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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Pentagon Dollars Aimed at Easing Northern Virginia Traffic


By Charles S. Clark

Northern Virginia commuters have been bracing themselves for gridlock on I-395 this September when rubber meets the road on executing the highly anticipated BRAC personnel moves -- some 6,400 Defense employees from Arlington County will set up shop in the area around Ft. Belvoir in Fairfax.

On Wednesday, a longtime critic of the Base Realignment and Closing Commission, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., celebrated delivery of a letter to House appropriators from Army transportation planners. It announced that $20 million was being freed up to help build new access ramps and other improvements around the soon-to-open Mark Center at I-395 and Seminary Road. The funding, the officials said, comes from prior-year savings and does not affect construction schedules.

"We welcome this funding, but it's just a start given the major challenges we face," said Moran in a statement.

Moran and local transportation policy critics have long complained about the low priority given to local traffic impact of the 2005 BRAC report signed off on by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In his new memoir, Rumsfeld mentions BRAC only in a footnote, calling it a cost-saver.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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