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For Immediate Release: View this Press Release as a PDF file

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Coleman: Aerial Option is ‘Irresponsible’

Tysons Corner, Va. (Nov. 13, 2008) —Nearly 250 Northern Virginia elected officials, community leaders and residents packed a ballroom at the Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner last night to rally support for building a tunnel for the Tysons portion of the Dulles Corridor Rail Project.

The event—The People’s Voice: Support the Tunnel—was highlighted by speeches from state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax); Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville); former U.S. Transportation Secretary William T. Coleman Jr.; former Transportation Undersecretary and former publisher of Mass Transit magazine Charles Carroll Carter; Del. Dave Marsden (D-41st District); Vienna Mayor Jane Seeman; and TysonsTunnel, Inc. President Scott A. Monett. Additionally, representatives from a number of local homeowners associations, business,environmental and civic organizations offered comments supporting a tunnel.

In their remarks, current and former political officials and community leaders expressed unity on the need to build Metro to Dulles International Airport and on changing the construction approach in Tysons Corner. Here are some of their remarks:

State Sen. Chap Peterson: [To do this project correctly] we need a little bit of “hope, vision and accountability.” He added that it was a “misconception” that the $900 million in federal money was contingent on whether the Metro goes above or below ground. “That’s simply not true.”

Scott Monett, TysonsTunnel President: “No greater monument to the failure of our political process could be imagined than the concrete monster being proposed through the middle of our shared city. Something went terribly wrong in the Old Dominion and in Washington, D.C. to allow this to happen without objection from anyone in government. I urge the new Obama Administration to support us and to ensure that Tysons Corner is developed as a model of transit-oriented development done the right way so that we can all be proud of this multi-billion dollar investment instead of embarrassed.”

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Coleman: “Metro should be extended to Dulles and beyond. It is highly irresponsible to do anything that is not underground.” He urged Northern Virginians to contact Sen.-elect Mark Warner (D), Gov. Tim Kaine (D) and other representatives to urge them to take another look at the underground option.

Matt Wallace, Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce President: “Building rail to Dulles with an aerial route through Tysons is the wrong way to go, and, in fact, could be one of the biggest transportation blunders ever made in this region.”

Rob Jackson, McLean Citizens Association President: “Constructing an elevated line will cause greater disruption to traffic, to Tysons Corner businesses and residents as well as to neighboring communities than would building a tunnel. An elevated line will divide Tysons Corner, making it less pedestrian-friendly and more aesthetically unattractive.”

Jack Mitchell, Westbriar Civic Association President: “It is unconceivable that Ballston and Rosslyn are underground and that the plan for Tysons is not underground.”

The People’s Voice: Support the Tunnel event was cosponsored by the Ashgrove Plantation Homeowners Association, Great Falls Citizens Association, Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce, Greater Tysons Green Civic Association, Lewinsville Coalition, Mantua Citizens Association, McLean Citizens Association, McLean Estates Homeowners Association, National Heritage Foundation, North East Vienna Citizens Association, North Rosslyn Civic Association, Sierra Club, Town of Vienna, Tysons Manor Homeowners Association, TysonsTunnel, Inc. and the Westbriar Civic Association.

Tysons Tunnel represents an unprecedented coalition of community associations, small businesses, environmental groups, landowners, civic groups, homeowner associations, major corporations and private citizens calling for construction of a tunnel under Tysons Corner as part of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

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For media inquiries:
Alan Greilsamer / Communications Resources, LLC
Phone: (703)760-7007 Office / (703) 201-2508 Mobile
E-mail: agreilsamer@communications-resources.com

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