Improvements to the commute in the Va. 28 corridor are on the ballot twice this November. There’s a $355 million road bond referendum that includes $200 million to either create a bypass or widen the busy commuter stretch between Manassas and Centreville.

And voters in the 13th District of the House of Delegates will also be asked to choose the legislator who can bring state resources to the road project.

Incumbent Del. Danica Roem, a Democrat, defeated longtime legislator Bob Marshall in 2017 based largely on her persistent calls to get something done for the residents, business owners and commuters traveling on the busy road.

She points to movement by transportation officials in Richmond to address the problem, but her opponent, Republican Kelly McGinn, is asking where is the money needed for costly upgrades.

13th District race

Del. Danica Roem, D-13th, will face a challenge from Republican Kelly McGinn on Nov. 5.

“Fixing Route 28 remains my number one priority, that hasn’t changed,” Roem said. “And we’ve actually made some progress.”

Earlier this month, state transportation officials held a public meeting to weigh changes to intersections on the existing road, based largely on Roem’s push to eliminate traffic lights on a particular 2-mile stretch in the Yorkshire area. 

While the state found money for the $300,000 intersection study, funding hasn't been identified for the project. And the state refused to fund the larger widening/bypass project as proposals work their way through federal environmental studies.

McGinn said she’ll press for state funding for the road, regardless of the results of the bond referendum.

“(Route) 28 is no longer just an inconvenience, it’s a public safety issue,” said McGinn, who spends a lot of time on the road traveling with her children. “We have got to find the political will to do something, and there’s nothing like an angry mother.”

Roem said she helped find the legislative votes needed to claw back some funding for future Northern Virginia transportation needs, and noted $128 million has been allocated in regional transportation dollars for improvements to Route 28 on the stretch in Fairfax County.

“I’m the only candidate in the race that not just has a record of talking about it, but doing something about it,” Roem said, pointing to the work she has done advocating for the road and transparent details she shares about her legislative plans on her website. 

With intersection study results in hand, Roem said she’ll enter the next legislative session ready to secure future state and regional funding.

“Anyone who is going to challenge how vigilant I’ve been on Route 28 — you can’t do that in good faith. I’ve actually delivered,” Roem said.

McGinn also said she’ll look for ways to support commuters on I-66 who are sitting through construction of new toll lanes and facing more than $40 tolls for one-way trips inside the Beltway.

“I want to be an advocate for people who can’t pay for these tolls every day, who are having to get up in the middle of the night to go to work,” McGinn said.

Roem’s election in 2017 with several other Democrats left Republicans with a slim 51-49 majority in the House of Delegates, eventually leading to a compromise that expanded Medicaid access to 400,000 Virginia residents, including 12,000 residents in the 13th District.

She said she’ll work in the next session to get all of those residents enrolled, and seek out ways to expand Medicaid to help more residents who are underinsured — unable to afford their health care even with some form of private insurance.

“We’ve got to provide another option that people can afford,” Roem said. “That’s why I support a public option.”

McGinn said the state should continue to provide Medicaid to those now covered, but she wants to focus on “market solutions” to lower health care costs. That would include protecting pre-existing conditions, while also making catastrophic plans available to younger workers.

“The vast majority of my constituents are still worried about being one paycheck away from financial devastation if they face a serious illness,” McGinn said. “We need to figure out how to lower the costs and make them more transparent.”

As the wife of a veteran and small business owner, McGinn said she’ll look for ways to ensure veterans are getting the benefits they’ve earned and she wants to find ways to support small businesses. 

Not surprisingly, Roem circles back to the roads.

“The best thing I can do for small businesses is to eliminate commutes. Traffic congestion affects businesses,” she said. “And not just Route 28 — I’m going to (U.S.) Route 29 next. That’s the next stop on the train.”

Both candidates encourage voters to visit their websites for more information: www.delegatedanicaroem.com and www.kellymcginn.com.

(9) comments

Bigfoot

If anyone really believes there is a politician anywhere near NOVA willing to actually fix 28 I have a bridge to sell you. We've heard promises for decades regarding 28 and look what's happened.

tman

Promises from Bob Marshall and his Ilk were worth little.

manassas native

For 40 years I’ve seen Rt 28 traffic get worse and worse. Danica Roem has been the only person to actually line up two solutions rather than kick the can down the road like Bob Marshall did for 25 years. She has the power in Richmond to get funding. I think we should let her follow through on her hard work.

CCW

A few suggestions:

1. Stop promising voters that you will fix all of their problems without increasing their taxes.

2. Stop coping out on your promises by bragging that when the moment of reckoning came you at least didn't raise their taxes.

3. Stop building 8,000 plus slap-em-up look alike housing developments on every square inch of dirt in Prince William County.

4. Stop using boat loads of tax freebies to convince companies to build their office buildings and giant concrete bunkers that have one door and two windows.

5. Send people who here illegally back to their home countries.



“We have got to find the political will to do something, and there’s nothing like an angry mother.” Hang in there until November next year Ms. McGinn. In 2016 there were 33,920,000 angry women that voted for president Trump. That number has since skyrocketed!

Hokem-pokem time Dem commentators bring it on!

Allen Muchnick

"McGinn also said she’ll look for ways to support commuters on I-66 who are sitting through construction of new toll lanes and facing more than $40 tolls for one-way trips inside the Beltway. “I want to be an advocate for people who can’t pay for these tolls every day, who are having to get up in the middle of the night to go to work,” McGinn said."



To be an effective advocate for those commuters, Ms. McGinn should learn the truth about those "horrible" I-66 ITB tolls.



1) According to this VDOT report [ http://66expresslanes.org/documents/66_itb_express_lanes_2019_q1_report.pdf ], during the first quarter of 2019, the average toll paid on I-66 ITB from 5:30-6:30 AM (i.e,,the hour before I-66 HOV restrictions had previously begun for 35 years) was $1.63, not "more than $40". If toll-free carpooling or express buses aren't feasible for ones commute, paying the $1.63 average toll before 6:30 AM might just be worth it for UNCONGESTED I-66 travel that is now about twice as fast as it was before 12/04/2017.



2) The I-66 ITB toll revenue is generating about $20 million/year for NEW multimodal travel improvements along the I-66 corridor, including new and expanded express bus service for commuters living in House District 13. To date, more than $41 million of I-66 ITB toll revenue has already been invested in travel alternatives for I-66 commuters THAT reduce congestion and lower toll prices for those who continue to drive alone on I-66 inside the urban core of the Washington DC region.

Citizen52

Until the back-ups are fixed in Fairfax, there is little that can be done for Rte. 28 in Prince William. Removing traffic signals will not be effective. Ask those who travel Rte. 28 daily. Perhaps when the Rte. 66 changes are complete in 2022, some Rte. 28 remedies might be more feasible.

tman

This is true - Improvements up North will flow through Manassas, but we need to plan for that now.

Stoptheinsanity

All they are going to do is build more toll roads. Soon they will be trying to take our cars away. Get these useless nuts out of office. Investigate VDOT and NVTA.

Allen Muchnick

The past 70 years have demonstrated over and over that widening freeways and expressways in urbanized regions--WITHOUT congestion-management strategies such as HOV restrictions or congestion-priced tolls--do NOT provide lasting relief to traffic congestion. Rather, due to induced travel and induced auto-oriented sprawl development, they only make traffic congestion worse and increase our tax burden to operate, maintain, and rehabilitate an ever-increasing highway network.



Politicians who advocate or approve still more of these ineffective and counterproductive road-widening projects should be voted out of office!

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