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Loudoun County may back out of Dulles Rail Project

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by Pluto, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Why is it ridiculous? It does address a specific problem in this county - that our infrastructure is clogged by people who work in Fairfax/Arlington/DC but who don't pay any VA or county taxes. We have significant STATE and COUNTY roads that have a significant volume consumed by people that don't contribute to those roads, and their presence drives needs to expand capacity in areas that otherwise wouldn't be needed.

    Why it is ridiculous to look to have people consuming the services contribute to paying for those services?
     
  2. Pluto

    Pluto New Member

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    Makes perfect sense to me..... Didn't realize this before....
    When the metro comes, same people from WV would be using it a lot....
     
  3. kmjtt

    kmjtt New Member

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    Isn't this true of just about everyone? I don't pay DC taxes... But drive into the city. I don't pay MD taxes either but drive my dad to Johns Hopkins daily. I understand the frustration, but do we really want another Greedway?
     
  4. beahmer

    beahmer Member

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    If DC had its way - you would pay Taxes there. And MD/VA probably have the same number of people going back and forth and youre on an Interstate vs local road (Rt 9/Rt 7)

    PS The Greedway gets away with it because they can. If Loudoun wants to collect money along the state line and that reduces my taxes - because they can - I'd be all for it :)
     
  5. ChrisL

    ChrisL Member

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    If they want to save money... eliminate the Rt. 606 station. What does Light Industrial and low-grade commercial space need a station for anyways? Just build the Moorefield one by Home depot. That would cut millions from Loudoun's bill.
     
  6. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    You drive on roads with capacity needed already when you drive through DC and MD. You are creating traffic in the area that actually hosts the employment.. so it's volume they would see anyways (minus the public transportation arguement). Plus, you and the company are paying taxes to the areas impacted.

    Difference here is we are acting as the interstate between WV and DC Metro area with no benefit. The companies aren't here in LC.. the workers aren't here in LC... all we get is the traffic and congestion.

    Virginia is being forced to shoulder the burden of people fleeing to WV with their tax base, while still being a significant burden on VA roads. There is nothing ridiculous about asking those that consume the service to pay for the service. That's the premise of most toll roads. So why not take that, and add to it that these consumers don't even contribute through their state/local taxes as even further reason to ask them to pay for the services?
     
  7. LightningBuggs

    LightningBuggs Member

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    Lengthy email, but I'll summarize.

    Concerns:

    1) County costs both during construction and ongoing maintenance obligations after it's built. Fear is that the deferred maintenance costs that currently exist for Metro will be heaped onto Fairfax and Loudoun somewhat unfairly. (We'd be paying for deferred maintenace costs of the "old" part of the system and not the Silver Line, in other words.)

    2) MWAA controlling the project and apparently being a "difficult partner". Primary issue is their insistence that the labor agreement for Phase II require union labor. This could potentially lead to higher costs and longer timetable for the project based on past history.

    3) Tolls obviously are an issue. Right now, there are no federal funds for the project. VA GA has committed $150M to the project and there is legislation in place to raise that commitment to $500M. Clearly, passage of this legislation would be a huge help.

    There are other issues of course and this is just an overview summary. Overall, I think most of the BOS members want this to happen but they feel there are outstanding questions and issues that need to be addressed.
     
  8. Pluto

    Pluto New Member

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    This is a very good idea.... instead of pulling out completely from this plan, at least get one...... and moorefiled station would be closer too....
     
  9. bgirl

    bgirl New Member

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    If you can't see why putting a toll booth at the WV line is ridiculous, I doubt anything I say will change your mind on that.

    However, I do want to say that the majority of people that I personally know who live in WV are teachers and other lower-paid professional and service personnel (e.g., custodians and police officers). These folks don't make enough money to be able to afford to live in Loudoun County, where they are providing services to you, me, and the rest of us who live here. Would you really consider adding insult to injury by not paying them enough and then taxing them to work in this county? Wow.
     
  10. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    Why is it ridiculous? There are numerous tolls throughout the county that serve the same purpose. The Delaware toll on 95 is used primarily for maintenance on 95. The Delaware Memorial Bridge has a toll exclusively for maintenance of the bridge and immediate roadway. The tunnels in Baltimore and the Lincoln tunnel, same thing. So why shouldn't LoCo consider a modest toll to help offset road maintenance for those who drive our roads on a frequent basis yet do not pay any taxes to help maintain them?
     
  11. bgirl

    bgirl New Member

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    I am specifically addressing Steve's original suggestion of putting a toll booth at the WV line.

    The biggest reason that it's ridiculous is because it will never happen. But, hey, if it ever does, I will be pleased to eat crow.
     
  12. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    Governor McDonnell is looking to put a toll booth on 95 at the NC VA line.

     
  13. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Well surprisingly.. forming opinions or supporting a conclusion comes from supporting points. Or we can go with the 'whatever' response that simple chides anyone who doesn't blindly fall in line with you. At least I can explain the reason behind my statement objectively.

    Funny... that's the exact reason we moved to loudoun instead of Fairfax. You think its rediculous that I have to pay a toll to get to work too?
     
  14. terelli

    terelli New Member

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    Forget DC for me. I just like the idea of getting to Tysons and Arlington via metro.
     
  15. bgirl

    bgirl New Member

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    Your premise is that people who live in WV and use our roads to travel to work should have to pay to use these roads at a tollbooth at the WV line. The fact is that the major east/west route that most people from WV use to travel is Rt. 7, and it does not intersect any border between Loudoun County / WV.

    The only “major” route (and I use the word “major” very lightly) that intersects Loudoun County and WV is Rt. 9, which is a 2-lane road that winds its way through Hillsboro. In addition, the Appalachian Trail crosses Rt. 9 at the WV line. Have you driven Rt. 9? Do you really think it could be a toll road? It is nothing like the examples folks have posted, such as I95 and Rt. 267. Also, it would only capture tolls from a small amount of the folks who travel from WV.

    The fact is there are several ways to travel to Fairfax County (i.e., Rt. 7, Rt. 50) that do not charge a fee. That you choose to use the one route that charge a toll is your choice. I don’t really get your connection.
     
  16. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Well - given the state is the only one allowed to setup a toll road, I didn't feel it necessary to elaborate that this is a state issue, not a BoS/County issue. The state would setup the toll, and the toll would be used to fund transportation projects in the impacted area. There is nothing in my posts about LOUDOUN putting up a Toll Booth or that it would have to be in Loudoun.

    Your 'but..' is shooting down a point not on the table.

    Who says toll roads need to be major interstates?? If you go back in history, you see no such correlation to tolls to size of road. Tolls started as opportunistic and in the days of public highways are more to fund projects. 'Scale' isn't a requirement. Some of the roads with tolls in VA in the south really aren't much bigger then Claiborne. Divided 4 lane roads.

    But back to Rt9.. if its only going to get a 'small amount' of people.. why did WV just expand Rt9 to be a 4 lane expressway all the way to the State Line? Did they build a road to no-where?

    And lets take a look at some quotes from the news regarding this subject:
    http://www.loudountimes.com/index.p...of_fatal_accidents_route_9_warrants_a_fix123/

    I'd advocate putting up a time sensitive toll at both 340 and 9 crossings.

    Because your point was 'they moved to WV because they couldn't afford to live here and burdening them with a toll would be... spiteful or something'

    Well I did the same exact thing.. except swap in for Fairfax and Loudoun. The fact there is multiple routes is irrelevant to your sympathy argument. It was made on the premise we would be putting a burden on people who live there because they couldn't afford here. Well that's exactly what happens here between Loudoun and inner counties too. Where's my sympathy vote for avoiding tolls?
     
  17. bgirl

    bgirl New Member

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    Yes, I guess you could throw up a tollbooth anywhere, but it is not a logical conclusion that Rt. 9 is an appropriate candidate to become a toll road. This is based on current precedence for toll roads, and the fact that Rt. 9 runs through an historic Virginia town. I’d be curious to know if there are any two-lane, undivided toll roads that dip down to 25 mph currently in use anywhere within Virginia. Perhaps scale is not a requirement, but safety is.

    The fact is that Rt. 9 is the major inter-county connector in the Eastern Panhandle, and the WV DOT states that “safety is the primary purpose for the project.”

    Using other people’s non-expert opinions in order to support your opinion is an...interesting...strategy.

    Originally you stated you would support putting “a tollbooth” at the WV line; here you’re recommending two. Even so, a WV driver would have several other options to access Rt. 7 without paying a toll. Those who live in Berkeley County can drive to I-81 and then take Rt. 7. Those who live in southern Jefferson County can access Rt. 7 on country back roads. Those who live in northern Jefferson County can head into Maryland and drive down Rt. 287 or Rt. 15. With all these options and the advance of telecommuting, the taxable base would be quite a bit smaller. I’m sure the state of Virginia would consider this information and determine that creating toll roads to “tax” WV drivers would not be worthwhile. Therefore, I still think your suggestion is ridiculous.

    Actually, you’ve misquoted me (I never used the word spiteful)…and in quotation marks, no less. I was writing about public servants, such as teachers, custodians, and police officers, who can’t afford to live in the district where they’re employed and then having them pay a toll essentially because they’re not paid enough. I know that’s not your situation, so it’s not logical for you to make a connection and conclude that you deserve my sympathy.

    So now I’ve had the opportunity to share my opinion and defend it. From reading many of your 4,000+ posts over the years, I doubt anything I say will change your mind and frankly, this could go on ad nauseum. So I’ve determined that although the debate may continue, it will have to continue without me.
     
  18. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    So now tolls make roads less safe or something? Or because this road is unsafe, it's unsuitable to be a toll road? What logic is this based upon?

    It was unsafe because of the volume of traffic wasn't suitable for the road's old design. They put in bypass and expanded the road.

    It was to show it wasn't some corner case idea or suggestion.. and that this idea that traffic from WV isn't some imaginary thing.

    A tollbooth at the state line.. yes that's what I said. I never inferred a single toll at a single point. When one says 'state line' it's obvious there isn't just one way to cross 'the stateline'. You were the one that brought up Rt9, and then said it's not the only way to get there.. and I said I'd support putting booths at BOTH of the roads that were in the discussion because my suggestion was putting a toll at the state-line - not 'a tollbooth at rt9' or anyone singular point. You keep trying to tear down points that I never made. It's not my fault you keep trying to find nitpicks rather then address the meat of the matter. The theory of taxing people to crossing the state-line due to an imbalance of consumption is far more the controversial subject - not the minutia of implementation.

    Tell that to the greenway - they aren't the 'only' way to get from A to B - yet they still represent a viable model to investors. The ICC, the hotlanes, greenway, I-95 tunnel in baltimore, I-895 tunnel, etc all represent non-exclusive ways to get somewhere in the region and they are all toll based. Exclusivity isn't a requirement for a toll. If you provide a preferred route (like saving someone 15+ miles which someone from Charlestown would have to add to goto Rt7) that can be lurcative in itself. Or you could look at the toll as simply a means to influence public behavior (like cigarette tax) to direct traffic to an area you prefer it to flow through.

    What do you know about my situation? But what's to stop you from jumping to baseless conclusions.. I mean since you know a few public servants who live in WV and work here.. they represent everyone who commutes in your eyes and they are the only ones worth having any pity for.

    I didn't misquoted you unless you can show your original claim was any different. Your premise was that putting up a toll would be a slap to these people that somehow we've already forced to live in WV.

    No one lined up to shed a tear for me when I sacrificed to drive 90mins every day to get to work because I had to drive where the work was... which included having to drive on the DTR every day. I put in my time, built my career and over time moved myself and my family forward, including paying more to live closer to work, but still being excluded from living near work due to costs.

    Besides the pity party.. I still think VA needs to find ways to fund it's transportation needs that include addressing the tax base fleeing out of the state yet still burdening their costs. They could enter relationships with WV to share costs on common good projects. There are lots of possibilities. I'm for finding new ideas and pursuing them rather then crying woe is me and thinking the world owes all of us a free lunch.
     
  19. Winston

    Winston Junior Mint

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    Not that this really supports an argument for a toll at the WV/VA line, but yes, there is, the Nickel Bridge in Richmond, and it runs pretty smoothly. It is used by many commuters in the Richmond area. One of the toll workers used to give out lollipops. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulevard_Bridge
     
  20. JohnS

    JohnS New Member

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    Silver Line at Risk

    I was surprised to learn recently that the Silver Line to Loudoun County is not a done deal. Our elected representatives on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors are leaning toward killing long-standing plans to build the transit rail line beyond Dulles International Airport to Loudoun. The nine-member board has to vote by July 4.

    [FONT=&quot]“Right now, in my personal opinion, the odds are not looking good. I do not see the powers at play here moving the pieces around to make it work,” said Board Vice Chairman Janet S. Clarke (R-Blue Ridge). [/FONT]

    I am paraphrasing from a recent article in the Washington Post:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local...-silver-line/2012/04/21/gIQABkYZYT_story.html

    Even if you never use Metrorail, the Silver Line will have a positive impact on our property values. Here are some specifics:

    “With the Silver Line extension all the way to Loudoun County, the project will create unparalleled job growth and economic opportunity in Loudoun County, while helping to relieve traffic congestion throughout the region."

    "The Silver Line is an investment in our future. It will spur economic development and growth, thus lowering our residential property tax rate and providing viable transportation options for Loudouners.”

    “Property values and rents are higher near Metro stations—in range of 5%-20%”

    You can sign a petition and read more about the issue at:

    http://www.loudounrailnow.com/sign-the-petition/

    Also, check out this detailed analysis of the economic impact to our area:

    http://www.committeefordulles.org/pdf/110526BogoradMays.pdf
     

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