About a year from now, 6,400 federal workers will be starting to make a BRAC-related commute through heavy traffic.
The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure plan requires 6,400 defense personnel currently working in Metro-accessible leased office space in Northern Virginia move to the new Mark Center facility by September 2011.
Rep. Jim Moran told Federal News Radio the traffic is already even worse than advertised. On a shuttle ride last week to see what traffic will be like, Moran said “at some points during the shuttle ride, it looked like the grass by the side of the road was growing faster than the traffic was moving.”
The ride took him from the Springfield/Franconia Metro station to Seminary Road, one of the routes future employees at the Mark Center would be expected to take.
“It took us 50 minutes,” said Moran, and would have taken longer during the height of the rush hour and even longer if it had been raining.
“This is not going to work.”
Moran said the 6,400 employees are mostly working in offices with good access to Metro and “forcing them to find another means, primarily by automobile, to get to the Mark Center.”
Moran said the Center is already at a “near failed level of congestion,” without the additional traffic.
All told, said Moran, “everyone commuting on 395 going North in the mornings will probably experience a two to three hour delay. That’s chaos.”
Moran has added language in the Defense Authorization Act to limit parking at the Mark Center to a thousand, hoping to reduce the amount of vehicles on roads in the area.
For more on this and Moran’s first official visit as chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to the Interior Department, listen to the entire interview by clicking on the audio player at the top of the page.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-9 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.