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Want a better Route 1 in Dumfries? You’ve got until midnight Saturday to comment.

If you ever get down to Dumfries to talk to its residents, one of the first things you learn is the state of U.S. 1 is one issue that binds all of its residents together.  In the next three days, they have an opportunity to do something about it.

Dumfries and its communities to the east along the Potomac River have basically only three ways to get out of town – U.S. 1 North, U.S. 1 South, and two-lane Van Buren Road.  In fact, U.S. 1 cuts across the creeks for each peninsula into the Potomac River, within a quarter mile of where each creek becomes tidal.  This basically turns each peninsula into a massive cul de sac.

Surovell

When coupled with the endemic congestion on Interstate 95, the consequences for the Town are tragic.  Each time I-95 becomes gridlocked, interstate traffic bails out onto U.S. 1 causing U.S. 1 to freeze and leaving thousands of residents with no way out.  The gridlock has also stymied the town’s ability to attract high-quality development to its business areas.

Prince William County is in the process of widening each of its U.S. 1 segments to six lanes – both north and south of the Town – but the Town has not been able to secure funding because its 5,000 residents do not have the same ability to leverage taxpayer revenue that Prince William County’s 400,000 residents have available.

This year, the Town applied for $116,554,000 from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) to eliminate the 2.1 mile split of U.S. 1 through the town, widen Fraley Boulevard to six lanes, adding bicycle lanes and shared use paths and reconstructing sidewalks.  It would be a massive improvement for the Town by allowing it to concentrate through traffic on one road while preserving multimodal uses, and allowing the Town to focus commercial development on the former fork. 

When the NVTA ran the analytics on the cost-benefit analysis on the proposal it was ranked #17 out of 60 projects and #10 out of 60 on congestion relief in all of Northern Virginia.  This puts it in a decent position to obtain funding.

However, there are a total of $2.1 billion of projects competing for only $1.2 billion of funds.  Projects are going to be cut. 

Last week, I spoke with Mayor-Elect Derrick Wood, Council-Woman Elect Monae Dickerson about the importance of funding these projects at the NVTA’s public hearing.  Video of our comments are below. 

However, if you would like to see this project funded, it is important that YOU speak up and be heard so that the NVTA’s Board members understand just how truly important this project is.

I have set up an electronic form where you can submit comments that I will personally deliver to each board member.  You can access that form by going to bit.ly/US1Dumfries. The comment deadline is Saturday, May 20 at midnight.

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