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Letter to Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton Regarding Route 7 and Georgetown Pike
Monday, July 19, 2010

I recently sent the following letter to Sean Connaughton, Secretary of the Virginia Department of Transportation, regarding Route 7 and Georgetown Pike.

July 12, 2010

The Honorable Sean Connaughton
Virginia Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA  23218
Dear Mr. Secretary,
I am writing to follow up on our meeting with Congressman Wolf and the numerous conversations we have had regarding my opposition to VDOT’s plans to construct dual turn lanes at the intersection of Route 7 and Georgetown Pike.  As you know, the current plan is also opposed by our local Supervisor, John Foust, our state Senator Janet Howell, as well as Congressman Wolf and myself.  
The Great Falls Citizens Association and the McLean Citizens Association, together representing over 30,000 households in the area, have joined in opposition to the project design and passed detailed resolutions in opposition to the dual turn lanes. (Attached). Our communities overwhelmingly oppose the dual turn lane, which not only would increase the volume on an already heavily congested Georgetown Pike, but would divert resources from the primary purpose to widen Route 7 which would help the entire region.
The community supports the need to widen Route 7 and supports the overall widening project to promote better traffic flow.   By deflecting resources to widening the turn lane and reconfiguring Georgetown Pike, the project as currently designed doesn’t accomplish as much widening of Route 7 – the primary goal of the project.   
Per the Great Falls Citizens Association Resolution:  Georgetown Pike is not identified for improvements in County or Commonwealth transportation planning documents, and the project design as endorsed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and approved by VDOT’s Chief Engineer is not in conformance with the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan (2007 Edition, Area III, Pages 95 and 103, Transportation) or Senate Document No. 47 (page 83) direction as to the alignment and widening of Georgetown Pike or the use of alternative means of dealing with traffic volume in order to maintain this byway.  

For many in our neighborhoods, Georgetown Pike is the only access from their homes. Many have concerns about the extended effect of these plans not only on Great Falls but also on Old Dominion Drive and the Langley areas in McLean.  
I respectfully ask that you continue to work with us for a solution that would support these affected communities by cancelling the realignment of the intersection of Georgetown Pike and Route 7 and focus the funding and efforts of the project on widening Route 7.  While we continue to explore ways that our local Board of Supervisors would reverse their support for the Dual Turn Lanes, I would ask that you also continue to reconsider how we might find a successful resolution to this issue that is in keeping with the overwhelming and serious concerns of the community.  
Thank you for your continuing attention to this important matter.
Best wishes,

Barbara Comstock
Member of the House of Delegates, 34th District

Paid for by Friends of Barbara Comstock.