Area eyed as transport hub for commuters
Posted: December 7, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Results of a yearlong state transportation study of the greater Northern Virginia area recommends that a regional commuter bus line travel through the city and for an intermodal transportation facility to be constructed in the area in the coming decades.
According to a news release from Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office, the Super NoVa Transit/TDM (transportation demand management) Vision Plan study — which could have an impact on local and regional transportation planning — looked at ways to enhance transit to help keep Northern Virginia moving in the coming decades.
Amanda Reidelbach with the state’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation stated that the plan’s recommendations could lead to the creation of a regional commuter bus service from Frederick County to Leesburg and other points east, north and south along Interstate 81; increased local transit services providing connectivity to the regional bus service; and a regional transportation hub that would interconnect local and regional transit service as well as other transportation modes. The plan also recommends support for increased TDM strategies, including carpools and telework.
The study projects that service hours, or the amount of transit service that is provided annually, will increase in Winchester and Frederick County from an estimated 20,000 hours in 2011 to between 87,000 and 93,000 service hours by 2040.
The study’s aim was to look at the overall transportation needs of the greater Northern Virginia area, including localities that aren’t typically included in that region, such as Frederick County, according to Rhonda Turman, marketing communications manager for the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission (NSVRC) — a planning organization that covers Winchester and Frederick, Clarke, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties.
Turman said Thursday that the plan’s purpose is to specifically look at the region’s transportation needs for the future and that the NSVRC will take the recommendations into account when it undertakes future projects.
Tim Youmans, Winchester’s planning director, said the study looks like more long-term plans than short-term effects.
In the news release, McDonnell stated that it was important for the plan to focus on a larger area than what is normally thought of as Northern Virginia.
“The commuting patterns of our workforce and future population trends were closely studied to determine how best to move people in and around the super region,” McDonnell stated in the release. “The result is a solid plan that provides transit and TDM recommendations to address the transportation challenges into the future.”
The plan and its recommendations are available online at www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/supernovatransitstudy.aspx.
— Contact Matt Armstrong at email@example.com