Editor: “Bravo, Bravo” I say to the Board of Supervisors for sending the message loudly and clearly to the Envision Loudoun Stakeholders’ Committee that the idea of putting 18,000 new homes in the Transition Policy Area demonstrates that they are, in the words of Supervisor Letourneau, on “a completely different planet.”
Consider what 18,000 more homes would mean to the TPA in terms of traffic. VDOT, when evaluating the impact of new development, assumes that each home generates 10 vehicle trips per day on the roads providing access. That may seem high until you consider the daily lives of a typical Loudoun household. Perhaps two parents commute to and from work. Perhaps two children are taken to and from various after-school activities. A UPS truck makes a delivery. A lawn service company arrives and departs. A friend is driven over for a play date and picked up again later. There’s another trip to (and from) the grocery store. Before you know it, vehicles have come and gone from that household 10, or possibly more, times per day.
The math is simple: 18,000 more houses means 180,000 more vehicle trips per day on surrounding roads.
Much of the TPA is already in gridlock. At last week’s meeting, Supervisor Letourneau, whose district includes parts of the TPA, was clearly exasperated. “It took me 51 minutes to get from my house to the Greenway” to attend the Board meeting, he said, “at an average speed of 13 miles an hour.”
Supervisor Ron Meyer, in addressing the issue, asked, “Are we going to invent flying cars?”
Bravo to Supervisor Higgins for telling the Stakeholders’ Committee that their recommendations are “going in the exact wrong direction from what the people in the county have told us.” BRAVO to Supervisor Buffington who said that the options presented were “way off track and I am concerned we are not listening to the public.” Bravo to Chair Randall, who described the recommendations as “illogical.”
And thank you to Supervisor Umstattd who reminded everyone that such growth also burdens the county with school needs. But that is a whole ‘nother story.
Emily Houston, Paeonian Springs