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Transportation Bond Referendum: What You Need to Know Archived Discussion Room

Fairfax County, Virginia

Transportation Bond Referendum: What You Need to Know

Join Tom Biesiadny on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 11 a.m. to get answers about the $100 million transportation bond referendum on the ballot on Nov. 4. If approved by a majority of voters, this bond will help pay for building roads, missing sidewalks and new bike lanes. For more information before the chat, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bond


Tom Biesiadny : Good morning, this is Tom Biesiadny.  I'm looking forward to discussing this year's transportation bond referendum with you.  This referendum is an integral part of the $1.4 Billion, multimodal Transportation Priorities Plan that was approved by the Board of Supervisors on January 28, 2014.   It will provide about 7% of the funding needed to address the priorities identified as part of the County-wide Dialogue on Transportation in 2013.


Robin : What is the total dollar amount of previously approved transportation bond referendums? Of this amount, what is the total dollar amount of transportation bonds that have actually been sold? And, of the transportation bonds which have been sold, what is the total amount spent to date on transportation projects?

Tom Biesiadny : Since 1981, Fairfax County votes have approved approximately $800 million in transportation bonds.  So far more than $700 million of these bonds have been sold and more than $600 million have been spent.  All of the $800 million is allocated to specific projects. 


Anonymous User : How were these road projects selected? There are so many to choose from.

Tom Biesiadny : Beginning in 2012, the County initiated a County-wide Dialogue on Transportation.  In 2012, we discussed the transportation needs and the funding options.  In 2013, we engage the community to provide input on more than 200 different transportation projects covering all modes.  We conducted a cost-benefit analysis on the projects and focused on project that improve access to major activity centers, Metrorail and VRE stations, schools and parks.  We particularly focused on our major transportation corridors, congestion reduction, safety, travel time saving and missing links, among others.


Chantilly : is money included in this bond or other sources for the proposed poplar tree extension over route 28? thanks.

Tom Biesiadny : The Poplar Tree Extension over Route 28 is part of the reconfiguration of the I-66/Route 28 interchange.  This project is part of the Board's Transportation Priorities Plan, but is not proposed to be funded with these bonds.  As an interstate related project, we are anticipating that it will be funded with federal, state and regional revenues.


Anonymous User : What happens if this bond doesn't pass? Will these projects ever happen?

Tom Biesiadny : If the bond referendum does not pass, these projects will be delayed until alternative sources of funding are identified.  However, the projects will remain part of the Board's Transportation Priorities Plan.  Once alternative funding can be secured, these projects could then move forward to implementation.


Taxpayers : 16% for roads? Dulles Rail is a failure w Tysons at 51% of projected use and tolls doubling to subsidize DR riders.

Tom Biesiadny : Of the entire Transportation Priorities Plan approved by the Board, approximately 58.4% of the funding will be going to roadway projects, 27.1% will be going to transit projects and 14.5% will be going to bike/pedestrian projects.  This bond referendum is one of eight different sources that will be used to fund the Priorities Plan.   Regarding the Silver Line, initial ridership has been strong and on track to achieving Metro's first year ridership goals.


biker : how much is for bicycle paths

Tom Biesiadny : $6.5 million of this bond referendum will go to bike projects.  However, all of our new roadway projects will also address the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians.  A complete list of the bike projects for this referendum can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bond.  A complete list of all of bike projects in the Transportation Priorities Plan can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/cdot/projects/approved.htm


Anonymous User : does the bike plan just approved include projects funded in the bond?

Tom Biesiadny : The Bicycle Master Plan is a long-term plan, not a specific list of short-term projects.  However, the bike projects include in the bond referendum are consistent with the Bicycle Master Plan. 


Mark : I understand that we have to pay for missing sidewalks as part of this bond. Have land use rules changed that will require developers to build sidewalks now so we as taxpayers don't have to keep retrofitting?

Tom Biesiadny : Yes.  Since the 1980s, the County's Public Facilities Manual and Zoning Ordinance has required developers to implement pedestrian facilities as part of their developments.  However, much of Fairfax County developed before that, and there is still a significant amount of retrofitting that needs to be done to connect our pedestrian facilities.  As part of the recent comprehensive plan amendments for areas like Tysons and Reston, pedestrian facilities have received even greater emphasis.


Tom Biesiadny : Thank you for participating in today's on-line chat.   I appreciate you taking time to learn more about the transportation bond referendum.  If you have any additional questions, you can find more information at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bond . Also watch for the bond referendum pamphlet that should be in your mailbox this week.  Tom