If you have travelled on the Fairfax County Parkway or the Franconia-Springfield Parkway lately you may have seen one of the signs pictured above which shows that Route 7100 is now Route 286, and Route 7900 is now Route 289. This action was a result of the change in the Parkway from a Secondary road to a Primary road in the state system. Signs will include both numbers for at least a year.
Two years ago I received repeated questions from constituents as to why the Parkway was in such bad shape when Route 123 was receiving its second or third repaving in a little under two years. When I dug into the problem it was clear that stimulus money from the federal government was the reason that 123 was being repeatedly repaved. Because of the stipulation attached to the federal funds that their money could only go to Primary roads and the Parkway was a Secondary road it was left full of potholes and needing attention.
After a little more research it was also apparent that the state spends more money and attention on Primary roads than they do on Secondary roads. For those two reasons alone it made sense to try and get the Parkway's classification changed in the state system so that it could receive the dollars and attention that it deserves. In September of 2011 I asked the Board of Supervisors to formally ask the state to reclassify the Fairfax County Parkway and Franconia-Springfield Parkway from Secondary roads to Primary roads.
The Parkway is one of our main streets, and for years it has been neglected and overlooked. I am happy to say that these new signs mark a new direction in the Parkway's future, with a full repaving coming this summer and a commitment from the state to make safety improvements and dedicate more funds to the maintenance of the road in the future. I want to thank Delegate Albo, VDOT, County transportation staff and the Board for helping make this happen.
I am happy to see these changes, and will continue to be an advocate for common sense transportation solutions including keeping the Parkway from becoming more of a parking lot. Later this year I will be hosting a Town Hall meeting to try to get in front of the problem and begin establishing a long term vision for one of our critical "main streets".
Supervisor Pat Herrity