Welcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.
1. National Housing Groups Discuss Supply, Affordability Issues
NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith, CEO Bob Goldberg, Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn, and other staff were among those representing NAR at the most recent meeting of “The Group,” a collection of industry experts including the Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Homebuilders, and the American Bankers Association.
2. Nine miles of new 66 Express Lanes to open around Sept. 10
A nine-mile section of the 66 Express Lanes outside the Beltway will open to traffic as early as Sept. 10, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced Friday, giving drivers traveling through the busy commuter route the option to test the new tolling system that is expected to fully open before the end of the year.
3. City of Alexandria Seeks Community Input on King Street Pedestrian-Only Zone
The City of Alexandria is asking the community for feedback on the King Street Place Pilot, which temporarily converted the unit block of King Street (between Union Street and the Strand) and the northern portion of the Strand (approximately between Wales Alley and King Street) to a pedestrian-only zone from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.
4. Northern Virginia leaders move closer to bringing a satellite HBCU campus to the area
The Northern Virginia region is taking steps toward establishing a satellite campus in the area for Virginia's two public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Since last summer, leaders with Virginia State University and Norfolk State University have discussed the idea of a physical campus in the region. Last month, discussions on locations progressed. President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Victor Hoskins said the two schools presented their basic requirements for the campus during a Northern Virginia economic alliance meeting.
5. VRE makes all rides free for September to help Metro riders during Yellow Line closure
Starting Thursday and for the rest of the month of September, all rides on Virginia Railway Express (VRE) will be free, and some riders will also be able to ride free next month. A VRE spokesperson says the commuter rail service is making rides free in order to help out Metro commuters who will be affected when Metro closes its Yellow Line Potomac River bridge for 7-8 months for repair work starting September 10.