The FY 2023 - FY 2032 Transportation Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) continues Arlington County's commitment to developing, maintaining, and managing a multimodal transportation system that expands travel choices, provides equal access for all users, and supports the commitment to sustainability goals. During the next 10 years, Arlington plans to invest $1.4 billion in a range of capital improvements to enhance the safety, quality of life, and economic well-being of its residents, workers, and visitors. The plan balances maintenance of existing infrastructure with investment in projects that have long-term positive community impact. The program includes a broad range of complete street projects that improve connectivity, safety, and accessibility for all modes; Metrorail station projects that expand access to transit and safety for users; investments in the ART bus fleet and maintenance facilities; expansion of transit service in key travel corridors such as Columbia Pike; continued maintenance and reconstruction of County bridges and roadways; improvements to streetlights and signals; and enhancements to parking technology. The CIP program reflects the goals and objectives set forth in Arlington's Master Transportation Plan and other County planning efforts.
By expanding access to multimodal forms of transportation through the Complete Streets and Transit programs, the Transportation CIP continues to further the goals of the County's Community Energy Plan. These programs improve access to walking, biking, micro-mobility devices, and transit and, thereby reduce demand for single-occupant vehicles (SOV). Consequently, they collectively represent significant investments in the environment. The FY 2023 CIP includes new multi-use trails, sidewalk improvements and new sidewalks, expansion to Capital Bikeshare, transitway extensions, and new entrances to metro stations, amongst other improvements. It continues a tradition of sustainable development which has yielded significant sustainability benefits over the past 20+ years. From 1996 to 2019 (pre-pandemic), daily vehicle traffic declined between 10% to 44% in our major corridors. Annual vehicle miles traveled per Arlington County resident has fallen from about 7,700 in 2010 to about 6,650 in 2018. More Arlington households are going car-free and Arlington residents drive alone less and use non-SOV modes more, making three times as many bike and walk trips than the typical household in the region. Transit has been central to Arlington's success as evidenced by the fact that over one-third of Virginia's total annual transit ridership is from Arlington-related trips.
In addition to investing in multimodal and sustainable forms of transportation, the CIP also includes direct investments in energy efficient technologies. The new ART Operations and Maintenance facility is being designed to adapt for future electrification of the bus fleet and includes solar panels. The Zero Emissions Bus (ZEB) study, to be completed in December 2022, will guide the facility's final design and future bus purchases. The Streetlight program continues LED conversion of Dominion Energy streetlights and plans upgrades of county-owned streetlights to next generation LEDs to further increase energy savings.
Funding for the Transportation CIP program comes from a mix of federal, state, regional, and local sources. Two primary sources of local revenues for this program are the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Tax (a component of the Transportation Capital Fund (TCF or Transportation Capital)) and Crystal City, Potomac Yard, and Pentagon City Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The C&I tax is funded by an additional real estate tax on commercial and industrial properties for transportation initiatives; the rate is currently set at $0.125 per $100 of assessed value. Eligible uses of these dedicated transportation funds are outlined in the state code, enacted through House Bill 3202 by the 2007 Virginia General Assembly (and as amended by the 2018 Virginia General Assembly), and through the adoption of the tax by the County Board in 2008. The TIF uses a portion of incremental property tax revenue generated by new development and property appreciation in Crystal City, Potomac Yard, and Pentagon City to fund infrastructure improvements in those areas. The TIF was initiated by the County Board in October 2010 at an increment of 33 percent of the increase in assessed values relative to the baseline assessed value as of January 1, 2011; the increment used in the CIP is 25 percent, consistent with the County Board action as part of the FY 2019 Adopted Budget.
Arlington's Transportation CIP program also benefits from transportation funding enacted by the 2013 Virginia General Assembly (House Bill 2313). This legislation raises transportation revenues for Northern Virginia localities through a state-imposed regional sales tax. Revenues are collected by the state and distributed to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA). Of these revenues, 70 percent (NVTA Regional) are retained by the NVTA to fund regional transportation projects through a competitive selection process. The remaining 30 percent (NVTA Local) is returned to the member localities, based on the amount of revenue generated by the sales tax within the locality. NVTA Local funds, a component of the Transportation Capital Fund (TCF or Transportation Capital), may be used for locally selected transportation projects that comply with eligible uses outlined in the state code.
The availability of local sources of funds, including pay-as-you-go (PAYG) and general obligation (GO) bonds continues to be constrained. As a result, the use of these funds in this CIP is primarily focused on maintaining the County's transportation infrastructure in a State of Good Repair (SGR), which is not an eligible use of the sources listed above. Such SGR efforts include paving roadways, repairing and replacing bridges, and repairing and replacing traffic signals and streetlights. We seek to ensure that our existing transportation assets are maintained in good working condition and continue the ongoing sustainability of our transportation programs. Some of these funds are also used to test or pilot operational improvements in the right of way to improve safety and accessibility in pursuit of the County's Vision Zero goal. Once a safety strategy is selected to address a safety deficiency, the improvements can be funded with TCF or TIF and are incorporated throughout the complete streets programs in the CIP.
This CIP continues investments from the previous CIPs to create a Premium Transit Network (PrTN) that will offer faster, more reliable and easier-to-use bus service connecting Columbia Pike, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Potomac Yard, which are major areas of growth and economic development in the County. Projects supporting this effort include street improvements such as dedicated bus lanes and transit signal priority, new transit stations, real-time bus arrival information, bus purchases, and development of bus maintenance/parking facilities.
The CIP also anticipates a variety of external funding sources over the 10-year period. These include several state sources - transit capital and maintenance funding from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT); and Smart Scale, state funding that is highly competitive and available for roadway and transit projects. Both of those sources are programmed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). Additionally, the CIP anticipates seeking funding from both the I-66 Commuter Choice and I-395 Commuter Choice programs. Both of these programs allocate revenues resulting from the tolled facilities and are managed by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) with oversight by the CTB. The CIP also includes federal funding anticipated from various programs in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). These include long-standing programs administered by the Commonwealth - the Highway Safety Improvement Program and Transportation Alternatives Program - to myriad large, nationally competitive programs, including Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE), Safe Streets and Roads for All, Reconnecting Communities, and FTA Low or No Emission Vehicle Programs.
Full Program Summary