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New commuter parking demanded for HOT lanes

(File) Drivers travel past the Pohick Road overpass at Lorton on the new fourth lane that opened Friday on Interstate 95 in Fairfax County. (VDOT)

Woodbridge, Va. –– If developers want Prince William leaders’ support for High Occupancy Toll lanes, they’d better build a new commuter parking lot.

Commuter parking has been the focus of much debate in the Woodbridge in recent weeks, after Potomac Mills mall announced they would reduce commuter parking there by 75 percent.

That left officials looking to find residents new places to park and ride, possibly leasing spaces at local churches.

Any help from the developers of the HOT lanes, Texas-based Fluor, and Transubran in Australia, would be welcome.

“If we are going to drop our opposition to the HOT lanes their developer must agree to build at least 1,000 new commuter parking spaces in eastern Prince William County,” said Stewart.

Many of those spaces should be located near the state’s largest commuter lot, at Horner Road in Woodbridge, he added.

The chairman Thursday said he would be meeting with members of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s staff to discuss building the additional parking, but said it was too early to say when he would have a decision about any new parking lot.

Originally apart of the I-95/395 HOT lanes proposed in 2009, Fluor and Transurban offered to pay for and build an additional 3,000 commuter parking spaces along the HOT lanes corridor and a Bus Rapid Transit station in Lorton. A poor economy and lack of investors forced the companies to put those perks under review.

Virginia transportation officials today announced the High Occupancy Vehicle / HOT lanes from Dumfries to Edsall Road in Alexandria will be converted to toll lanes, scrapping plans to build toll lanes on I-395.

Prior to the announcement, Arlington for two years fought the lawsuit claiming federal and state transportation officials failed to complete required environmental studies before building the lanes. While they never got onboard with the lawsuit, Prince William officials have long opposed the lanes, fearing they would have an adverse affect on the slugging community.

With HOT lanes on I-395 off the table, concerns have shifted.

“We are most concerned about preserving and protecting the successful slug and commuter bus system,” said Stewart.

As announced Thursday, the HOT lanes will run from Garrisonville Road (Va. 610) in North Stafford to Edsall Road in Alexandria. Two reversible lanes will be extended south from Dumfries Road (Va. 234) to Va. 610.

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