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Potomac Yard Metro Nearing Arrival

Excerpt from Justin's June Newsletter

For decades, the City has discussed, planned, and just plain hoped for a Metro Rail station at Potomac Yard.

Last month, the City Council unanimously adopted Alternative B as the site of the future Potomac . We have now moved from discussing Metro at Potomac Yard, to designing and building Metro at Potomac Yard.

In 2008, along with then-Councilman Rob Krupicka, I proposed a new start to efforts to bring Metro to Potomac Yard. We included language in the City's Transportation Master Plan explicitly calling for a new station at Potomac Yard. We also tied the construction and funding of Metro to the development occurring in the Yard.

The result is a funding plan for Potomac Yard Metro that not only leverages the development activity in Potomac Yard, but also does so without requiring the contributions of General Fund taxpayers.

The largest environmental, economic development and transportation initiative in our City's history is being accomplished using one of the most innovative funding mechanisms used anywhere in the country.

The funding package consists of 2 special tax districts, tax increment funding, Northern Virginia Transportation Authority regional funding, a Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Board loan, and a developer contribution.

It is designed to use the development in Potomac Yard to pay for Metro in Potomac Yard, not the City's General Fund taxpayers.

A little over a month ago, the project took a gigantic step forward with the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review and comment. The release of the draft statement, coordinated with the Federal Transit Administration, the National Park Service, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), kicked off a lively period of public input which lead up to the Council's adoption of our Locally Preferred Alternative.

Last month, another milestone was achieved as the City announced that it had received approval from the National Park Service on a "Net Benefits Agreement." Such an agreement is required for the National Park Service to transfer land to the City.

The agreement that was published provides for $12 million of improvements to the adjacent National Park Service land. These improvements include expansion of the existing National Park Service land and improvements to both Dangerfield Island and the Mount Vernon Trail. The City has also made a series of policy changes to address any potential impact.

This project will leverage the creation of up to 26,000 new jobs, and will bring up to $2 billion of new tax revenue to the City. It removes thousands of vehicles from one of the most crowded corridors in our City. It promotes the creation of the kind of walkable community our City has long desired in Potomac Yard.

Once the Environmental Impact Statement process concludes with a Record of Decision, the construction efforts can commence.

As the City focuses on efforts to erase the structural imbalance in our budget, the successful completion of this project is a key component in that effort.

 

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