Moran, Warner, Connolly renew call for parking cap, new transportation plan
Dec 01 2011
Contact: Kevin Hall - (202) 224-2023
Washington, D.C. – Following today’s release of a Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG) report revealing serious flaws in the Army’s Transportation Management Plan (TMP), Representative Jim Moran, Senator Mark R. Warner, and Representative Gerry Connolly renewed their call to limit the number of parking spaces used at the building until sufficient transportation infrastructure is put in place and pressed for enactment of the IG’s recommendations -- including requiring the Army to redo their TMP.
The DOD IG found the Army used incorrect information, rendering the plan’s conclusions unreliable, and failed to properly study the impact of increased traffic on the roadway network surrounding the Mark Center. In the report, the DOD IG called on the Army to start again and complete another, more accurate, transportation management plan.
“The IG’s report proves exactly why we opposed this relocation three years ago and have been highly critical of the planning process as it has proceeded. Full occupation of this building will result in serious gridlock for some 200,000 daily commuters who must travel past the Mark Center each day,” said Rep. Moran. “We are not just at the eleventh hour, it’s 11:59. The best remaining solution to prevent total gridlock is to put in place the House-approved parking cap to limit the number of new cars on the road until the transportation improvements can be completed. The IG’s report is the authoritative final word on the Army’s failure and their recommendations to try and salvage the situation should be adopted.”
“Anyone who has been in the area knows the terrible traffic we're already dealing with,” said Sen. Warner. “The Army needs to take a ‘time out’ on putting more people in the building until we have transportation improvements in place. I will be contacting Secretary Panetta directly, because enough is enough.”
“This report confirms what we in Northern Virginia have known from the start of this process: The Army’s traffic analysis was flawed, it failed to coordinate meaningfully with regional leaders and it did not bring sufficient dollars to the table to address the traffic nightmare it has now created at Mark Center,” said Rep. Connolly. “I was pleased to work with the region’s Congressional delegation on language in the next Defense Authorization Act that will address each of those shortcomings. The House already has signed off those improvements, and this report will strengthen our case to move it through the Senate.”
The DOD IG report issued today examined the Army’s Transportation Management Plan, which looked at the impact of moving 6,400 DoD employees to the Mark Center. Key findings from the report include:
- The Army's Transportation Management Plan (TMP) relied on flawed data. The deficiencies are so significant that the findings and conclusions of the TMP are unreliable. For instance, the traffic counts used by the Army to determine the level of background traffic were conducted around national holidays and when schools were not in session, which resulted in peak hour traffic volumes of up to 35% less than under normal conditions. Also, the traffic impact of planned road construction improvements to intersections near the site was not considered. Normally, mitigation measures would be in place BEFORE the building is occupied.
- The Army ignored national standards for analysis and failed to properly analyze the impact of increased traffic on the ingress/egress roadway network for the Mark Center. As a result, extreme traffic congestion with possible gridlock conditions are projected to occur. This additional traffic will have a disproportionate impact on I-395.
- The Army also failed to consult with local jurisdiction planning and transportation officials, including VDOT, Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria.
Selected in 2008, the Mark Center facility will accommodate the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) recommendation #133 endorsed by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. 2,300 Defense Department employees have already moved into the building with an additional 2,400 expected to be relocated by the end of the month. When fully occupied next year, the Mark Center will host 6,400 Defense Department employees.