Guided by Public Input, Northern Virginia Kicks Off Transportation Plan Update

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Poll: Reducing Trip Times is Public’s Top Priority
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) released a survey of Northern Virginians’ views on transportation issues as the initial step in a multi-faceted effort to involve the public in updating TransAction, the region’s long range transportation plan.

“The poll provides deep insights into what Northern Virginians think about transportation,” said Martin E. Nohe, chairman of the NVTA and a member of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “It serves as a reality check on our current transportation system and a compass for actions we should consider to make future travel faster and easier.

“Burdened by thenation’s longest commutes, Northern Virginians’ reported top priority is reducing trip times, followed by making transportation services more affordable,” Nohe said from the kick-off event near the Route 7 bridge over the Dulles Access Road, a $45 million project funded in part by the NVTA as part of its FY2015-16 Program.

Highlights and analysis of the survey are detailed in the accompanying fact sheet.

The update will utilize the most current available data and employ best practices from across the U.S. and internationally. It will deliver a multi-modal vision for transportation improvements in Northern Virginia, serving as the mechanism through which more than $1.7 billion will be allocated to regional transportation improvements from 2018 to 2023.

The update will model alternative futures to represent the ways in which rapidly evolving technologies will change the way people travel and shape Northern Virginia’s future transportation network.

The release of the survey marked the start of the NVTA’s initiative to engage the public in updating TransAction, which will be the first since the passage of Virginia’s 2013 transportation funding bill (HB 2313), a landmark law that provides an estimated $300 million annually in local and regional transportation funding to Northern Virginia.

Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova underscored the value of public involvement in the TransAction update: “It is essential we know and understand the views of Northern Virginians on how we should invest in tomorrow’s transportation improvements. That’s why we’re launching an extensive effort to gain broad and representative public feedback.

During the two-year TransAction plan update, the NVTA will employ a blend of traditional and innovative outreach techniques to elicit input from residents in all NVTA jurisdictions, including:

  • A new interactive TransAction-dedicated website: NVTATransAction.org;
  • Informal “pop-up” meetings, where TransAction team members will engage residents at high-foot-traffic locations such as seasonal festivals and Metro stations;
  • A range of social media efforts, including Twitter;
  • Periodic “e-blast” newsletters and other information sent to interested individuals and groups;
  • Input gathered by the latest online public engagement tools; and
  • Public hearings.

The NVTA was created by the General Assembly on July 1, 2002, to offer a common voice for Northern Virginia on transportation issues confronting the region.  The Authority is made up of nine jurisdictions including: the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William; as well as the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.  The Authority is responsible for updating Northern Virginia’s long-range transportation plan, TransAction, and since 2014 manages approximately $300 million annually in public funds for transportation projects designed to provide congestion relief throughout Northern Virginia.  For more information visit www.thenovaauthority.org.