Several homeowners associations in the Landmark area are supporting residents' efforts to protest a proposed Virginia Department of Transportation HOT lanes off-ramp at Turkeycock Run on Interstate 395.
VDOT is currently building 29 miles of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes extending from Stafford County to the Edsall Road area in Fairfax County, just south of Alexandria. Turkeycock Run is the proposed end to the route.
See: Express Lanes to End Just Outside City; Residents Concerned
Members of an effort opposing the ramp, Concerned Residents of Landmark, say an independent study demonstrates that increased air pollution from the proposed project will result in serious, negative health impacts in surrounding communities. Area residents commissioned an independent study by Lee Engineering and Air Expertise Colorado, which concluded that:
- The project will significantly increase traffic on I-395 North and local secondary roads, contributing to area pollution levels.
- Increased pollution from VDOT’s project will result in significant violations of public health standards. Among the pollutants, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter spread easily.
- Both nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter permeate buildings and homes.
The Concerned Residents of Landmark now includes HOA backing and resident support from the following neighborhoods: Edsall Park, Overlook, Jefferson Green, Ridges at Edsall, Jefferson Square, Sentinel at Landmark, Kensington Court and Watergate at Landmark.
“What started as a small group of neighbors has grown into an organization encompassing concerned residents from neighborhoods throughout the Landmark area,” said Dave Rogers, one of the original members of Concerned Residents of Landmark, in a news release. “We are united in our concern about the negative public health impacts that will result if this ramp is built.”
More information from Concerned Residents of Landmark is available at www.delaytheramp.com.
VDOT Environmental Assessment Shows Low Nitrogen Oxide
VDOT representatives directed Patch to an environmental assessment approved by the Federal Highway Administration in December 2011 that tested two levels of emissions analysis: a regional analysis by the region’s Transportation Planning Board and a project-level analysis by VDOT consultants. The regional analysis found that nitrogen oxides, which contribute to the formation of ozone and fine particulate matter, were below what is federally permitted.
Also, the project-level analysis included a hotspot analysis for carbon monoxide and found peak CO concentrations were below federally-mandated levels at certain points along the corridor. This analysis also determined the project was within compliance of particulate matter standards and found no anticipated harmful impacts of mobile source air toxins.
VDOT predicts that 900 vehicles per hour will use the ramp during morning peak time in 2018.
Concerned Residents of Landmark spokeswoman Mary Hasty told Patch that VDOT’s study only looked at pollution along the entire project corridor and not specifically at the site of the proposed off-ramp.
“They are required to do a localized analysis, and that includes all impacts to the local environment,” Hasty said. “They failed to do that.”
Also, VDOT is asking people who live along I-95 between the Edsall Road and Duke Street exits to vote on whether they want sound walls constructed between their homes and the highway. VDOT has proposed concrete sound walls along both sides of I-395 between Edsall Road and Duke Street.
Hasty said she is neutral on the idea of sound walls.
“VDOT sound walls will drop decibels, but I don’t care if the sound is low and the pollution is high,” Hasty said. “I don’t want to pollution to be high. It’s an unacceptable trade-off.”
The I-95 HOT lanes, also called express lanes, are scheduled to open in late 2014.