The Authority Report

Authority's Annual Organizational Meeting Highlights

January 15, 2021

Last evening, the Authority held its Annual Organizational Meeting, inviting Northern Virginia residents to provide comment on what regional transportation focus areas they would like to see in 2021, and how to best tackle traffic congestion in the region.

Prior to the official start of the Annual Organizational Meeting, the Authority began the evening with the adoption of a resolution on finding the need to conduct the business meeting by electronic communication means during Governor Northam's declared State of Emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Authority Chair Phyllis J. Randall's welcome remarks, 13 citizens provided live comment before the Authority, and six Northern Virginians submitted written comments, for the Authority's review. Citizens provided comment on a variety of topics, including the importance of investing in transit, active transportation and walkable communities, implementing traffic calming measures, and reducing the use of single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) and vehicle miles traveled in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Live public comments provided last evening can be viewed here

We thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback to the Authority. Your input is an important part of the planning and programming process. 

Following public comment, the Authority took action on organizational items, including voting on the Chair and Vice Chair for calendar year 2021. We are excited to announce Phyllis J. Randall, Chair of Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, was re-appointed as Chair of the Authority. Long-time Authority member, David Snyder, Council Member, City of Falls Church, was appointed as the Authority's new Vice Chair. Our congratulations to both Chair Randall and Vice Chair Snyder. We look forward to your continued leadership and focus on keeping the region moving. 

We'd also like to welcome Michelle Davis-Younger, newly elected Mayor of the City of Manassas, and Kelly Burk, Mayor, Town of Leesburg, appointed as the Towns representative on the Authority.  

Following Authority member appointments, Chair Randall announced designations to the Governance and Personnel Committee (GPC); Finance Committee; and Planning and Programming Committee (PPC).  

Additionally, the Authority adopted the recommended 2021 Meeting Schedule. As the region's multimodal transportation planning, programming and funding entity, it is vitally important to allow sufficient planning time for the Authority to conduct its business meetings. Consistent with prior practice, the Authority will continue to meet on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. for Calendar Year 2021, as indicated below, with noted exceptions.

Adopted 2021 Authority Meeting Schedule
  • February 11, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • March 11, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • April 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • May 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • June 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • July 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • August - **No Meeting, unless special circumstances require**
  • September 9, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • October 14, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • November 18, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. – **Date changed due to Veterans Day**
  • December 9, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. - **Time changed to avoid potential regional meeting conflicts**

Authority Meeting Highlights

Following the Annual Organizational Meeting, the Authority's regularly scheduled business meeting began. 

At the beginning of each new year, the Authority is presented the NVTA Annual Report, a year-in-review of the Authority's accomplishments, programs and initiatives. Given an unprecedented year which presented many challenges and a need to pivot the way the Authority conducted business and addressed the region's changing needs, the theme for NVTA's 2020 Annual Report was appropriately named, "Planning for Evolving Needs."  

NVTA Executive Director, Monica Backmon, shared with the Authority a foldout map inserted in this year's 2020 Annual Report, which features each of the adopted multimodal transportation projects within the FY2020-2025 Six Year Program Update, and shows the modal and geographical balance of each project located throughout Northern Virginia. On the back of the map, a chart is included that lists each project name, sponsoring jurisdiction or agency, requested amount, approved amount and modes of transportation. 

Following Ms. Backmon's introductory remarks, Erica Hawksworth, NVTA's Communications & Public Affairs Manager, walked the Authority through the annual report. Highlights include:

  • Adopted FY2020-2025 Six Year Program
  • COVID-19 in '20 and the Authority's Resiliency
    • Despite a projected $240M revenue reduction due to the pandemic, for FY2020-23, the Authority was able to navigate an unprecedented challenge while preserving all prior project funding programs and commitments
    • COVID-19 Analysis
  • Five NVTA-Funded Project Milestones in Town of Leesburg (Loudoun County); City of Falls Church/NOVA Parks; Town of Hillsboro (Loudoun County); Arlington County; and City of Alexandria
  • Participated in 25+ Events in 2020
  • Shaping Planning and Policy Discussions in DMV 
  • Taxpayer Dollars Hard at Work: Investing in Regional, Multimodal Transportation Projects across NoVA
  • Authority's Impacts on the Region:

Following the 2020 Annual Report presentation, Cathy McGhee, Director of Research and Innovation, VDOT, provided the Authority an update on the Regional Multi-Modal Mobility Program (RM3P), a partnership between NVTA and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The RMP3 mission is to leverage the collaborative use of real-time data by Virginia’s public and private sectors to improve travel safety, reliability, and mobility, and to give public the tools to make better informed travel choices. Ms. McGhee provided the Authority background on the origins of the RM3P and how its development has evolved. 

The Program's goals include:

  • Optimizing transportation system performance by improving the efficiency of agency responses to travel disruptions;
  • Enhancing travel time reliability; and
  • Supporting on-demand, multimodal trip choices for travelers. 
Program elements include: 1) Data-Exchange Platform; 2) AI-Based Decision Support System; 3) Commuter Parking Information System; 4) Multimodal Analytical Planner; and 5) Dynamic Incentivization. 

Ms. McGhee also spoke about the anticipated benefits of RM3P, stakeholder engagement and working groups, regional collaboration, and what's next in the Program's development. Anticipated completion of the RM3P is 2023.

Wrapping up the evening, Tracy Baynard, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC, provided the Authority a General Assembly 2021 Session update

2021 Focus Areas for the Authority, include:

  • Protect Authority’s revenue and ability to meet its mission;
  • Support efforts to provide permanent flexibility to hold virtual business meetings in time of health and safety concerns; and
  • Support quick and equitable distribution of any federal relief funds for transportation to transit operators. 
Transportation initiatives for Authority consideration presented, include: 
  • Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) Budget amendment seeks one-time $30 million in General Fund revenue to help WMATA Virginia compact members meet their FY2022 operating obligations for Metro transit services.
  • House Bill 1903 (Del. Carr): Permits localities to reduce speed limits on local roads to less than 25 mph but no less than 15 mph.
  • HB 542 (Del. McQuinn): Calls for DRPT to study transit equity and modernization needs over a two year period. 
Ms. Baynard also discussed how there are various initiatives regarding use of, and access to, the electrification of vehicles and the transportation sector’s role in green house gas reduction. Senator Jennifer Boysko, member of the Authority, is one of the chief patrons of Senate Bill 1223, which amends the Clean Energy Plan to require analysis and strategies/policies to support net-zero carbon emissions from the transportation sector. This bill will put electrification of transportation in the Commonwealth's Energy Plan, to meet long-term goals for 2045.  

Couldn't tune in last night? The full archived live-stream can be viewed on our YouTube Channel

Click here to see the January 2021 Authority Meeting Agenda, topics discussed, and meeting materials.

Authority Meeting *
February 11, 2021, 7:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel
Finance Committee Meeting
January 21, 2021, 1:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Transportation Technology Committee
February 10, 2021, 2021, 8:30 a.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Governance and Personnel Committee
February 11, 2021, 5:30 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Technical Advisory Committee
February 17, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Planning Coordination Advisory Committee
February 24, 2021, 6:30 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Planning and Programming Committee
Next Meeting TBA | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel
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