Facing a $3 billion deficit in long-term transportation funding, Fairfax County is engaging in a "dialogue" with county residents about "transportation needs, priorities and revenue options." (One of the "dialogues" will be held Oct. 3 at the North County Government Center.)
We enjoy a good "rap session" about traffic flow and capacity utilization as much as the next hepcat web logger, but this bit under "revenue options" caught our eye: Along with considering changes to taxes to pay for the area's transportation needs, one item open for discussion is converting Fairfax County Parkway to a toll road. Those fancy new "Rt. 286" signs aren't going to pay for themselves, you know!
But there's no need to start filling a second sock of quarters to supplement the one you're already using for the Toll Road just yet -- the transition would require authorization from the General Assembly and considerable expense to add tolling equipment, loud bells that ring when the aforementioned equipment doesn't read your Smart Tag correctly, etc., etc. For now, it's just one idea on a long list of ideas. But once an idea's been put on the table, it's out there. As our BFFs at Reston2020 put it:
Simply put, Restonians would be taxed no matter what direction they head to leave Reston: East and West on the Dulles Toll Road and North and South on the Fairfax County Parkway Toll Road. So in addition to the diversion of traffic from the Dulles Toll Road due to huge toll hikes, Restonians and those coming to Reston would divert from the Fairfax County Parkway Toll Road to, yes, Reston Parkway. Having just seen a presentation by FCDOT that forecast four minute delays (actually, 241 seconds at Sunrise Valley Drive at the "peak of the peak" period) on Reston Parkway in 2030 due to local development alone--no consideration of tolling the Parkway, I don't even want to think about what tolls on the Fairfax County Parkway Toll Road will add to local congestion, pollution, and diminished quality of life. (I won't even go into the absurdity of their calculation for the average household.)On the plus side, they could just hang those coin-collection baskets from the impressive steel megalith already hanging over the parkway's intersection with Sunrise Valley Road. We're saving money already!