The Arlington County Board has urged incoming Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams to reconsider and strike down former Secretary William Coleman's recent decision to go forward with construction of a scaled-down version of I-66 from the Beltway to Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.
By a three to one vote, the board adopted a resolution urging Adams to review and reverse Coleman's decision and to meet with the county board. Board member Walter L. Frankland Jr. voted against the resolution and board member Dorothy T. Grotos abstained.
Chairman of the board, Joseph S. Wholey said he would try to set up a meeting with Adams, Rep. Joseph Fisher (D-VA.), D.C. Mayor Walter E. Washington and members of the D.C. city council to talk about I-66. Both the county board and the city government have opposed construction of the highway segment.
Earlier this month Coleman approved a version of I-66 scaled down from eight lanes to four lanes. In approving the highway, Cleman said he expected the state of Virginia to transfer some of its highway funds to Metro construction.
Adams has indicated in the past that he would review Coleman's decision.
About 60 opponents of the highway constructio showed up at the board meeting. "I place most of my hope in Adams' known support for mass transit," said Raymond L. McGovern of the Arlington Coalition of Transportation, a citizen's group opposed to continuing construction of I-66.
Frankland, who opposed the resolution said that fears that construction of the highway segment would reduce use of public transportation were unfounded. "The claims that only the Mctrorail system . . . can solve the area's transportation needs is no longer a valid premise on which to attempt to block all further highway development," he said.
Board member Ellen Bozman, who supported the resolution, said that construction of the Arlington segment of the highway would not result in completion of the interstate system, an argument made in favor of constrution. The highway is expected to stop at the District line, she said.