WASHINGTON — When she’s sworn into office representing Virginia’s 13th District of Prince William County and Manassas Park, Danica Roem will be the first openly transgender member of the House of Delegates.
Roem says she’s already begun work aimed at fulfilling her campaign pledge to reduce traffic congestion on Route 28, reaching out to delegates representing Fairfax County.
“We have to look at Route 28 and improving it more comprehensively. We have to look at this as a region, not just hide behind our district lines,” Roem said, in a Friday conference call with reporters.
Roem wants to replace traffic lights with interchanges through Centreville and build flyovers and southbound turn lanes at Orchard Bridge Drive and Yorkshire Lane.
While the delegate-elect insists she will focus on infrastructure improvements, she says she’ll make her voice heard on other issues, as well.
“Any bill that discriminates against our constituents, I will fight tooth and nail and we will kill it,” Roem said.
In a period of deep political divisions throughout the country, Roem believes that elected leaders should be focused on problem-solving. And the problems that need solving, she says, are improvements to infrastructure.
The traffic jams, she believes, are bipartisan.
“There isn’t a conservative or progressive, Democratic or Republican way to build a bridge. When you’re focusing on infrastructure, that’s stuff that affects everyone,” Roem said, “My constituents are having a miserable commute every single day,” she said.
Roem said interchange projects must be prioritized and because plans are already in the works for an interchange at Interstate 66 and Route 28, her next focus will be to secure $44.7 million in funding for an interchange at nearby New Braddock Road.
“That’s so important to our residents in the 13th District because when they’re coming home from their jobs near Dulles, Chantilly, near the Route 28 corridor, or they’re coming back from 66 and they come up 28 south, they get stuck at the New Braddock light all the time,” Roem said.
Roem said she wants more “flow and go” on Route 28.
There are several proposals in Prince William County for reducing gridlock on Route 28, including road widening, but Roem said she will not back any plan that involves destroying homes or businesses through eminent domain.