Don't try to pronounce the word in the headline above, because with luck it may go away. But the man who made it up -- John F. Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors -- uses it to describe what's happening to transportation out his way, and to make an important suggestion. He is talking about people from areas to the west of Fairfax who commute through, and contribute to, the heavy traffic in his county -- much as Fairfax commuters have done in Arlington County and Alexandria before. He also is referring to those who in the future may drive into Fairfax to switch to Metrorail or express bus service.
Mr. Herrity proposes to create a regional transportation agency with a jurisdiction that would exportation agency with a jurisdiction that would extend beyond that of the current Northern Virginia Transit Commission and would reflect the traffic patterns and concerns of residents in Prince William, Loudoun, Fauquier, Stafford and Spotsylvania counties and in the cities of Fredericksburg, Manassas and Manassas Park. It's a good idea for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that therein lies the heavy traffic of the future.
A broader authority, reflecting these neighboring areas, could coordinate many transportation improvements, Mr. Herrity notes, including park-and- service and routing of motor vehicle traffic through Fairfax.
There's another possible benefit, partly political: A new agency reflecting more than just the traditional "Northern Virginia interests" might win a friendlier reception in the state legislature. Many lawmakers there think of Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax as one large, expensive foreign country with alien concerns.
Already, all of Mr. Herrity's colleagues on the board of supervisors -- not famous for unanimity -- support his initiative. Supervisor Audrey Moore said, "This is something that's badly needed. . . . We're going to have to find a way through this county without absolutely stopping traffic." In addition, Mr. Herrity reports that he has met with leaders in each of the jurisdictions and they, too, like his idea.
A regional task force is to be organized. Mr. Herrity hopes the group will evolve enough to seek formal status from the General Assembly next year. It promises to be a more effective and efficient way to make sound transportation policy decisions for the benefit of the entire state.