On a 5-3 vote yesterday, PWC residents on the eastern end of the county, in particular the communities of Ashland and Montclair, lost in a big way. The Board of County Supervisors, in an ill-conceived plan to derail the equally ill-conceived proposed Bi-County Parkway, passed a change to the county’s comprehensive plan restricting Route 234 to 4 lanes. This denies residents much needed future traffic relief and will only serve to clog the roads within Montclair, in particular Waterway Drive.
I agree with the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce on this issue. This “solution” of limiting Route 234 to four lanes is an overreaction. Route 234 is already six lanes from Route 1 across I-95 and right up to the first entrance to Montclair at Country Club Drive (I’ll give you three guesses as to which local elected official uses that road and your first two don’t count.)
All this will do is ensure that people exiting Montclair from its north entrance at Waterway Drive will either get caught up in traffic on 234 or create additional traffic on interior roads within Montclair for the rest of its residents. It also puts the squeeze on residents of the Ashland community just north of Montclair.
Too often, the “solutions” some elected officials put forward to problems are such overreactions as to generate new problems from the unintended consequences. You can stop the Bi-County Parkway without restricting the ability to widen 234 to accommodate the traffic that already exists and what is in the pipeline from future developments that have been approved. Instead, residents in eastern PWC have been condemned to increased traffic congestion. It will only be a matter of time before traffic lights begin popping up along Waterway Drive and other side roads that are taking on the overflow from 234.