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Commuter Town Hall Prompts Discussion and Slug Line Rearrangement

A commuter town hall meeting co-sponsored by supervisors Frank Principi and Mike May was held Wednesday night.

, the impending loss of 725 commuter parking spaces at Potomac Mills Mall has commuters worried.

Residents and commuters had the opportunity to voice their concerns at a commuter town hall meeting Wednesday night.

The meeting reinforced the message that there are ten commuter lots in the Interstate 95 corridor that can accommodate the extra commuters. Lots that have been identified as areas with significant capacity for commuters are:

1.     Route 123 and I-95

2.     Dale Boulevard & Gemini Way

3.     Minnieville Road & Harbor Drive (no bus service)

4.     Dale Boulevard & Hillendale Drive

5.     Dale Boulevard & Quate Lane

Lots that have some capacity to accommodate displaced commuters include:

1.     Exeter Drive near Route 234

2.     Dale Boulevard Kmart near Gideon Drive

3.     Cherrydale Road & Dale Boulevard (Good Sheppard church)

4.     Route 234 near Stockbridge Drive (Montclair area)

5.     Rippon VRE Station at Rippon Boulevard & Farm Creek Drive (no bus service)

In January, Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank J. Principi made the announcement on his website that the mall was going to drastically reduce the number of parking spaces in order to accommodate for more retail space.

“One of our objectives tonight is to share with you all why PWC, PRTC, and VDOT is doing to address the shortage of some 775 commuter parking spots at Potomac Mills Mall. Object two is to hear from you,” said Principi.

“We understand that what happens at the Potomac Mills Mall has a cascading effect throughout the community,” said May.

Tonight is not the end of the road, it’s really the beginning said Principi.

Tom Blaser, Director of Prince William Transportation Department, identified the Telegraph Road ­parking lot– also known as the old PRTC bus stop – for 500-600 additional spaces with $3.4 million in funds. Blaser said he is “cautiously optimistic” that it could be completed in 2012.

One resident spoke of boycotting the mall on Feb. 14 as a means to show dissatisfaction for the mall. This was an open forum for residents to voice their concerns about the upcoming change, propose solutions and ask questions of those in charge.

Potomac Mills representatives were invited to attend the event, according to Principi, but declined to attend.

The consensus on the panel of guest speakers was that they recognize this shift in commuting lines will have some growing pains but that all involved parties are trying to figure out the best solutions.

Editor's Note: Check back with Woodbridge Patch Thursday for a video of residents speaking at the meeting.

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