent from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), and 75 percent from Dulles Toll Road revenue.

According to officials, Fairfax County will contribute anywhere from $900 to $965 million for both phases of the construction.

But funding isn’t the only thing on residents’ minds. More than 12,000 people have taken Fairfax County’s online survey seeking input for naming the stations. The first set of names were rejected for being too confusing and using the words “Tysons,” “Herndon” and “Reston” in multiple names.

Click here for the full transcript of Fairfax County’s March9 online chat with Metrorail officials.

Terry Maynard March 18, 2012 at 02:30 PM
As a participant in last Wednesday's public meeting at Herndon's Hutchison elementary school, I found the county presentation and the replies to citizens' concerns superficial--all fluff, no stuff. The staff was clearly selling the project, not trying to provide insights into it's costs, benefits, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or challenges. In fact, members of the public there seemed to know more about the consequences of approving Phase 2 of the rail to Dulles project than the county staff. Here's a link to the Q&As--which have been sanitized by county staff beyond virtually all recognition--at that meeting: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/dullesmetro/31412.htm The good news was that Chairman Bulova and area Supervisors Hudgins and Foust were there to hear the citizens' concerns for themselves. The bottom line is that the county has not done due diligence on the studies MWAA has offered up or assessments of the traffic, residential & workforce transportation costs, or the broader economic growth consequences of quintupling (& more) of tolls on the toll road (including the doubling of tolls next year). Our county leadership has taken a position and it does not want to bothered with inconvenient, but impactful, facts.
Steve L March 18, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Will I move out of Reston because of this metro and the resultant toll increases? Eventually, probably.
Rob Whitfield March 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM
A Dulles Rail Phase 2 public meeting was also held in South County Center in Mount Vernon last Monday, presumably to engage the attention of the thousands of Fairfax County voters there who support the project. About a dozen people showed up at the Herndon meeting on Wednesday before I left to attend a meeting in McLean on the future of Tysons Corner. About 20 officials attended the Herndon meeting mostly from County and MWAA staff. On Thursday, six public attendees were at the McLean Phase 2 meeting. Nobody was there from WMATA to answer questions. Terry's comments reflect the attitude of officials at the McLean meeting. No officials want to explain why no economic and financial feasibility study of Phase 2 based on today's economic and demographic outlook has been prepared showing rail ridership forecasts, revenues, costs, operating subsidies and all assumptions. The Federal Transit Administration has repeatedly failed to make public the Phase 2 Environmental Assessment. Maybe FTA is waiting until after the Fairfax County board rubber stamps the project on Tuesday. When asked who Fairfax County expects to pay for its share of the unidentified $6.5 billion portion of $13.3 billion in 10 year capital replacement costs projected by WMATA, Tom Biesiadny of Fairfax County DOT said that $120 million in bonding authority approved by voters in November 2010 would cover needs for next 5 years. He said that WMATA will look for federal and state funding of remaining costs.
Skip Endale March 19, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Its people like Steve, Terry and Rob that local governments have listened to for over 20 years and that is why we are in total gridlock now. If you can believe it Steve Terry and Rob would rather sit for 45 minutes in a car for a 10 mile commute to work than taking public transportation, a train ride that should take 20 minutes no less. And to complain about construction costs in a county that generates worth of 100 billion dollars a year in GDP, give me a break. Just cancel the hearing and get stuff done. Seriously
Tammi Petrine March 19, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Hi Skip, We HOPE that the local government listens to Steve, Terry and Rob! And you’d better too to be well informed. The ramifications of the outrageous toll increases are beyond anything that anyone in power seems to have even considered let alone comprehended. This is extremely disturbing and not the way successful projects are developed. Those of us impacted NEED to be heard. Restonians and others in Herndon, Loudoun, Great Falls and other communities aren't haters of Metro. We would love to see the line completed but NOT in the way the funding is proposed. This project MUST be completed, and other funding formulas and plans must be incorporated so that everyone shares equally in the benefits and burdens. Especially the wealthy landowners in Tysons must pony up. Their meandering route and all the elevated track are extremely expensive. ALL Virginia citizens, including all of Fairfax County must also share the funding. We were not, are not and never will be excluded from helping other localities when necessary. The increased revenue from a successful Dulles Corridor will, in time, more than pay back for the costs expended now and we can save huge interest costs. What’s good for one must be good for all or it’s not a good plan. Also, bidding for this project should be closely monitored. It should cost much, much less than Phase 1 as it is all on-grade construction. Phase 1, built by Bechtel seems to have been grossly overpriced.
Burt Rosenberg March 19, 2012 at 06:43 AM
The ever-increasing toll-road tolls are outrageous! Toll road users are not sheep to be shorn for this or any other projects, except for maintenance of the toll road, itself.
Steve L March 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM
You make poor assumptions.
Terry Maynard March 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Skip--A couple of points: 1. Re construction costs: It's not the costs we're complaining about; it's who pays it. As now planned, about 50K people (Fairfax toll road users) will pay half the $15B in ADDED tolls to cover revenue bonds over the next 40 yrs--not the 1MM who live in FC, much less Metro users for whom the line will be built. For the most part, toll road users don't have reasonable transit access at one end or the other of their trip, so Metro is not an option. And why should they pay that much for something they can't use. 2. Re congestion: If the toll increases go through, there will be plenty of room on the toll road. Forecasts indicate 18% fewer trips next year (when tolls double), 25% fewer trips in 6 years (when tolls triple), and 33% fewer trips in the more distant future despite increases in population and employment along the toll road. Most of those people will be on "free" roads--like Rt. 7, Sunrise Valley Dr., Sunset Hills, etc.
JD March 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM
That's what you get for living in the exurbs
Bob Bruhns March 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Anybody who is not concerned with the two to one overcost of Dulles Rail Phase II is welcome to pay the cost of the whole thing. Any takers? I didn't think so. It's interesting to notice that in Loudoun County, there is not even a business rail tax district in the rail station areas. The business leaders who are pushing for rail to Loudoun want to put your money where their mouths are. How many people live and also work along the Dulles Rail line, so that they could take it to and from work? And how many people will be PAYING for the Dulles Rail line? Hmmmm.
Katrina March 21, 2012 at 04:25 PM
What is interesting and what no one has talked about is the fact that the existing road was paid for many years ago. Where has the revenue been going all those years? I personally have not seen that many repairs and the tolls continue to rise. Why couldn't the tolls have been used to help fund this new toll road? I think the residents who live along this route will be paying way too much for the extension. Also what company owns the toll road west into Loudoun? I don't think it is a US Company and the rates continue to rise on that section. How did we let that happen? Perhaps another country would bid to own the new extension as well and most of the residents will not have a say in the matter and the part of the revenue will be paid to another country insteaded of being use locally.

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