Transit Favored in Survey

Half of Northern Virginia residents surveyed recently said improved public transportation, not new roads, would help their commutes.

When asked about specific priorities, in the survey by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, six out of 10 people who travel regularly in the Dulles corridor said that extending Metrorail to Dulles International Airport was their highest priority.

The telephone survey of 1,263 residents from Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax City, Manassas and Manassas Park was conducted in late April and early May to help the agency update its long-range transportation plan. There was no difference between jurisdictions in the overall finding that transit improvements, not road-building, are preferred.

But most of the respondents who said they traveled the Interstate 66 corridor said they would favor widening the highway over extending Metro to Centreville.

Those surveyed also cited support for a range of road projects, including widening I-66 between the Capital Beltway and Gainesville. Respondents also said they would be willing to pay $1.67 a day on average to fund improvements to the region's public transportation system. Seven in 10 respondents said they would be willing to pay to travel in high-occupancy toll lanes.

The survey was done by QSA Research & Strategy of Alexandria.

Forum on Rec Center Plans

The public is invited to a community meeting to review and provide feedback on the proposed design plans for the renovation of the Charles Houston Recreation Center in Alexandria.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. next Thursday at the center, 901 Wythe St.

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will hold other public meetings to get additional community input.

1 More Year for Principal

T.C. Williams High School Principal John Porter will remain at the school for the 2005-06 school year while the search for his replacement continues, Alexandria Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry announced.

"This an extremely important decision, and we want to make certain that the new high school principal is the best possible fit for the present and the future of T.C. Williams," Perry said in a press release. "Mr. Porter assured me that he would be happy to continue as principal until that person is identified."

Perry said Porter was offered a position in the school system's central office with the understanding that it might be deferred a year if a replacement was not hired.

"We have talked with some excellent candidates, some of whom are still under consideration. I am confident that the right person will be found," Perry said.