[BACKGROUND: The Northeast Vienna Citizens Association asked all candidates three questions for their newsletter. Below is an expanded version of my response]
Can you offer any examples of things that the Town of Vienna does now that it could do better? or begin/cease doing?
So many regional planning, transportation and economic issues directly affect Town residents and businesses, here are some for example:
- Tysons Development with the changes to the County comprehensive plan
- Dunn Loring / Merrifield / Mosiac Development
- VDOT I-66 Outside the Beltway HOT/HOV Lanes
- VDOT East-West Integrated Corridor Management Plan
- Fairfax County Transit Development Plan
These plans, projects, and economic competition are, or will, directly affect us. Other entities tend to assume what will happen in Vienna because of what they do; often times that isn’t consist with the Town’s desire. Case in point is Maple Avenue…to many outside Town it is a commuter thoroughfare (54% of cars drive straight thru) and moving cars is the priority…on the other hand to residents and businesses, it is our main street that we want to be walkable and friendly for people to get to businesses, school and recreational activities.
While the Town has stepped up its presence by elected officials in the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, and other local governing bodies, we must be an even stronger presence in regional governance to manage and leverage opportunities to protect our sense of community.
We need to move from being aware, to being present, to being advocates for our Town.