23 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by jwgartin
Patch Instagram photo by jwgartin

LTE: Ramadan Complaint Targets Wrong Tolls

A reader suggests that Ramadan focus on reducing DTR, rather than Greenway, fees.

LTE: Ramadan Complaint Targets Wrong Tolls

Dear Editor, 

Del. David Ramadan (R-87) has announced that he is making a formal complaint against the proposed Dulles Greenway toll increase. Del. Ramadan is barking up the wrong tree if he is genuinely interested in securing relief from oppressive tolls … and he knows it.

Responding to a Greenway toll increase request, Del. Ramadan demanded Greenway rates comply with Virginia code.

FACT … Recently, the Greenway – the privately operated road west of Dulles International Airport – requested a 3.54 percent increase in the toll rate, or $0.14, which they are allowed by law. This 3.54 percent is what Del. Ramadan is complaining about.

FACT … Over the next 13 months, Dulles Toll Road (DTR) rates are set to increase 55 percent to pay for the Metro rail extension into Loudoun. After that, the rate of increase will be much higher.

FACT … Del. Ramadan is ignoring this patently unfair DTR tolling scheme, which benefits his pro-rail developer friends, at the expense of his constituents.

The cost of the taxpayer funded Dulles rail development scheme that is playing out is far greater than what was presented during public hearings. Recently it has been disclosed by the MWAA CEO that he is planning to compete with Loudoun for new commercial and industrial business by developing airport property. The net to Loudoun will be a loss of projected revenue from commercial development stimulated by the Metro which we were told would help pay Loudoun’s share of the rail boondoggle.

Del. Ramadan would serve his constituents well if he shifted his effort to advance initiatives such as pushing for Virginia to retake control of the DTR from MWAA, an act that would save billions in tolls. He can also push MWAA CEO Jack Potter to drop tolls on the DTR altogether and instead pay for the Metro train to Dulles Airport by tolling Dulles Airport customers who use the center lanes – the free Dulles Access Road – to Dulles.

Del. Ramadan, your people are at risk if we are to avoid the perfect storm of tolls, traffic and taxes that is bearing down on the region. So what will it be, sir? More diversion and distraction, or will you break ranks with the insiders and fix this mess? 

David LaRock

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