tax reform/budget nightmare is over for two
years. It is time to get up and get to work.
For now, there will be more money for the
functions of government in the Commonwealth.
There are, however, no Fundamental Changes to
make education, safety and security, health care
and other responsibilities of government more
efficient or effective.
In mobility and access (aka, transportation),
there is some good news! Without new money for
more transport facilities, citizens have the
leverage to implement the changes in human
settlement pattern necessary to secure mobility
and access. For years, it has been obvious that
without Fundamental Change in human settlement
patterns, building more facilities just makes transport more dysfunctional.
Next?" Nov., 25, 2002; "Wrong
Solution, Wrong Problem," Dec. 9, 2002;
Little, Too Late," "Smoke
and Shadows," Jan. 13, 2003; "Access
and Mobility," June, 30, 2003; "Five
Critical Realities," Dec. 15, 2003;
Jan. 19, 2004; "The
Shape of Richmond's Future," Feb. 16,
Thinking," March 1, 2004; "Tax
Deform," March 15, 2004; and my
backgrounder, "Anatomy of a
Now is the time to step forward to insure that the right development is carried out in the right places:
The first two strategies are straightforward. They can be achieved by carrying out real regional planning and avoiding the traditional practice of municipal planning.
(See "The Shape of
Richmond's Future", Feb. 16, 2004 and
my backgrounder "The
Role of Municipal Planning In Creating Dysfunctional Human Settlement
The third strategy requires new thinking: For years, the sages have opined the
"problem" is that municipalities and the private sector are responsible for land use
while the Commonwealth is responsible for mobility.
Ideas for "innovative" solutions (aka
toll roads and special tax districts) have
come mainly from private sector engineers,
contractors and landowners who benefit from the
construction of new transportation facilities.
In the future, such proposal must be accompanied
by land use changes that will ensure that the entire
Region's mobility system -- and not just the facility
the petitioners want to have built -- will become more balanced. By
"more balanced," we mean the creation of Balanced Communities which reduce total travel demand, especially intraregional peak
hour direction and congestion.
(See "Rail to Dulles
Realities," Jan. 4, 2004.)
The Commonwealth is faced with two varieties of mobility dysfunction:
The intraregional congestion must be addressed by regional strategies to create Balanced Communities for the reasons Jim Bacon spelled out in his column in the last edition of
Bacons Rebellion. (See "The
Vision Thing," April 30, 2004.)
Interregional congestion is the result of interstate subsidies that make it cheaper to ship commodities long distances via truck. The answer here is to make it more attractive to use rail for long-haul freight and medium-haul passengers.
Neither intraregional nor interregional mobility problems can be solved by just throwing money and asphalt at
May 10, 2004