Community Updates from Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi
PROGRESS ALONG ROUTE 1 CONTINUES Good news Woodbridge! The work to widen Route 1, as well as to add landscaped medians, crosswalks, sidewalks and bike trails and to underground utilities, is well under the way. The not-sogood news is that even as quickly as the work is going, we’ll be living with the pains of construction for the near future. However, once the dust settles and lane closures end, you can expect quicker commute times along with a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly community. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) studies show that without this expansion, Route 1 would have unacceptably high levels of traffic in the future. I think that most drivers would attest that the future arrived early in this case. “Route 1 currently carries approximately 35,000 vehicles per day. …Projected volumes for 2036 are 75,000 vehicles per day,” states a VDOT report. As a result, I’ve made transportation improvements a top priority as your Supervisor. Near Route 123 and Occoquan Road, Phase 1 will widen Route 1 and add turn lanes along Occoquan Road. Phase 2 will include a flyover that diverts Route 123 over Route 1 and the railroad, widening 123 and several additional intersections (Cont., page 2)
THIS ISSUE.. ÂÂ Future of New Woodbridge (4)
KNOW MORE, SOONER
Learn more about your community, sooner. Visit NewWoodbridge.org and sign up for community updates. You can also follow Facebook. com/NewWoodbridge to ÂÂ PWC Supports read about and share NOVA CIVIC Metrorail ASSOCIATION your thoughts on Extension MEETS NOV. 19, local happenings and Act (6) NEW MEMBERS news. ÂÂ Trader Joe’s Petition Delivered to Headquarters (5)
ÂÂ Express Lanes FAQ (7)
ÂÂ Fast Ferry Update (8) ÂÂ Blight Busters (9)
Questions? Comments? Get in touch! 703.792.4646 www.NewWoodbridge.org
improvements. The project also widens Route 1 from four to six lanes between Mary’s Way and the approach to the Occoquan River Bridge. Occoquan Road will receive median and turn lanes from the Route 1 intersection to south of Horner Road. Access to the Woodbridge VRE Station will also be enhanced and a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, from the intersection at Route 123 and Annapolis Way to the Belmont Bay, will be completed. Additionally, we slated 32 blighted buildings for demolition, both to make room for the road expansion and to kickstart the revitalization of New Woodbridge; 22 have come down to date. The County recently published a Route 1 project update based on information from Project Manager Sherif Bialy: “The widening project includes a reconfiguration of the intersection, where Dale Boulevard and Rippon Boulevard meet U.S. 1., to include three left-turn lanes from Dale Boulevard onto U.S. 1. and two turn lanes from Rippon Boulevard onto U.S. 1. The reconfiguration of the turn lanes along with the widening will improve traffic flow and help reduce commute times. [The project also includes two lanes going straight, for traffic crossing from Dale Boulevard to Rippon.] In addition to the sidewalk, the 10-foot asphalt path and extra lanes, the project will include burying the utility lines that currently run beside the highway. ‘All above ground utility cables will be placed in an underground duct bank, which has lots of benefits to the public. It will reduce vehicular crashes into poles and reduce negative impact of storms,’ said Baily. Another attribute the project will bring to U.S. 1 will be better looking concrete in the median. ‘Everywhere there are medians, we are trying to implement this stamped concrete. It looks like red bricks.’ According to Bialy, the project is 71 percent complete. Utility relocation is done. Work on the duct bank, or conduits to carry utilities underground, is finished. Sidewalk construction is ongoing, as is the asphalt trail. Grading work at various locations along the project’s route, as well as work on the medians, is underway.” For more on the $1 billion of public and private investment currently transforming our community, visit NewWoodbridge.org/category/projects. Also look for a link to VDOT updates on the projects taking place along the Route 1 corridor. For project questions or concerns, please call me at 703-792-4646.
On the Wall...There were a lot of posts about Metro on the wall at Facebook.com/NewWoodbridge in recent weeks. Here’s a favorite:
“[Metro] would help property values so I am all for it. Not to mention helping lower income people get access to more lucrative jobs closer to the city. The negatives are outweighed by the positives.” Follow us on Facebook and share your thoughts; we’re listening! 2
Fall 2015 | NewWoodbridge.org
2015 Elections are Nov. 3—Yes, 2015
By Carol Nogle, League of Women Voters, Prince William Area At several events where the League of Women Voters has registered voters this fall, we learned that many residents know more about the 2016 Presidential candidates than about who will be on the 2015 ballot. With Nov. 3 around the corner, let’s all actively educate voters on the special importance of selecting our local and state elected officials. Their decisions affect us every day. November’s ballot is an unusually long one, and includes these important races: ÂÂ 5 Virginia Senators and 8 Delegates, who represent us in Richmond and make significant Virginia laws about education, health care, transportation, taxes, public safety, voting laws and privacy rights. Vote for one Senator and one Delegate. ÂÂ 7 County Supervisors and 1 Chairman, who vote to regulate the location of our homes and businesses and roads, to set the tax on property, to build parks and pools, to set the funding and policies for the police department, to set salaries of employees, to recruit international businesses, to prevent pollution and hazards and to provide cultural and historical events. Vote for one District Supervisor and one Chairman At-Large. ÂÂ 7 School Board members and 1 School Board Chairman make decisions affecting thousands and thousands of students and teachers, from setting school hours, to building schools, to assigning students and teachers to schools, to choosing the best curriculum and special educational programs and to setting the budget. Vote for one District School Board member and one Chairman. ÂÂ 1 of each: Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff and Clerk of the Circuit Court, who make or implement legal, justice and public safety decisions. ÂÂ 3 Soil & Water Conservation Board members, who ensure protection for our environmental resources. While it may not seem as exciting as the national campaigns, the results of these state and local elections in many ways have greater influence on our day to day lives. Prepare for voting on Nov. 3. Research candidates and go to pwcgov.org/ government/dept/vote for polling hours and locations and other voting information. Better Development * Better Neighborhoods * Better Transportation
Investing in Future of New Woodbridge Our community has seen tremendous progress in the last eight years, with more than $1 billion of public and private investment transforming the Route 1 Corridor with wider roads and undergrounding of utilities, as well as new sidewalks, trails and bike lanes. In addition, Woodbridge is benefitting from the building of new classrooms, enhancements to parks and historical sites and hiring of additional public safety professionals to meet the needs of our growing community. With each enhancement, we move closer to realizing the full potential of our community as a preferred location in which to live, work and play. Following are some of the projects--completed and pending--that reflect our progress in building a New Woodbridge: Economic Development Projects: ÂÂ Renovation or Removal of 32 Blighted Buildings Along Route 1 - $900,000 ÂÂ Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center - $500 Million ÂÂ GMU’s Science Center - $30-40 Million ÂÂ Renovation of Marumsco Plaza - $13 Mllion ÂÂ Small Business Grants - $7 Million Transportation Projects: ÂÂ Route 1 Improvements- Featherstone to Neabsco Mills - $37 Million ÂÂ Route 1 Improvements- Annapolis to Mary’s Way - $142 Million ÂÂ Underground Utilities in North Woodbridge - $12 Million ÂÂ Additional Lane on Both Sides of I-95 - $1.4 Million ÂÂ Commuter Ferry Feasibility Study and Market Analysis - $400,000 ÂÂ 24 New Locomotives for Virginia Railway Express - $47 Million ÂÂ 8 Additional PRTC Buses and Maintenance Facility - $4 Million Education: ÂÂ Kilby Elementary – Replacement/New School (2017) - $31.47 Million ÂÂ 36 Classrooms Being Added to Woodbridge Schools (2015-2019) - $39.7 Million ÂÂ 2.5% Increase of Teacher Pay (2016) ÂÂ Matching Funds Classroom Reduction Grants to PWCS (2016-2026) - $10 Million 4
Fall 2015 | NewWoodbridge.org
BETTER DEVELOPMENT Community & Recreational Projects: ÂÂ Potomac Community Library Plaza - $380,000 ÂÂ Improvements and New Skate Park at Veteran’s Park - $1,250,000 ÂÂ Renovation of Rippon Lodge - $123,000 ÂÂ Featherstone Wildlife Refuge Access Grant - $585,000 ÂÂ Potomac Heritage Trail/Boardwalk - $4.2 Million ÂÂ Prince William Museum at Rippon Lodge - $5.5 Million Public Safety: ÂÂ Addition of Nearly 50 New Positions, Including 25 Police Officers, 23 Firefighters and 6 Emergency Dispatchers - $5.5 Million ÂÂ River Oaks Fire Station - $5.6 Million ÂÂ OWL Botts Fire Station Training Facility ÂÂ Pilot Body Camera Program for Prince William County Police
Additionally, the County is investing in improvements to water mains, low service water distribution facilities and other infrastructure needs. With these changes, we are also laying the groundwork for attracting more large employers--companies that research utility capacity, quality neighborhoods, efficient transportation and high performing schools in considering where to do business. To view more of the investment that is revitalizing New Woodbridge, visit the “About” section of NewWoodbridge.org.
Principi Invites Trader Joe’s to Drop Anchor During a planned trip to California, Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi took the opportunity to visit Trader Joe’s headquarters, delivering a petition bearing nearly 1,700 signatures asking to “Bring Trader Joe’s to Woodbridge.” He also provided demographic data and several confidential lease proposals from Woodbridge area shopping centers. Supervisor Principi used his own funds for the trip. Principi says his goal is to have the retailer open in an existing shopping center, serving as a revitalizing anchor store. He adds that when working to attract larger, high-paying employers to the area, having the “right” retail plays a role. “When larger companies, those that would bring high-paying jobs to the community, consider a location, they look at factors such as quality retail, good neighborhoods, strong schools and ease of commuting,” says Principi. The earliest that Trader Joe’s would respond is January 2016. In the meantime, local shoppers can go to NewWoodbridge.org for a list of ways that they can continue to encourage Trader Joe’s to “Drop Anchor” in Woodbridge. Better Development * Better Neighborhoods * Better Transportation
County Board Passes Resolution to Support NOVA MetroRail Extension Act The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted 7 to 1 in favor of Supervisor Frank Principi’s resolution endorsing Board support of “House Resolution 779...which authorizes the long-term feasibility study of extending Metrorail service in Northern Virginia, including extending Metrorail in Prince William County.” Congressman Gerry Connolly introduced H.R. 779, also known as the “Northern Virginia Metrorail Extension Act,” in February 2015. If authorized, the study would be funded by the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The County resolution can be read in full at NewWoodbridge.org/issues. Prior to the vote, several of the supervisors, including Principi, acknowledged that Metro is at least a decade away from addressing current capacity issues or considering the addition of new train lines. “This is about taking steps now to prepare for our future transportation
needs. We must plan ahead,” says Principi, adding that it took 29 years from feasibility study to opening day for the Silver Line to become a reality. He acknowledged that he also fields concerns about the cost and value of bringing Metro into the community. “If conducted, this study will allow us to answer these questions in a meaningful way. With the Silver Line, there was a combination of private and public funding, with a number of businesses voluntarily investing in the system. They saw the potential, and are reaping the dividends,” says Principi. “In the same way, Metro would facilitate travel to employment centers and attract more high-paying jobs to our county. We now see it happening in Tysons.Where Metro goes, economic growth follows.”
Plan to Attend... Upcoming Board of County Supervisor Meetings
Meetings are held Prince William County McCoart Administration Building, Board Chambers, 1 County Complex Court. Each includes Citizen’s Time, when residents can address the Board. Upcoming sessions: Nov. 17 & 24 (2:00 & 7:30*) Dec. 1, 8 & 15 (2:00 & 7:30*) Visit NewWoodbridge.org/services for more information. *Optional Evening Sessions. 6
Fall 2015 | NewWoodbridge.org
Express Lanes: Value of Dynamic Pricing I recently spoke to Transurban, the company that built and operates the 95 Express Lanes, to be able to better answer some of the questions I’ve received from constituents. Here is what I learned. One of the most often heard questions— why does it cost so much to use the lanes? “Dynamic pricing” manages the amount of drivers who choose to use the lanes. As more cars get on, the toll price goes up to manage demand. Congestion on the regular lanes, inclement weather, an influx of customers and incidents on the Express Lanes can all cause toll prices to rise.
same time-saving benefits without having to pay a toll. The average toll paid on the Express Lanes during the second quarter of 2015 was $5.48, up from an average of $4.52 in the first quarter. The average number of daily trips increased as well – from 32,000 in the first quarter to 45,000 in the second.
For drivers withfor three Customers or more people in Lanes Providing Real-Life Value their car, the trip is always free, using a
Data Driven, Customer “Flex Approved Transponder” E-ZPass set to HOV mode.
Occasionally, a driver may pay to use 74% There is a federal mandate that the lanes the lanes and still experience a back-up. maintain a minimum speed of 55 miles When this happens, contact Express Lanes 33% per hour at all times. With dynamic toll at 1-855-495-9777 to request a reimburpricing, drivers are saving an average of sement. Keep letting us know about your Carpoolers and the 95 Express Laneson the Express Lanes, and go 33 minutes during a southbound trip from experiences Edsall Road to Stafford County and the to ExpressLanes.com for more informamaximum time savings has even reached tion and to pay tolls online if you used more than two hours. Bus riders enjoy the the lanes without your pass.
Average Time Savings 35-40 minutes
560 What people are saying about the Express Lanes: Better Development * Better Neighborhoods * Better Transportation
Progress Continues on Fast Ferry While Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) postponed its planned October Fast Ferry Summit, progress on this promising transit option continues. A NVRC-sponsored market analysis shows that ferry service is indeed a viable option for getting area commuters off clogged roadways, and Supervisor Frank Principi helped to secure a $3.38 million grant that provides financial assistance for fast ferry capital projects, funds that will be used to establish a ferry route along the Potomac River. Initially, ferries would run between short connection points, such as National Airport to Southwest Washington. Catamarans would arrive about every 30 minutes, carrying 100 to 150 passengers per trip. Eventually the goal would be to extend the service. WTOP Radio recently interviewed Principi, one of the region’s leading advocates for Fast Ferry, on the subject. Here’s what he had to say: “Within the next five years we’re going to be in a position to launch fast ferry service,” says Supervisor Frank Principi, who is working closely with the Commission heading the project. “The 8
shorter connections were determined to be economically feasible without any government subsidy — that’s an important point.” Principi believes that, once established, the ferry service could be expanded to Woodbridge and the Occoquan River as demand rises. Leaders from Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, as well as members of the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Maritime Administration and several military base commanders participate in stakeholder meetings. As the chairman of the Metropolitan Council of Governments’ Emergency Preparedness Council, Principi sees ferries playing a role beyond moving commuters and potentially expanding tourist areas. “It’s a proven concept that ferry service is a transportation resource in a declared disaster,” he says. “I see an evacuation component to this, much like in the Miracle on the Hudson in New York.” (To view the full article on WTOP’s site, go to bit.ly/1YdOUp3. Updates on Fast Ferry can also be found on NewWoodbridge.org.)
Fall 2015 | NewWoodbridge.org
Blight Busters Restore Waterfront Rusted machinery, dump heaps, old boats, inoperable vehicles and other debris littered the riverfront land adjacent to Leesylvania State Park on Neabsco Road. This eyesore and environmental hazard both detracted from boaters’ enjoyment of the river and limited the ability of neighboring businesses to expand. Woodbridge business owners contacted Supervisor Principi. He and his staff coordinated with federal, state and local agencies to go into “Blight Buster” mode. The County worked with a third party vendor to mitigate environmental damage. This included removing styrofoam that had leaked from a barge into the water and transporting it safely to a landfill. After several months of diligent work and legal action, the once blighted properties at 16128 and 16130 Neabsco Road have undergone a transformation. In addition to beautifying the area, the newly restored property also paves the way for economic growth, clearing barriers to business growth for the surrounding properties.
If there’s a neglected property in your neighborhood, let Supervisor Principi know. Call 703-792-4646 or email his Constituent Services Manager, Tanya Noonan, for assistance at TNoonan@PWCGov.org. Better Development * Better Neighborhoods * Better Transportation
BOCS Provides Emergency Funds for Wheels to Wellness Program Supervisor Frank Principi and his colleagues on the Board of County Supervisors voted to provide “Wheels to Wellness” with $160,000 in emergency funds. This infusion will allow the program, which provides lowincome residents with free or subsidized transportation to medical appointments, to operate for another six months at its current capacity. “We expect to be able to provide almost 9,000 trips during that time frame,” says Doris Lookabill, who oversees the program for Potomac Rappahannock
Transportation Commission (PRTC). “Since inception in February 2013, we have provided more than 35,000 trips at an average cost of $12.09.” She said that in order for the program to continue longer term, it will need other sources of funding. A group of stakeholders, including area business leaders, is meeting to identify future funding sources. Anybody wishing to sign up for or make a contribution to the program should email dlookabill@ omniride.com or call 703-680-6153.
Are You Ready? Emergency Preparedness As Chairman of the National Capital Emergency Preparedness Council, Supervisor Frank Principi has gained a greater appreciation for how even small emergencies can knock a family or business off course. With forecasters calling for a strong “El Niño ” this year, now is a good time to visit NewWoodbridge.org/Services to view a video on emergency preparedness and to download a Red Cross template for creating a personalized preparedness plan. Here are some tips for weathering emergencies: ÂÂ Know evacuation routes and have a plan for where you can stay if you must leave town. ÂÂ Make a disaster supply kit, including flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of critical information such as birth certificates. ÂÂ Plan to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours, with enough water, food and medication for all family members and pets. Ready.gov recommends having one gallon of water per person, per day. ÂÂ Make a family emergency communication plan. ÂÂ Sign up for emergency alerts at PWCGov.org/PWCAN. 10
Fall 2015 | NewWoodbridge.org
Neabsco Lift Station Now Operational The Prince William County Service Authority’s new Neabsco Sewage Lift Station is now online, replacing a 34-year-old facility located off U.S. 1. The Service Authority embarked on the $13 million project in 2014 in order to improve efficiencies and accommodate future growth along the U.S. 1 corridor.
The new facility has a pumping capacity of more than 25 million gallons per day compared with the 18 million maximum at the former lift station. It is a crucial component of the wastewater collection system in eastern Prince William County, pumping approximately half of the wastewater that flows into the nearby H.L. Mooney Advanced Water Reclamation Facility. The Mooney Facility treats wastewater from thousands of homes and businesses in Dumfries, Triangle, Montclair and parts of Woodbridge.
Not only is the station a larger, more modern facility, it is being constructed significantly higher above sea level than the current structure, reducing the chances of the station being affected by flooding. The project also includes the installation of a new generator to keep the pumps working during power outages. “The Neabsco Lift Station project is another example of the Service Authority’s commitment to meet anticipated growth demands by upgrading and replacing existing assets to maintain the highest performance, efficiency and quality of services to our customers,” said Service Authority Director of Engineering and Planning Samer Beidas. Story courtesy of Prince William County Service Authority
Principi’s Ban the Box Resolution Passes Unanimously The Board of County Supervisors unanimously passed a “Ban the Box” resolution, introduced by Supervisor Frank Principi. Ban the Box is an international civil rights movement that provides the opportunity for job seekers with criminal convictions to get past the application stage. It does not preclude background checks or the ability to ask about convictions during interviews. Jobs of a sensitive nature will continue to include questions about conviction during the application stage. Learn more about the measure at NewWoodbridge.org/News. “We voted ‘yes’ to second chances,” says Principi.
Looking for fall family fun? Visit Facebook.com/PWHistoric for events and activities that immerse you in our area’s rich history. Better Development * Better Neighborhoods * Better Transportation
Fall 2015 | NewWoodbridge.org
Community Updates from Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi
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Published on Dec 7, 2015
From progress on Route 1 construction to preparing your family for emergencies, the Fall issue of New Woodbridge Vision is full of useful in...