Growth study says more mass transit needed
BY SCOTT SHENK
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
YOU THINK TRAFFIC is bad around here now?
Fast-forward a few decades, to 2040, and the outlook is truly frightening.
Can you imagine twice as many people living here?
Well, that’s one prediction in a big study on the transportation future of our region the state just released.
The Super NoVa Transit/TDM Vision Plan Study took a multi-state, regional look at the future of transportation in Washington, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia.
It paints a picture of big growth and immense transportation challenges.
If the study is on point, in our neck of the woods—Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Caroline and King George—the population will more than double to nearly 700,000 by 2040.
That means more drivers, especially commuters. The study predicts that the local commuter base also could more than double to about 300,000.
Already, the study points out, Interstate 95 and surrounding primary rounds in our area can’t handle the traffic load.
The study makes it clear that something has to be done with the interstate and our road network.
The expansion of the express lanes on I–95 to Stafford, and eventually Massaponax, is one improvement that can help, and the study points that out.
But as we’ve seen around here, road construction has no chance of keeping pace with growth.
With that in mind, the study suggests that creating more and better integrated options (more buses, train lines, vanpools and carpools) is a key to the long-range plan.
If you want to see details of the study, go to fredericksburg.com and check the transportation blog for links to the findings.
Dear Scott: Many of the rural roads near Lake Anna have white stripes on the edges.
It would be of real help to have the lines added to State Route 601 from the junction of Route 601/State Route 622 to State Route 208.
This portion of 601 gets a lot of traffic. Any plans by VDOT to do this?
—B. E. Madden, Spotsylvania
Traffic engineers with the Virginia Department of Transportation checked out the section of Route 601, noting the road’s characteristics, amount of traffic and crash history.
According to 2011 VDOT stats, about 2,800 vehicles use this section of the road daily. There have been 14 crashes there since 2008.
In order to get those white lines, VDOT’s Kelly Hannon said, roads like this need to have 6,000 vehicles using it daily, along with certain width requirements.
In the end, the engineers determined that no white lines are needed on Route 601.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436