Countywide Dialogue on Transportation: Secondary Roads Devolution Summary
What Can You Do?
- Projects: View unfunded transportation projects being considered for Fairfax County.
- Engage: View public meetings calendar and see other ways to engage.
- Documents : View maps and other related documents for this project.
Alternatives for Improving Roadway Services in Fairfax
November 30, 2010
Study Goals and Objectives
Examine ways to improve the delivery of roadway services in Fairfax
- Consider different levels of responsibility the County may assume
- Consider the “roadway” as multi-modal; the entire right-of-way has the potential to carry pedestrian, bikes, transit, and cars
Estimate VDOT’s expenditures on maintenance and operations in
Fairfax County, on the primary and secondary roadway systems.
Operations include traffic signals, signage and other related
- Compare with other arrangements in other Virginia jurisdictions
Roadway Maintenance Funding in Virginia
- By state law, 3 categories: (1) cities and towns receive direct payments and perform own maintenance, (2) Henrico and Arlington perform own maintenance with separate allocations, (3) VDOT maintains in all other counties
- State law requires that maintenance be funded prior to construction
- State construction funds have been increasingly diverted to maintenance functions
Estimated Recent VDOT Maintenance and Operations Expenditures/Allocations in Fairfax (FY07-11)
- Primary System: $30 million / yr.
- Secondary System: $43 million / yr.
- Total: $73 million / yr.
Study Data and Limitations
VDOT provided the County with expenditure and allocation data
- FY 2007 – FY 2009: budget allocations and actual expenditures
- FY 2010 – FY 2011: budget allocations
Cost data provides only an approximation
- Sometimes difficult to isolate costs that are only attributable to Fairfax County
- Maintenance categories change year by year
- Performance measures were not examined; VDOT costs are constrained by VDOT budget limitations and do not represent ideal / complete preventive maintenance needs (e.g. number of mowing cycles, amount of repaving, etc.) and citizen expectations.
- Additional analysis would be needed before taking any actions. Costs to County would entail additional expenditures for manpower, related overhead expenses, equipment, facilities, other start-up costs (asset management systems, etc.)
Potential Benefits of an Increased County Role
- Increase overall funding for maintenance and operations
- Enhance influence in transportation decision-making
- Improve responsiveness and accountability
Increase flexibility in establishing priorities and standards
- Maintenance standards and priorities
- Roadway standards
- Improvement priorities
Enhance selected maintenance activities
- Increase and improve communication and coordination with VDOT
- Provide additional local funding to VDOT
- Assume responsibility for selected activities
Assume responsibility over secondary system under provisions in
Code of Virginia for Devolution
- Maintenance only
- Construction only
- Maintenance and construction
- Full responsibility (maintenance, operations, construction)
- Assume responsibility in select geographic areas under provisions for Urban Transportation Service Districts
- Assume responsibility for entire primary and secondary system
- Advantages and disadvantages of various levels of County responsibility are identified in report.
- County assumption of maintenance functions could raise public expectations for improved service
- Condition of many assets requires corrective actions to address backlog of deferred maintenance
- (Additional) start-up costs will be required for manpower, equipment, and facilities
- Levels of service must be identified. Desired service level may exceed current VDOT standard but may increase cost
- VDOT may reimburse County for some costs, but amounts must be negotiated
Experiences of other jurisdictions who maintain roads
- They assume liability for their roads
- Most such jurisdictions supplement VDOT payments with local funds
- Costs to County will vary by alternative mechanism selected, maintenance and operation functions assumed, and level of service provided
- Study reviews possible local funding sources
- VDOT expenditures in Fairfax County approximately equal to VDOT payment rate for cities and towns
Significantly improving levels of service (more mowing cycles, more
frequent repaving) requires more funding
- Assuming responsibility may or may not improve levels of service
No clear financial benefit exists for assuming more
- Assuming responsibility provides benefits in transportation decision-making, local responsiveness and accountability, and flexibility in establishing priorities and standards.
If the County decides to increase its responsibilities over roads,
it should consider:
- Taking an incremental approach
- Working with VDOT to identify additional administrative, planning, or engineering functions that the County could assume
- Working with VDOT to enhance select maintenance activities Countywide
- Studying assuming full maintenance and operations responsibilities in select areas of the County under provisions for Urban Transportation Service Districts