The Washington Post

Transportation commission fights merger proposal

With its first meeting of the new year scheduled for Thursday, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) is trying to keep its group from being merged.

In 2011, the NVTC fought Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) as the state withheld millions of dollars in transportation-related funding and McDonnell pushed for more representation on the NVTC board.

In September, McDonnell appointed James Dyke, a Northern Virginia lawyer, to serve on the NVTC board.

The transportation advocacy group is composed of 19 local and state elected officials plus the state’s public transportation director. Among the members, some come from Loudoun, Fairfax and Arlington counties and the cities of Falls Church, Alexandria and Fairfax.

NVTC also appoints four members to serve on the Metro board of directors.

Dyke is expected to serve on the Metro board, which will mean one of the Virginia representatives on that board will have to step down or move from a voting seat to an alternate, non-voting spot. It is unclear who will move to make way for Dyke.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton had proposed consolidating the NVTC with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA), another transportation-focused group.

According to material from the NVTC, the merger would “create a singular, unified group to represent Northern Virginia’s localities on transportation issues.” NVTC would retain its power to appoint Virginia representatives to the Metro board.

NVTC, which has eight full-time and part-time staffers and a $1.2 million annual budget, opposes the merger. It argues the two groups “serve divergent geographic regions with significantly different missions and areas of focus.”

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.


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