Stopping the Outer Beltway

outer beltway map

Speculative real estate developers are pushing to create a new highway in Northern Virginia referred to as the Outer Beltway or Bi-County Parkway. As we see it, this controversial new highway would cut through a National Park, open up over 100,000 acres to new development, and has the potential to actually increase traffic congestion on other roads.

Making matters worse, VDOT presentations confirm the road would be designed to carry freight and other cargo at speeds in excess of 65mph — splitting neighborhoods from their schools, and greatly increasing sound and air pollution.
See VDOT’s aerial maps >>

Part of the push for an Outer Beltway is the push for a new Potomac River Bridge Crossing. Find out more >>

Opposition to the Outer Beltway Picking Up

Over the past two years we’ve been writing (and sometimes jumping up and down) about the McDonnell Administration’s prioritization of the multi-billion dollar DC Outer Beltway project. It’s been difficult, however, to get press coverage or widespread citizen engagement, because the project has seemed remote. But that changed this past December, when VDOT finally put a line on the map.

Since then, citizen opposition to the project has mounted. At the end of April, six legislators from Northern Virginia announced their opposition to the project. This Tuesday, Congressman Wolf sent a letter to Governor McDonnell expressing “serious reservations.” This text is from an email alert sent out on May 16th.

What You Can Do

Yes, this project is being pushed by powerful forces, but there is still time to put up a fight. Many of the residents in the proposed route are unaware of VDOT’s plans (or have just learned about it) and have not had a chance to share their thoughts with legislators. Wasteful road projects have been defeated before, but only through citizens speaking up.

New Year, Familiar Problem

We continue to believe this is the most important land use decision that will be made in northern Virginia in the next 5 years. The Outer Beltway would open up ~100,000 acres of relatively open land in eastern Loudoun and the Prince William "rural crescent" to development, cut through a National Park, make investments in metro and transit-oriented development more difficult to fund, and at the end of the day, is very likely to make traffic on east-to-west roads like Rt. 50 and Rt. 66 even worse. This text is from a January 6th Email alert.

Taxpayer’s Dollars, Developers’ Dream Road

This May – without any technical justification, without public input and without a recommendation from VDOT — an unelected body, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), approved a potential north-south highway between Leesburg and I-95 as a Corridor of Statewide Significance. This action brings back a long-cherished dream road for developers – a vast Outer Beltway around Northern Virgina that has been shot down time and time again, when subject to community input and expert review.

Insiders Renew Push for Another Beltway Around DC

Insiders Renew Push for Another Beltway Around DC

In 2011, PEC alerted its members to a renewed effort to get an Outer Beltway project built. A highlight from the email text:

"In a meeting of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) last week, the Governor's Secretary of Transportation and two CTB members announced a renewed effort to prioritize a highway connecting I-95 in Prince William to Rt. 50 in Loudoun."