Board of Supervisors - Hunter Mill District

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1801 Cameron Glen Drive
Reston, VA 20190
Walter L. Alcorn
Hunter Mill District Supervisor

Dec. 1, 2020 Board Matter: Comment on Commonwealth Transportation Board’s 2020 Fall Transportation Meetings


This year, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s FY 2020-2022 Biennium Budget included language allowing the FY 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP), adopted June 19, 2019, to remain in effect through June 30, 2021, or until a new SYIP can be adopted based on revenue forecasts reflecting the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget amendments adopted by the General Assembly on Nov. 18, 2020, further granted the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) the flexibility to address the decrease in revenues available resulting from COVID-19. The amendments allow the CTB to use funds currently allocated to projects from the Revenue Sharing, State of Good Repair, High Priority Project, and District Grant Programs that is not currently needed to support the project (based on its current schedule) to increase the funding available through the Commonwealth Transportation Fund (CTF). These revenues can be distributed to other programs and projects supported by the CTF to ensure they also advance according to their respective schedules. The funding must be replaced in the year or years needed to maintain those donor projects’ current schedules, but no later than FY 2024 for Revenue Sharing or FY 2025 for the other three programs.

The CTB is currently developing a FY 2021-2026 SYIP, in accordance with the provisions provided in the Code of Virginia and the budget requirements. This includes:

  • Using funding from existing Revenue Sharing projects that do not currently need the funding to address cashflow needs and replacing the funds in future years. In Fairfax County, five projects are currently on the list (Rolling Road Widening Phase I, Rolling Road Widening to 4 Lanes – Phase II, Richmond Highway Corridor Improvements, Route 28 Widening, and Soapstone Connector Roadway). County staff is working with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to ensure that none of these projects are delayed by this adjustment in the timing of project funding. 
  • Allocating new Revenue Sharing funds to projects submitted for consideration in Fall 2019. Allocations were originally supposed to be for FY 2021 and 2022, but are now recommended for FY 2025 and 2026, so that replacing the funding for existing projects can occur first. 
  • Allocating State of Good Repair Funding to eligible bridges.
  • Allocating FY 2021 Transit Funding.

As part of public comment process for the update, relevant materials were posted on Nov.13, 2020. In past years, public meetings were held across Virginia for the public to learn about and comment on various transportation initiatives. However, since that was not possible this year, public comment was allowed at the start of the Nov. 24, 2020, CTB meeting. Comments will also be accepted in writing through Dec. 3, 2020.

The Board has generally provided testimony and substantial comments in support of our projects that were being considered for Smart Scale or other programs. However, due to the abridged comment period and the fact that the CTB will be considering an abridged FY 2021-2026 SYIP, county staff is recommending that the Board provide comments in a letter. 

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I move that the Board of Supervisors:

  • Approve the attached Dec. 1, 2020, letter providing comments on the documents being considered as part of the Commonwealth’s FY 2021-2026 SYIP update to be sent to the Virginia Secretary of Transportation as part of the public comments record on behalf of Fairfax County.


December 1, 2020

The Honorable Shannon Valentine

Secretary of Transportation

Commonwealth of Virginia

Patrick Henry Building, Third Floor

1111 East Broad Street

Richmond, VA 23219

Reference:  Fairfax County Comments on for Commonwealth Transportation Board’s FY 2021-2026 Six-Year Improvement Program Update

Dear Secretary Valentine:

On behalf of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, I am writing to provide you and the members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) comments regarding the Draft FY 2021-2026 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) Update. On December 1, 2020, the Board discussed this issue and approved the following comments on the draft program:

Revenue Sharing

The Board thanks the CTB for providing funding for projects that we submitted through the Revenue Sharing program: $4.9 million for Fairfax County Parkway Widening (Popes Head Road to Route 29) and $3.2 million for Lincoln Street between Old Meadow Road and Magarity Road. The County understands that the allocated funding will likely not be available until FY 2025-2026, since funding redirected from existing projects just be replaced first. However, we believe that the plan to continue awarding Revenue Sharing in the last two years of the SYIP (5-6 years from when applications are submitted), makes it difficult to anticipate project funding needs so far into the future.

Fairfax County understands that the FY 2020-2022 Biennium Budget granted the CTB the flexibility to address the decrease in revenues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This flexibility can be implemented to reduce the impact on funded projects by using funding currently allocated to Revenue Sharing projects that do not currently need the funds to advance as scheduled, provided that it is replaced in the year or years needed to maintain the current project schedule, but no later than FY 2024.  Fairfax County had five projects originally on this list and is currently working with staff at the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to ensure that any transfers do not impact project schedules. 

State of Good Repair

Fairfax County understands that funding for two new projects is included in the Draft SYIP update: I-66 Ramp at Difficult Run and Lee Highway Northbound at Cub Run. The County thanks the Commonwealth for funding these projects and wants to note the importance of State of Repair funding, as other roadways and bridges in the County also need to be addressed. These include Hunter Mill Road over Difficult Run and Springvale Road over Piney Run.

Transit and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Funding

The Board appreciates the supplemental funding provided this spring to address the COVID-19 pandemic response and mitigation. As you are aware, the pandemic has significantly impacted transit in the National Capital Region, throughout Virginia and the nation, with many transit systems seeing a significant reduction in transit ridership and farebox revenues. The $1.85 million that was allocated to the County helped address the impacts associated with diminished revenue occurring as part of this ongoing situation.  While ridership is increasing on the Fairfax Connector, weekday ridership is only at approximately 60 percent of last year’s levels.  As such, we appreciate the $16.1 million in operating assistance included in the draft SYIP for Fairfax County. This is a similar amount to what was provided in the FY 2020 SYIP prior to the approval of the supplemental funding. Thank you for including funding for both the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and WMATA as well. We are also hopeful that transit funding will increase in the upcoming years, as was envisioned by HB 1414/SB 890 (2020), to ensure that strong multimodal options continue to be available for residents, workers, and visitors to the region now and in the future.  

The Draft SYIP provides $375,069 in state funding for the County’s Commuter Services Program and $95,351 in state funding for the County’s Employer Services Program. While the County understands that a reduction in these funds was anticipated due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenues, we are still trying to ensure vital services continue for businesses and workers in Fairfax County. Also, it is essential TDM funding be restored to previous levels in the upcoming year to address continued mobility and congestion mitigation once people begin to return to work. 

Transportation Alternatives

The Board thanks the CTB for approving funding for projects through the Transportation Alternatives program in October, including:

  • Capital Bikeshare Expansion - $625,000
  • Columbia Pike Complete Streets – Phase I - $975,000
  • Shrevewood Elementary School Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) - $700,000
  • Orange Hunt Elementary School (SRTS) - $200,000

This funding will improve bicycle access around the County, enhance the walkability and accessibility to a major activity center, and provide safe routes to various schools within the County.  This action provided funding for four important projects in Fairfax County.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the draft SYIP.  Please include this letter as a part of the public comment record. If you need any clarification or further information, please call me at (703) 324-2321 or Noelle Dominguez at (703) 877-5665.

Jeff McKay


Fairfax Virtual Assistant