FAIRFAX COUNTY Board of Supervisors Chairman Audrey Moore and colleagues have been visibly very busy with a dramatic speedup of road-building, greased by a batch of new ideas and proposals just approved. Were it not for some residents with good memories who know better, the latest developments might be credited solely to the change of command that voters ordered in November. But nothing in this first burst from the new board is much different from what was being urged and/or done by the old board, with the somewhat costly exception of a new date for a bond referendum. The tab for holding this referendum early would be an extra $300,000 (or roughly one-half mile of new road lane somewhere).
The early referendum was a featured campaign promise of Mrs. Moore. But is the date change worth it? Though other bond issues for schools and parks were planned for the regular balloting this coming fall, the supervisors voted unanimously to conduct a special election for what would be the largest road bond referendum ever in the county: $150 million. A hearing on the measure is scheduled for early next month, with voting proposed for April. But this timing might still change, because state law prohibits a referendum less than 60 days before any municipal elections such as those to be held in Vienna, Clifton and Herndon in May.
Be that as it may, the first supervisors' meeting brought agreement by state government to an improvement strongly advocated in the past by the last chairman of the board, John F. Herrity. Now that the county board majority and the state administration are Democratic blood relatives, the state transportation commissioner has turned up in person to announce that the state will establish a full-service regional office in and for Northern Virginia. Officials also agreed on ways to accelerate land acquisition and design and construction procedures for the Springfield Bypass, and to allow the county to use existing, unsold road bonds to acquire rights of way for other roads before design processes have been completed.
Every effort to keep road projects moving should be encouraged. From proposals to drawing boards to road beds takes years anyway, which is why some county experts years ago were recommending more action on roads. If the new board has caught the spirit, so much the better.