Tag Archives: Outer Beltway

An Outer Beltway by another name . . . still stinks

“Ce n’est pas un Beltway”

Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-When It’s Convenient) is absolutely indignant that critics of his new all-Republican Board’s efforts to do the bidding of the developer and road-building industry and pave the way (as it were) for their long-cherished Outer Beltway would have the temerity to actually say out loud that it’s the Outer Beltway.

“It is not a frickin’ beltway,” the eloquent chairman said.

The Board as one of its first acts in January hastened to order up an amendment to the Countywide Transportation Plan widening Belmont Ridge Road/Rt 659; with dazzling speed the amendment sailed through the Planning Commission and was put on a fast track for the Supervisors’ final approval, duly voted yesterday. Although last-minute neighborhood opposition succeeded in keeping Belmont Ridge Road designated as an eventual 4-lane (though still within a 150-foot right of way  . . . hmmmm), the Board approved expanding the rest of the road to 6 lanes. Continue reading

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Where the rubber stamp meets the road (or maybe not)

As part of its extremely considerate effort to spare the citizens of Loudoun County the trouble and frustration of having to inform themselves about local issues, take time out of their busy schedules to present public comments, and then endure the disappointment of having their views summarily ignored by their elected representatives, our new all-Republican Board of Supervisors swiftly approved a series of measures in its first few meetings in January, voting 9–0 with no public notice, comments, or discussion, to pass a nice package of initiatives sought by the developer and road builder interests who funded their campaigns.

Among these was an amendment to the county transportation plan to expand to six lanes a segment of current 2-lane roadways—Belmont Ridge Road and Northstar Boulevard—that just happen to line up with the longstanding plans of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance and other developer lobbyists for an Outer Beltway running smack through our county.

The Board was so keen to get this done before anyone noticed that they put it on a special fast track; the Planning Commission approved it 9–0 ten days ago and sent it to the Supervisors for final approval this week.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the rubber stamp. On Tuesday a large contingent of rather irked neighbors of the proposed highway showed up to denounce the plan; many took aim at that the bogus claims for why we need this road offered by the lobbyists who spoke (and who tried to insist with a straight face that it had nothing to do with the Outer Beltway). More than 100 comments were also received by the Board by e-mail as of Tuesday afternoon, all but 1 opposed.

The rattled Supervisors have now put off a vote until May.

Maybe the citizens who were asleep back on Election Day are starting to wake up!


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We’ve got our orders

The head of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, that well-connected lobby of developers, road pavers, asphalt producers, and other public spirited citizens, remarked not long ago that the real problem in Virginia was that transportation policymakers were listening “too much” to “small neighborhoods” and “small groups”—also known as the people who actually live in the places where his totally disinterested big group wants to build new six-lane highways.

Luckily in Loudoun, we don’t have that problem any more, thanks to our new all-Republican local government.

Immediately upon taking office in January, the new Board of Supervisors—with no public discussion and no notice—made sure that from now on “small neighborhoods,” or for that matter any neighborhoods, will no longer be able to get in the way of the NVTA’s long-cherished dream of running new multi-lane north-south highways through existing communities, which will do wonders for major commercial property developers and nothing at all to relieve the traffic congestion on east-west routes actually used by commuters: Continue reading

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