The benefits of the “Rail to Dulles” project should not be underestimated. Arlington County has the lowest tax rate of any major jurisdiction in Northern Virginia because nearly 50 percent of its real estate revenue comes from commercial properties, which, for the most part, are located in its transit corridors.
You clearly can see how Metrorail has enabled significantly higher-density, mixed-use development along Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, while also enabling open space and environmentally green buildings. “Rail to Dulles” will provide similar opportunities to the residents in Fairfax and Loudoun.
Moreover, investing in transit infrastructure, such as Metro, brings jobs while minimizing the impact on roads and congestion. In 1970, Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston Metro Corridor supported 22,000 jobs. This number grew to 96,300 in 2012, representing a 338 percent growth in jobs. This growth occurred while traffic decreased. It is a model that has won accolades around the country.
Most regions in the country could not create the economic environment necessary to make a project like “Rail to Dulles” possible. The Loudoun Board of Supervisors needs to seize this opportunity to shape the future, not hide from it.
State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Dist. 31)