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The Authority Report

Authority Meeting Highlights

February 12, 2021

The Authority reconvened virtually last evening for the second time this year, and began the meeting 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.

The Town of Hillsboro, located in Loudoun County, VA, updated the Authority on the Route 9 Traffic Calming Project - dubbed "ReThink9", which was funded in the Authority’s FY2018-2023 Six Year Program. Currently ahead of schedule and anticipated to complete construction early this summer, Hillsboro Mayor, Roger Vance, shared with the Authority how the partnership between NVTA, Loudoun County and the Town of Hillsboro, has made a huge difference in transforming the Route 9 Corridor. Following Mayor Vance's opening remarks, he played a video highlighting the impact of the Authority's investment in the Town and on commuters throughout the region.


Hillsboro Mayor Roger Vance and Vice Mayor Amy Marasco point out the Town of Hillsboro Rt. 9 project on the Authority's FY2018-23 Six Year Program Adopted Projects Map.

Following the video, Mayor Vance finished his presentation with a big reveal...The Town of Hillsboro is declaring June 18th NVTA Day, to show the Authority gratitude for helping bring the project vision to reality! A Route 9 grand reopening event will be hosted on NVTA Day this summer. Thank you, Town of Hillsboro...We're honored and can't wait to celebrate with you! 

The Town of Hillsboro presented a project-in-review video highlighting the impact of the Authority's investment in the Route 9 Traffic Calming project, expected to complete construction Summer 2021.

Next, NVTA Executive Director, Monica Backmon, provided the Authority an update on the Five-Year Strategic Plan. The Five-Year Strategic Plan serves as a guide for the Authority members and NVTA staff to expand upon accomplishments and outline strategic goals of regional prosperity, mobility, innovation and funding. Achievement of these goals will ensure the Authority continues to grow and strengthen as the regional leader for transportation planning, programming and funding.

This is the third-year update to the Authority’s first Five-Year Strategic Plan.
Five-Year Strategic Plan Progress Report Highlights
 
Goal I: Regional Prosperity
  • NVTA staff launched the NoVA Gateway dashboard, visually communicating the impact and status of the Authority’s investments, in real-time. The next stage of the development process is underway.
  • NVTA staff led the way in conducting research on the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on transportation.
  • The Authority authorized a contract to Chmura Economics and Analytics to update the NVTA Economic Impact Analysis.
Goal II: Mobility
  • The FY2020-25 Six Year Program (SYP) was adopted by the Authority in July 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, NVTA staff members were able to complete the process safely, and on time.
  • Ahead of the first Authority business meeting of the year, in January 2020 the Authority held a TransAction Listening Session and Open House for the public, formally launching the TA Update.
  • Five project milestones were celebrated in 2020, demonstrating taxpayer dollars hard at work.
Goal III: Innovation
  • NVTA staff and the Commonwealth of Virginia continue to work together on the Regional Multi-Modal Mobility Program (RM3P) development.
  • Hosted 5th Annual Transportation Roundtable on transportation technology in early spring 2020, which gathered thought-leaders weighing in on emerging trends, and offered an interactive experience.
  • The Executive Director’s Transportation Technology Committee (TTC) helped NVTA staff develop a draft Transportation Technology Strategic Plan
  • The NVTA Communication Plan and mission statement were updated for the first time in five years.
Goal IV: Funding
  • Continued to receive unmodified (clean) audit opinions.
  • Despite a projected $240M revenue reduction due to COVID-19 for FY2020-23, through proactive fiscal planning and investments, the Authority was able to preserve all prior project funding programs and commitments.
  • Revised the Authority’s Financial Policies for:
    1. Changes to the investment ratings permitted by the General Assembly in 2020. Adopted policy changes to ensure the equitable and transparent Local Distribution Fund (30%) distribution to member localities.
    2. Implemented use of Regional Revenue Funds for the Operating budget, saving localities $2.9 million in FY2020.
  • The Authority co-hosted a NoVA Joint Transportation Meeting (as established by General Assembly legislation) with the Commonwealth Transportation Board, Virginia Department of Transportation, Department of Rail & Public Transportation, Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, and Virginia Railway Express, for the public to learn about regional collaboration and investments in the region.
  • Issued the 2020 NVTA Annual Report and FY2020-25 SYP adopted projects map summarizing NVTA activities, initiatives and funding.

Additionally, Tracy Baynard, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC, provided an update on the 2021 General Assembly Session, including an update on the budget and the status of various bills. 

Some of the budget items include:

  • House and Senate dedicating money to the Transit Ridership Incentive Fund: Permits Commonwealth Transportation Board to use more money from the Transit Ridership Incentive Fund to provide free or low priced transit fares during the pandemic to encourage more use especially in urbanized areas.
  • Senate provided additional money ($40M) towards the Statewide Multi-Use Trail Initiative: Initially funding five projects, including: 
    • $17.5M for safety enhancements to W&OD Trail at Wiehle Avenue and improving intermodal connectivity of Cross Country Trail at Difficult Run;
    • Work with Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Shannon Valentine, on identifying new multi-use trails opportunities.
  • Senate using federal funds to fill a funding gap in Virginia’s share for Metro Capital Fund.
  • Senate to provide $10M to fund the Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund to support the smart infrastructure test bed partnership pilot between Falls Church and Virginia Tech.

 
Wrapping up the evening, Monica Backmon reminded the Authority of the upcoming March 10th Northern Virginia Transportation Roundtable, hosted by NVTA and in partnership with ITS-VA. This year's event will be conducted virtually for the first time.
Additionally, Authority Chair Phyllis J. Randall informed the Authority of the ribbon-cutting ceremony on completed Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) projects in the City of Alexandria. Leaders from the NVTA, City of Alexandria, and DASH Bus, were a part of the celebration, including Chair Randall and Alexandria Mayor, and Authority member, Justin Wilson. A video of the project milestone will be shared in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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

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

UPCOMING MEETINGS and EVENTS
 
Authority Meeting *
March 11, 2021, 7:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel
***
Technical Advisory Committee
February 17, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Finance Committee Meeting
February 18, 2021, 1:00 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
March 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

6th Annual Northern Virginia Transportation Roundtable
(Hosted by NVTA in partnership with ITS-VA)
March 10, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. | Event Details

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

Transportation Technology Committee
March 24, 2021, 2021, 8:30 a.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel
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