CRITICAL REVIEWS AND ANALYSES OF

THE WESTERN TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR

Washington Western Bypass or Western Transportation Corridor

Summary of Findings from Previous Studies/Reports

· Maryland and Virginia dropped the proposed bypass in 1989 after a draft Environmental Impact Study concluded that it would not relieve traffic on the beltway, it would in fact cause increased east-west traffic, and at $1.5 billion it would be too expensive.  Maryland steadfastly declined to participate with Virginia in a renewed study, which was initiated by Governor Allen in 1994 at the urging of Northern Virginia developers.

· VDOT’s 1997 Major Investment Study (MIS) found that traffic on I-95 would decrease a minimal amount of 4.8%.  On I-66 it would decrease about 1% west of Rt. 28.  It would cause an INCREASE on other major roads such as Rt. 50 west of Rt. 606 (22.7%), Rt. 15 north of Leesburg (21.8%) and Rt. 7 west of Rt. 659 (10.7%).  VDOT did no analysis of the highway’s effect on Rt. 28 or other roads east of Rt. 28.

Read more: Review of the Western Transportation Corridor

Washington Western Bypass or Western Transportation Corridor
Myths and Realities


[While in 2003 VDOT halted the EIS on this highway, it remains the highest priority of the regional building industry.  Several studies are on-going of “connector roads” which could jump-start this project by building a crucial central portion.  The Washington Western Bypass/Western Transportation Corridor was named one of the most wasteful and environmentally damaging transportation projects in the country by the Green Scissors Report, issued by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.]

Myth #1
The Washington Western Bypass/Western Transportation Corridor is needed as a bypass of Washington, to relieve through traffic on I-95.

Reality
Maryland and Virginia dropped the proposed bypass in 1989 after a draft Environmental Impact Study concluded that it would not relieve traffic on the beltway, it would in fact cause increased east-west traffic, and at $1.5 billion it would be too expensive.  Maryland has steadfastly declined to participate with Virginia in the renewed study, which was initiated by Governor Allen in 1994 at the urging of Northern Virginia developers.

Myth #2
The Washington Western Bypass/Western Transportation Corridor will relieve traffic congestion on the beltway and ease commuting.

 

Read more: Western Bypass - Myths and Realities

There have been some rumors that there was no serious attempt for a Western Bypass, neither an outer Beltway. Here are some links to the lobbying group which is pushing for the outer beltway. 

It starts with the Tri-County Parkway , which is shown as two alternatives in the map below. If the parkway was build as option D, then the extension is BRR as outlined in the paragraph below as part of the Western Transportation Corridor WTC.

The Western Transportation Corridor is the first step toward an outer beltway.

 

Read more: Western Bypass Outer Beltway - Lobbying 

The lobbyists argue that the Western Transportation Corridor (WTP) is needed for increased freight traffic at Dulles airport. A study by VA shows that 90 percent of freight is trucked along highways, showing it as a weak argument. With a WTP freight won't increase, however the developers would get another corridor for building more home and subsequently increase East-West traffic.

 

Also the proposed WTP would drop travelers West of the airport, showing again that it would just be another residential development corridor and not contribute to economic development.

 

Read on about Freight Traffic   (see pages 22-25): http://www.vtrans.org/resources/Northern_Virginia_Connector_I-66.pdf