Besides voting for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general for Virginia, voters in Fairfax County have some important local voting business of their own to transact next Tuesday. On the ballot is a question concerning what could and should be the county's most important transportation decision since participation in the Metro subway system. Voters are being asked to vote yes or no on a road bond issue of $135 milion; and if residents hold any hopes of unclogging the awful traffic jams that are impeding private as well as public transportation daily, their answer on the ballot should be YES.
It is not a partisan matter; the county supervisors were unanimous in their approval of this bond issue as a sound financial approach to desperately needed road relief. Approval will not mean the end of every traffic jam but does constitute a fair, maximum combination of road projects under the dollar ceiling agreed to. There is money included for two segments of the cross-county Springfield Bypass, as well as for 12 more road construction and widening projects to ease severe congestion.
The road improvements also are linked to the entire transportation picture in Fairfax because they would provide critical connections to Metro stations as well as other key roads. They also would complement some $100 million in privately financed overpasses and connector roads in a pattern designed to ease traffic snarls across the county.
Even with a resounding voter approval next Tuesday, it will take years to complete these important projects. In the meantime, the number of working residents with jobs in the county is likely to increase to 60 percent or more. That is why elected officials, experts and residents who have followed this bond issue have joined in a coalition to work for its approval. The proposal deserves voter attention -- and strong support.