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Commonwealth Transportation Board Set to Act on Transfer of Columbia Pike to Arlington County Tomorrow

The Commonwealth Transportation Board is scheduled to finalize the deal and take the necessary actions to convey Columbia Pike to Arlington County tomorrow, being the culmination of many years of urban and transportation planning by Arlington County, the Columbia Pike community, and the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization.  This is in response to the Resolution passed by the Arlington County Board back in July of 2009 to acquire Columbia Pike from the Commonwealth in order to clear the way for construction of the planned street car system along Columbia Pike in Arlington County and to help realize the goals and visions of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Initiative.

Arlington is one of only two Counties in Virginia that owns and operates its own local street system, with the Commonwealth operating the rest of the roadways in all other localities.  Once the transfer is complete it will be up to Arlington to maintain and operate Columbia Pike on its own.  Mike Estes' recommendation to the CTB is for the CTB to authorize the Commissioner to execute the transfer agreement with Arlington County this month, have the CTB transfer Columbia Pike from the Primary Road System to the Local Road System, and then in October to have the CTB approve the 2011 fiscal maintenance payment to Arlington County include Columbia Pike.  It is my understanding that the Commonwealth Transportation Board is moving forward with the transfer of Columbia Pike despite Arlington County's ongoing lawsuit against VDOT and the Commissioner of Transportation over the environmental and civil rights claims surrounding the "Hotlanes Lawsuit" (click here for my posting on this lawsuit from last year, which was updated and opined on by one of our co-bloggers last week here)

The hearing will occur down in Richmond at the VDOT Central Auditorium at 10:00, but if you cannot attend or observe here are copies of Michael Estes' presentation and the hearing agenda.  Also, here is the proposed Resolution for action by the CBT, and here is the actual proposed Memorandum of Agreement if you are interested in some of the finer the details.  We'll keep you posted on the results of the hearing, though I imagine the press releases will be flying around pretty quickly tomorrow.