Traffic consultants PHRA say foreshortening Dulles Rail would help Dulles Greenway
By Peter Samuel
Traffic consultants Patton Harris Rust Associates (PHRA) in modeling done for Loudoun County Virginia find that the struggling Dulles Greenway would benefit significantly if the Metrorail line were terminated at the end of the Dulles Toll Road at Washington Dulles Airport. Loudoun County commissioners are in process of deciding whether to "opt out" of the Dulles rail project, saving them some $240m and responsibility for a share of Metrorail operating losses... for ever.
To be sure they'd lose the Chicago-like ambience of trains buzzing down the median of the Dulles Greenway plus two planned median stations. But advocates of "opt out" argue that this is not much loss since train enthusiasts will only have to drive slightly further and they'll be able to make use of stations in Fairfax County's Dulles Toll Road or the Dulles Airport station.
PHRA, now a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based transit services company Pennoni, write in a report to the transportation director of Loudoun County that opting out of Metrorail would add some 1,850 trips on the Dulles Greenway in peak hours. The Greenway and the Dulles Toll Road which form a contiguous 'pike' from the Capital Beltway out to Leesburg are both underutilized, especially the Greenway.
So that 1,850 extra is traffic the Greenway (2x3 lanes) would handle easily.
The consultants do say of course that shortening the rail line would require new planning to "provide increased mobility options."