Meetings Summary – Public Review of Alternatives MeetingsMarch 1, 2016
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) held a third round of public information meetings for the Washington, D.C. to Richmond Southeast High Speed Rail (DC2RVA) project. DRPT presented the most feasible improvement alternatives to the public. This round of outreach included three in-person public meetings and one self-guided online meeting. In total, 211 people attended the in-person meetings and 1,654 people participated in the online meetings, providing a total of 410 comments.
During the meetings, attendees had an opportunity to provide input on:
- Results of the initial alternatives screening process
- Preliminary alternatives for further design and detailed evaluation as part of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- Richmond area station and track options
The majority of the comments we received focused on Richmond area station options. There was strong public support for continuing to utilize Main Street Station. We also heard from several people concerned with keeping Staples Mill Road Station operational. Many also noted the potential economic benefits of a Boulevard Station.
The second most popular topic the public commented on was the proposed improvements alternatives for Ashland. Many people supported the bypass alternative and cited potential impacts to historic resources, businesses, and pedestrian activity as the main deterrents of the through-town alternative.
Consideration of public input is a vital part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. DRPT is appreciative of everyone who took the time to attend the meetings, whether in person or online, and provided comments to help inform the development of the Draft EIS. We anticipate having the Draft EIS completed in late 2016, at which time the public will have the opportunity to review our detailed analysis of the most feasible improvement alternatives and provide comments which will lead to the selection of a Preferred Alternative.
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