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Meyer Campaigns On Greenway Alternatives

© Leesburg Today - 08/26/2015

Ron Meyer, the Republican candidate for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors' Broad Run District, last week unveiled plans for alternatives to the much-maligned Dulles Greenway.

Meyer proposes extending Shellhorn Road to connect to Sterling Boulevard and create one path all the way to Rt. 28. That would almost parallel the Greenway and, he said, ""give commuters a local, free alternative"" to the toll road.

""This road-along with current projects widening Route 28 and finishing Gloucester Parkway-will take thousands of cars off the Greenway and heavily cut into their profits,"" Meyer said in a prepared statement.

He said his goal is to take enough commuters off the toll road to force Greenway owner and operator Toll Road Investors Partnership II to come to the negotiating table and either sell the road or institute graduated tolls. Right now, motorists pay one price to drive on the highway no matter how far they go.

""Broad Run residents face some of the worse commutes in the nation,"" Meyer said, ""often facing this choice: Either pay $6 or get on Waxpool Road-which usually resembles a parking lot during rush hour.""

His campaign also has put four 4-by-8 foot signs on private land along the Greenway calling for Loudoun to ""Build Greenway Alternatives!"" The signs are near the Loudoun County Parkway exits and the future Ashburn Metro Station.

Contacted Tuesday night, Meyer's opponent, Democrat Al Nevarez, said he's been saying since the beginning of his campaign that Loudoun needs to find alternatives to the Greenway that residents can use. Fewer Greenway users would mean less revenue, he said, creating the economic pressure needed to convince TRIP II to lower tolls.

But he said that it's probably a package of solutions that will do the trick rather than just extending Shellhorn Road.

""There's no silver bullet here,"" Nevarez said.

In addition to the Broad Run District political campaigns, county supervisors and staff members are considering plans to connect Shellhorn with Rt. 28.

The board's Transportation and Land Use Committee discussed the matter July 17 with developer H. Chris Antigone, who wants to put a mixed-use project on 260 acres on the northern edge of Dulles Airport, and committee members are expected to take up the issue again next month.

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