week’s dust up over Tim Kaine’s suggestion to
alter the balance between transit and road funding
kept the spotlight on transportation. Initially,
the suggestion sparked overheated claims that it
would move hundreds of millions of dollars from
the road building to the transit category. The
flap abated somewhat but the valid point was made
that boosting transit spending could come only at
the expense of some other category or some other
down the road a piece, Del. Mark Cole,
R-Fredericksburg, held a campaign kick-off this
weekend: "In a short interview
yesterday, he said his top priority if re-elected
will be transportation," reported the Free
Lance-Star. Specifically, he wants to rewrite
the state’s transportation funding formulas,
which he argues hurt Fredericksburg and Northern
Virginia by siphoning transportation dollars to
sparsely populated rural areas.
we wait for that to spark a similar frenzy of blog blather and
media conference calls exploiting the regional
divisions that fuel Virginia politics, let’s
wander a bit on the Web to see what other
candidates for the House of Delegates are saying.
Those elections after all are just as important to
the outcome of the transportation debate. One of
our goals at Virginians
for Better Transportation is to raise the
level of debate at the House level. We cannot
promise to solve his district’s problem at some
other district’s expense is of course a fairly
common approach, popular with both parties.
the Web page of Democrat Greg Werkheiser,
candidate for the 42nd House district in Fairfax
of these proposals require revenues. For every
dollar you pay in state taxes, only 30 cents stays
in Fairfax County. We pay plenty in taxes,
what we need is someone who will stand up for us
and bring more of that money home.”
actually jumps incumbent Dave Albo for having the
audacity to claim Northern Virginia gets a fair
share. With the Springfield Interchange and Wilson
Bridge projects in full swing, Albo’s statement
is quite true, but it’s dangerous to combat
conventional wisdom with facts.
Transportation Funding than Any Other Area”, the
headline says, with the subhead “Building
Delegate Dave Albo was first elected in 1993, he
has been part of a team that has delivered more
transportation funding to his district than any
other area in Virginia."
list of projects delivered since Albo was first
elected starts with the Springfield Interchange.
Albo continues: “Unlike most politicians who
make promises but don't provide solutions, I have
a bill to fund these projects. My legislation
charges dangerous, drunk, reckless, and
chronically bad drivers a surcharge. The surcharge
would be dedicated to transportation projects. It
has been shown that my bill would deliver $135 -
$188 Million per year to transportation
estimates are about five percent of that would be
paid by Werkheiser himself, based on what we now
know about his admitted lead foot.
Northern Virginia Needs Its Fair Share argument
continues over on Republican Jim Hyland’s
FUNDING Secure a better and fair share of primary
and secondary road funds from the State of
Virginia. Northern Virginia has spent too much
money subsidizing the rest of the state’s roads.
We need to use future surpluses to dedicate new
transportation projects in Northern Virginia. It
is shocking that Virginia is planning to spend $20
million to upgrade rest stops; this money should
be put to work in Northern Virginia right now!
only do we get too much road money downstate, we
have unrealistic expectations for adequate working
bathrooms. We’ve got trees, right?
this from Republican Michael Golden:
in Northern Virginia endure some of the worst
traffic in the entire nation, yet we get back only
a small fraction of the state transportation
funding our region is due. That is patently
unfair, and the results are chronically congested
roads and insufficient mass transit capacity.
goes on to claim that procurement reform could
save the Virginia Department of Transportation
half a billion dollars annually
on VDOT is another common theme.
comes from Supriya Christopher, Virginia Beach
need to reform the Virginia Department of
Transportation, providing them with the most
innovative technology and forcing them to meet
deadlines or face consequences. No longer will it
be acceptable to be months behind schedule just a
few weeks into projects. We need to finish
projects that have been under construction for
years, promote "Smart Growth" plans for
our cities and create private-public partnerships
that can produce the results we need.
from a Falls Church Republican:
Meunier supports a regional approach to solving
the existing transportation crisis because it
empowers Virginians to find solutions that work
best for them. He believes that there needs to be
increased spending from existing state revenue and
that VDOT needs a complete overhaul from top to
bottom. We can no longer accept the premise that
the people who got us into this mess are capable
of leading us to a solution.
opponent, Republican Sal Iaquinto, doesn’t claim
it's all about VDOT. He says:
have a duty to deal with Hampton Roads’
situation now before it reaches crisis
proportions. Where new revenues are necessary to
address transportation needs, I believe that we
should first look to raising those revenues
through user fees such as tolls on new
providing the public adequate roads and highways
is a legitimate and necessary function of
government, and our legislators have an obligation
to make finding a solution to traffic congestion
one of their highest priorities.
Prince William County Democrat Earnie Porta gets
detailed on HOT lanes:
toll (HOT) lanes will likely play a role in any
comprehensive solution, their location should be
carefully considered. I strongly oppose converting
the HOV lanes on the I-95/I-395 corridor to HOT
lanes. Due to violators, bottlenecks, and
other factors these lanes are already becoming too
crowded during certain times of the day. HOT
technology will not reduce this congestion without
also adversely affecting legitimate users of HOV.
The grass-roots "slug" system is
one of northern Virginia's few transportation
but true, Earnie.
Democrat David Bulova provides less detail:
our transportation infrastructure by promoting
both public and private investment and encouraging
so many of the websites I looked at said nothing
about transportation at all, at least outside of
the high congestion areas.
Gregerson in Alexandria had this (broken
link, editor) on bio-diesel, and there was one House
candidate I will not name who had an issues page
that read: “Under Construction. Check Back
surprising to me, one of the most detailed
discussions on the issue could be found on Delegate
Vivian Watt’s page. Watts was the secretary
of transportation when Gerald Baliles pushed his
package through in 1986. Her five reasons why
transportation solutions are elusive are dead on,
most critical issue is for Virginia lawmakers to
act responsibly. It’s time to set aside
political fears and excuses, reject window
dressing, and do our job.
September 19, 2005