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VDOT Celebrates Opening of New Haymarket Park & Ride Lot

| December 18, 2018 | 0 Comments | News

Virginia Department of Transportation [VDOT], partner Department of Rail and Public Transportation [DRPT] and PRTC held a ribbon-cutting Monday to celebrate the opening of the new Haymarket Park & Ride Lot at Heathcote Road near the Route 15/ I-66 interchange.

The new 230 vehicle Haymarket commuter lot is part of a larger effort to make I-66 multimodal via the Transportation Management Plan for I-66 Outside the Beltway.

With the addition of two more lots – one at Route 29 and University Boulevard in Gainesville, and another at Balls Ford Road in Manassas – VDOT will be adding 2,300 new parking spaces for commuters along I-66. Along with the lots are new commuter routes and new PRTC OmniRide buses.

New OmniRide buses will depart from the Heathcote lot to areas of Arlington: Pentagon, Rossyln, Ballston and Virginia Square. Bus stops are situated along the metro entrances, making them convenient for Arlington commuters and those traveling on to D.C.

Departure times are 5:33, 6:18, 7:03 and 8:10 a.m. Travel time is estimated to be approximately one hour to Rosslyn. Evening arrival times in Haymarket are scheduled for 4:52, 5:57, 6:42 and 7:37 p.m.

From its opening last week until Feb. 15, all OmniRide trips leaving from the new Haymarket location are free. After Feb. 15, VDOT will still be supplementing bus fares and rides will be just $3.50 each way while I-66 remains under construction. Construction is estimated to last until 2021.

The lot features bus shelters, bicycle storage facilities and VDOT’s first electronic parking management system in a park and ride lot.

VDOT and DRPT have been actively working to change the way folks travel for work on I-66. Project Manager Mark Gibney said new buses routes and commuter options should offset new construction on I-66, lessening traffic congestion.

The Haymarket lot can take 230 vehicles off the road, but it is not only about avoiding traffic. For those who do ride on the new PRTC buses, they will be able to enjoy an easy and comfortable free ride to work with modern conveniences such as USB outlets.

The lot will also facilitate van and car pools, providing various new options for commuting on I-66. Already popular, VDOT representatives expect the lot to reach capacity soon.

Monday morning, approximately 60 people made use of the new bus routes. Some lived so close they could walk, a few from as far out as Winchester.

“They were so excited that they have an opportunity to take transit this far west onto I-66,” said Christine Rodriguez, spokesperson for PRTC. She described the turnout as “just fantastic.”

The transportation is also affordable to the taxpayer. The $7 million project was federal funded as part of the Transform 66 Congestion Mitigation Transportation Management Plan.

VDOT’s Robert Cary, Chief Deputy Commissioner, lauded the opening of the new commuter lot, and the on-time delivery by Tavares Concrete Company, the primary contractor, and Branson Construction Co. that did the paving. Tavares Concrete Company, Inc. is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Woman and Minority (SWaM) contractor.

Elected officials spoke at the ceremony, which preceded the ribbon cutting, praising he project.

Speakers included State Sen. Dick Black (R-13th), Del. Danica Roem (D-13th), Del. John Bell (D-87th), Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland (R), Supervisor Ruth Anderson (R) and Haymarket Vice Mayor Susan Edwards. Brentsville Supervisors Jeanine Lawson (R) and Coles Supervisor Marty Nohe (R) were in attendance; he is also the Chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority [NVTA],

Elected officials acknowledged transportation options are much-need.“Everyone who lives here pretty much has a tough commute. Most of us who live here, don’t work here,” Del Bell said.

Supervisor Anderson called VDOT “visionary” for anticipating and addressing the tremendous growth to occur in Northern Virginia by 2040 according to transportation studies.

Del. Rome emphasized the importance of transportation and celebrated the completion of the project.

“This is what efficient good government actually looks like in the area,” she said.

In a conversation with Bristow Beat, Roem and Bell said new Virginia transportation improvements have been made possible in part because the General Assembly (Bills HB 768 and SB 896) put a floor on the 2.1% Virginia gas tax.

In 2014, falling gas prices disallowed VDOT from moving forwards with planned projects, but stabilizing the revenue stream towards transportation projects allows those projects to go forward.  They noted that Sen. Black did not support those bills, thought everyone praised the results of transportation projections. 

© 2018, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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