Bill would block BRAC traffic at the parking lot

Wednesday - 5/26/2010, 7:14am EDT

By Amy Morris
Executive Editor & Anchor
Federal News Radio

Maybe if you don't build it, they won't come.

That's the logic behind new language in the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, designed to stop gridlock before it starts.

Virginia Congressman Jim Moran wants to cap the number of parking spaces at the Washington Headquarters Service Facility in Alexandria at a thousand spaces.

Moran cites a VDOT projection that there will be - in the agency's words - "complete gridlock" in the area of the Mark Center, even with the current transportation management plan.

The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure plan requires 6,400 defense personnel currently working in Metro-accessible leased office space in Northern Virginia move to the new Mark Center facility by September 2011. The bill would cap parking at 1,000 spaces.

According to a press release, "The Pentagon dropped the ball on transportation planning for the base realignment at the Mark Center. A building of this size with no access to Metro should never have been considered at this location," said Moran. "Now we're pulling out all the stops to mitigate the consequences of the Defense Department's mistakes."

The Moran language would limit the number of cars coming to the Center by restricting the number of parking spaces.

The language says the parking cap would be lifted after DoD comes up with a detailed traffic management plan.

The Defense Authorization bill is scheduled for consideration on the House floor this week.