On May 13, 2019 I was the only candidate for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to join Delegate Dave LaRock and Supervisors Ron Meyer and Geary Higgins to speak before the Commonwealth Transportation Board on smart scale funding for Loudoun County. My comments are below:
“Good evening and thank you Madam Secretary Valentine and members of the CTB Board,
My name is Caleb Kershner. I am a practicing attorney in Northern Virginia. I have lived in Loudoun County for almost 25 years. Each week I travel all over Northern Virginia from Court House to Court house as part of my job.
I am presently a candidate for the Catoctin District of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors—a district that comprises almost all Northern Loudoun and encircles Leesburg. Formerly I was an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Loudoun County Virginia.
I’ll never forget the first fatality I attended as a young prosecutor on Rt 15 just outside of Leesburg. A young driver had struck a mother coming home from choir practice. The mother was killed instantly. While standing there discussing the accident with the state police, the mother’s phone began to ring.
That ringing sound of a family member calling her has never left my mind. Since that day over 10 years ago, I have wondered when narrow, fast-paced Rt. 15 and other transportation projects in Loudoun will receive the necessary attention and funding they so desperately need.
Now as candidate for the Loudoun Board of Supervisors, I hear another constant ringing in Catoctin—“when will our roads be improved.” I hear dismal reports of 1.5 hour commutes on Route 15 from Leesburg to Point of Rocks. It is beyond a problem for many of these families, it is a crisis.
I want to publicly state my support for Delegate Dave LaRock, Supervisor Ron Myer’s remarks, Supervisor Geary Higgins remarks and the recommendations endorsed by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. I too am disappointed and a bit dismayed that of the 10 projects submitted by Loudoun County for Smart Scale funding on July 3, 2018, totaling over $345 million in applications, Loudoun County was recommended for only $1.3 million—less than half of 1 percent requested.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out something is awry with this response to the Loudoun County transportation crisis. I want to reemphasis a few of the County recommendations on the Smart Scale evaluation process to improve before round 4 starts:
1. Projects should be scored and ranked against other projects in their own respective district and be used to distribute the district allocation of funds;
2. Greater emphasis should be made to the congestion mitigation factor in the evaluation process. Otherwise, projects in the outer jurisdiction like Rt 15 are penalized because of current land use.
3. A project should not be eliminated simply because of readiness guidelines. If a County is committed to fund a project at a certain level based on preliminary studies, they should be eligible to receive Smart Scale funding.
I am not an elected official yet, but I am a 25-year resident of Loudoun County and personally drive over 30,000 miles per year on our Northern Virginia roads. The projects of Rt. 15 from Montresor Road to the Maryland State line and Rt 7 widening from Route 9 to Dulles Greenway are desperately needed and require funding to keep families safe and our roads moving.
Thank you for your time and consideration.”
You can watch a recording of my comments by clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X8XsZSc9u0&t=9s