For the Record: Kaine’s Latest Transportation Enactments

Ya leave town a couple of days to visit to the in-laws, and what happens? The Governor sneaks in a couple of announcements regarding transportation and land use policy! Good thing I eyeballed the Governor’s latest press releases, or this news might have slipped by me completely.

Actually, it’s pretty boring if you’re not a transportation junky, but here it is for the record.

First, on Dec. 8, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine appointed 20 members to the newly created Transportation Accountability Commission — the existence of which I was previously unaware. Established by Executive Order, the commission will “ensure that the state’s transportation agencies deliver maximum value for taxpayers, implement rigorous management standards, and promote wise investments.”

Said Kaine:

We remain committed to a comprehensive strategy for transportation that includes a continued focus on reform and increased accountability for our transportation agencies. This [is] part of an overall emphasis that includes improving the coordination between land use and transportation planning, and providing additional needed resources required to build, operate, and maintain a modern transportation network.

Norfolk Southern executive James A. Squires will head the commission.

Second, on Dec. 29, Gov. Kaine announced publication of a final traffic impact analysis regulation designed to improve the coordination of transportation and land use policies. States the press release:

The regulation establishes statewide standards to ensure that a traffic impact analysis is performed when land use decisions with potentially significant impacts on the state-controlled transportation network are being considered by local governments. It also formalizes the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) role in working with localities to analyze regional traffic impacts as local officials consider land use proposals. …

An extensive program of outreach and training for state, local and industry stakeholders will begin next spring, and VDOT will implement the regulation on a phased basis beginning next July. Full implementation of the regulation will occur over the course of the next two years.

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27 responses to “For the Record: Kaine’s Latest Transportation Enactments”

  1. Jim Wamsley Avatar
    Jim Wamsley

    This comment is also for the transportation junky. The final traffic impact analysis regulation requires transportation demand projections based on a geometric demand model. Most projection models are sinusoidal and the trick is to determine the maximum boundary and when the point of inflection will occur. Assuming a geometric model will overstate future demand for transportation whenever you are in the fast growth area of the model and understate it when you are in the later demand area. For transportation land use modeling this means that you will be overstating future transportation demand if the region is less then half developed and understating it if the region is near build out.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Jim and Others:

    I think the citizen committee headed by an NS executive to
    insure the public that our transportation system is being
    managed well by VDOT is a good thing for Virginia.

    GOP critics and hawks about our transportation issues are
    quick to blame VDOT’s management of our system as the root
    cause of all of our problems.

    Those critics include the House of Delegates GOP Caucus
    leadership, some local officials and the majority of the
    writers for this blog.

    If we can raise the public’s comfort with VDOT’s performance,
    then it will make it easier for the Governor and the General
    Assembly to focus more of their attention on funding and land-
    use issues we need to address, as well as the need to create
    alternative transportation modes (additional capacity for METRO,
    VRE; additional rail capacity for our ports and possible more
    rail service via a third rail track construction from Richmond
    to Washington, DC).

    As a part of this program, our Virginia needs a state planning
    department to work with local governments to create regional
    land use plans linked with new transportation improvements to
    encourage new growth to be used to rebuild our cities and older
    suburbs, as been done so well in Arlington County and Norfolk.


    Rodger Provo

  3. Jim Wamsley Avatar
    Jim Wamsley

    I am one writer on this blog that does not think of VDOT’s management of our system as the root cause of all of our problems. The root cause is the wrong assignment that the Governor and General Assembly have given VDOT.
    JLARC described the problem in 2001.
    Equity and Efficiency of Highway Construction and Transit Funding, Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission of the Virginia General Assembly, December 20, 2001.$file/rpt272.pdf

    No one has taken any action to correct the problem. The legislature should not move on to land use or other things with out attacking this problem.

    Our biggest issue right now may be the meaning of VDOT reform. To those of us who understand the situation it means redirecting VDOT to do the right thing. To those who think that the Government is incompetent it means replacing VDOT by private enterprise. PPTA and contracting out will not solve the problem described by JLARC. Six years of inaction is enough. You should not let the GA off the hook.

    Jim Wamsley

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Jim Wamsley:

    Jim, I agree with you. The General Assembly needs to be held
    accoutable for our transportation problems, including VDOT’s
    performance which is governed by their budget and legislative
    mandate. I think the Governor’s committee is a good thing for
    it could put us on a path to resolve those matters and then we
    could decide what course of other actions we need to take.

    My comments about writers for this blog were not directed at


    Rodger Provo

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    I’s give the Governor a bit more credit and credibility if he were to propose a traffic study for the proposed Tysons Corner rezoning, similar to what was done for the proposed rezoning in Loudoun County near Dulles. I’ve seen a summary of an informal study that suggests that, even with a 20% capture rate for Metrorail, the rezoning of Tysons Corner at only a FAR of 3.0 would produce twice as many new car trips each day as would the Loudoun County proposal, which was shot down by the BoS, probably because of the traffic study.

    IMO, we won’t see a similar study for Tysons. Why? The Loudoun County BoS has a GOP majority, which Kaine would like to eliminate. Whereas, the Fairfax County BoS has a Democratic majority, which Kaine would like to maintain or extend. Kaine is playing politics with transportation. He is not interested in reform.

    Similarly, release of a traffic study for Tysons Corner would surely demonstrate that, even with the extension of Metrorail, the proposed rezoning would result in huge increases in traffic volumes, such that (IMO) the Fairfax County BoS would refuse to grant the requested increases in density. Such a result would act to the financial deteriment of some of the Governor’s biggest campaign contributors.

    I would not, however, disagree that the General Assembly has also created dysfunction in transportation planning and funding with its bills and appropriations. But that is even more reason why we need reforms before we put more tax money into the system.

    Reform is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s a matter of good government.

  6. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    IRT: I think the citizen committee headed by an NS executive to insure the public that our transportation system is being managed well by VDOT is a good thing for Virginia.

    First off – before I can decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing I need to know more about the people the Democrat Governor appointed..

    While I agree that reform should not be a Democrat or Republican issue, the reality is that it is a political issue.

    If the majority of folks appointed to this new transportation oversight board are Democrat supporters – and why wouldn’t they be since the Democrat Governor appointed them, then I wonder about their agenda – and I wonder about their qualification to sit on such a board.

    Much like the plans on the table to create all-appointed regional transportation authorities – this “plan” creates another quasi-government entity designed to create policy recommendations – that is not accountable to the citizens, but may actually be a political creating to help the Democrat Governor with his stated goal of working to have Democrats replace sitting Republican House members – especially guys like Del. Leo Wardrup that refuse to cave into the “plan” to raises taxes with no plan whatsoever as any commitment for how the new tax hike will be spent – and when traffic congestion will be reduced – where.

    Having a plan agreed to – and a commitment as to what is built, when, where, and a max. cost is also a matter of good government – and common sense.

    The price of good roads does not require accepting bad government.

    As to the TIS (Transportation Impact Statement) [my term] being required prior to land use approval by local government – YES! Yes! Yes! That makes a great deal of sense. Better still – have the PDCs conduct the TIS and bill the developers for the cost as part of their application fees when the go before the planning commission for approval. Having the PDCs actually do what they are supposed to do can help keep the cost of TIS down, and thus takes away the developer’s straw man argument that such new requirements will put them out of business, bla, bla, bla . . . using PDC staff allows us to make sure qualified people do the TIS – and we can set a fixed cost – thus enabling developers to better estimate their costs for this new requirement.

  7. Jim Wamsley Avatar
    Jim Wamsley

    The current proposal calls for the developer to submit the TIS (Transportation Impact Statement) and have VDOT review it. If the PDC or MPO did a real plan, you would not need the TIS.

  8. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: “The root cause is the wrong assignment …..

    No one has taken any action to correct the problem. The legislature should not move on to land use or other things with out attacking this problem.”

    JW is right on. JLARC is Virginia’s version of the Feds CBO. Their reports on a variety of issues are superb.

    I would not expect every one of their recommendations to be implemented but the issues they’ve identified are at the roots of some of the problems that we have – and if the GA doesn’t like JLARCs recommendations then fine, but don’t ignore the issue – which is what the GA has done – both sides – Kaine and the HD guys.

    As important in my mind are the recommendations of the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts.

    The reports detail an agency that is NOT operated utilizing standard and accepted business practices with regard to planning, budget and accounting.

    I’m convince that few, if any folks actually read the reports. If they did – they’d be shocked – as I was.

    They ARE making improvements and deserve credit for that but these issues are ones that cripple it’s ability to function which is a separate topic from what it’s MIssion Statement should be or not be.

    This is why just giving them more money without implementing the JLARC/APA recommendations is not going to result in what a lot of people think – i.e. higher taxes = more highway capacity/less congestion.

    Maybe the phrase “VDOT is broke” is a bit too dramatic and pejorative but take a look at just one of the many recommendations and make your own judgement:

    Recommendation #28 (General Assembly and Governor): Transportation may not be able to achieve a
    program based on statewide needs and priorities using the current method for project allocation to districts,
    counties, and cities and towns. The General Assembly may wish to amend the Code of Virginia to change the
    current allocation system so that Transportation can truly base their priorities and criteria on statewide
    needs rather than by district, county, and city.

    Status: No Change Implemented – The General Assembly nor Governor changed allocation procedures
    or provisions. (page 57)

    So when I see folks say that .. “let’s do the money first.. and “work” on reform because we’ve got a crisis”

    I’m wondering… if we really know what is behind the “crisis” to start with – it’s not money – it’s a failure to use objective criteria and budget prioritization…. and apparently… more than a few folks.. don’t care and just want to push on….

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Jim and Others:

    The criticism and harping by some writers for this blog about
    the Governor and VDOT is doing little to help us foster a
    climate to find solutions to our growth and transportation

    The Governor is our Governor. He is going to be a factor in
    what we do.

    VDOT is not going to be abolished. It will be a factor in what
    we do.

    The Senate, despite the dumb proposal by GOP Del. Mark Cole, R-
    Spotsylvania to abolish it, is not going to be abolished. It will
    be a factor in what we do.

    Jim, you and your cadry of critics of our state government would
    better serve Virginia and their respective communities by voicing
    plans that all of the parties involved could support to help us.


    Rodger Provo

  10. Jim Wamsley Avatar
    Jim Wamsley


    I think we may be too cautious in our citing documents and experts. We have been saying that our ideas are not new. They come from Virginia employees. Do what your experts say and you will reach a solution. If the Governor and the General Assembly need more details for the plans we have been voicing they should go back to the experts.

    First a glance at our recommendations then questions for you.

    Our first recommendation comes from the Auditor of Public Accounts. It is written in auditor language. You may better understand this recommendation if you change it into English by substituting “will never get us out of the current hole” for “may not be able to achieve a program based on statewide needs and priorities.” The auditor language is polite. In our posts we say that until the Governor and the General Assembly implement this recommendation, there will be no progress in solving the transportation problems and added money will be wasted.

    Recommendation #28 (General Assembly and Governor): Transportation may not be able to achieve a
    program based on statewide needs and priorities using the current method for project allocation to districts,
    counties, and cities and towns. The General Assembly may wish to amend the Code of Virginia to change the
    current allocation system so that Transportation can truly base their priorities and criteria on statewide
    needs rather than by district, county, and city.

  11. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: TIS (Transportation Impact Statement) …VDOT review PDC or MPO plans

    There is a whale of a difference between what VDOT did in Loudoun and what virtually every TIS does right now in practice.

    VDOT – looked at the impacts to the infrastructure beyond the immediate vicinity of the development.

    Many a time – I’ve seen the BOS be presented with a TIS that shows the impacts on the road in front of the proposed rezone – and mitigation offered for only that area – and often they’re not considering other ongoing traffic generation – just the one project in isolation.

    3 miles down the road where LOS is already F at rush hour – is ignored – not reported as an impact.

    The truth is – that if the LOS within 3 or 5 miles had to be considered that you could not justify the rezone.

    This is what Prince William and now Loudoun County are saying. Pay careful attention to the “moratorium” words. The moratorium is on REZONES – not by-right (of which there is no legal basis).

    In effect, what PW and Loudoun are saying is that the collectors and arterials are already maxed – at rush hour and they have no money to fix them and VDOT has the stated Mission to fix them but cannot because it lacks the money.

    Note also – the localities are NOT asking for increased funding at the LOCAL level to pay for these roads – they’re asking for a statewide tax increase to go to VDOT which, in turn, in theory, will allocat PW and Loudoun’s “share” to fix these roads.

    But wait – there’s more. What did Loudoun and PW say was the amount of money that they’d need to fix their roads?

    How could VDOT or the state do a proper budget process until they know how much money is needed and figure out how much money needs to be raised?

    To me that’s where this whole issue strikes me as a bogus sham – a strong advocacy for unspecified tax increases to produce and unspecified about of money to be spent in unspecified ways.

    This is exactly what concerned voters in the failed 2002 Referenda.

    Basically what the pro-taxers want – is a blank check and a blank bill of particulars – and they think that since Kaine is in office that they can get it.

    Who was governor when the 2002 referenda crashed and burned? well.. none other tham “75% approval rating” – Mark Warner.

    Roger implores “shortsighted” folks to “cooperate” and that they need to be “helping” the Governor.

    I’d say that both JLARC and APC are solid, reasonable, fiscally responsible ways “forward” for Kaine.

    I’d also say that writers of this BLOG are the 80% who do not support blank-check tax increases – and I think Roger is associated with the 22% who are willing to pay higher taxes.

    Roger – what do you SPECIFICALLY support (besides pejoratives about those who advocate JLRAC/APC reforms so that we get better bang for our tax dollars?) What I perceive is that you don’t care about cost effectiveness just money.

    Am I wrong?

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Jim Bacon, Larry Gross and Others:

    Larry I do not see any solutions for our problems
    offered in your latest posting. It is just more
    of the same …. rambling, attacks. I think all
    of us need to advocate a program that the parties
    who play a role in this matter can consider.

    I have done that in my posting on this blog, my
    three pieces published in recent years in Virginia
    Business Magazine, an op-ed piece in The Daily Press
    of Newport News and a cover piece in the Opinion
    Section of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.


    Rodger Provo

  13. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Roger – do you read and understand?

    IMPLEMENT the JLARC and APA recommendations.

    If these recommendations are implemented – we will HAVE MORE MONEY for transportation because we will be spending it for cost effective measures that will focus on congestion relief and bottlenecks.

    I’ve not seen your specifics, neither have others in this blog – bring the stuff you said you wrote to the blog.

    provide us with the text of what you advocate or at least URLs to them.

    The only thing I’ve seen is your advocacy for a State level planning office.

    What else?

    What is your view of HOW MUCH of a tax increase you feel is necessary?

    What would you spend it on?

    Here’s a proposal for you.

    Index the gas tax so VDOT can keep up with maintenance.

    Propose to each jurisdiction a referenda on an increase in the sales tax to pay for local and/or regional roads.

    Let the local officials draw up the list of projects that will be paid for. They COULD START with the projects in the 6yrplan that are not funded – similiar to what Spotsylvania did with their referenda.

    Let the local elected officials “talk” to their respective communities about money and priorities and then let the voters say yea or nay.

    Roger – this WORKS. Quite a few local referenda HAVE passed using this exact approach.

    Now.. please come back with some specifics of your own…. thanks.

  14. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Jim Bacon, Larry Gross and Others:

    It is going to take a collective effort by the Governor, the General
    Assembly, VDOT, local governments, the business community and smart
    growth advocates to produce a plan to solve Virginia’s existing massive
    transportation problems created over the last 20 years and how to meet
    our needs to deal with business and population growth projected to take
    place over the next 20 years.

    Unlike you Larry, I will not spend my writing rambling, attack pieces on
    this blog nor will I try to spell out “my plan” to deal with these issues
    for these problems will only get resolved by a collective effort of good,
    civic minded, responsible Virginians.

    Over the last few weeks, I have expressed those concepts and views on this
    blog. I have also had published articles in Virginia Business Magazine, The
    Daily Press of Newport News and the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star about this
    subject urging a constructive agenda for Virginia.


    Rodger Provo

  15. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    Note to self: Anyone that disagrees with Roger is not a “good civic minded Virginian”.

    To all: Roger lists whom he believes are the “team” to solve the problem. They are:

    The Governor, the General
    Assembly, VDOT, local governments, the business community and smart
    growth advocates.

    Oddly – missing are:

    * The CTB
    * The Media
    * The 21 PDCs/MPOs – which are not local governments, they are appointed regional advisors to local governments
    * The VA Universities
    * The civic leagues – you see the “business community is listed by Roger, but not the residents and taxpayers most impacted by traffic – “business” people are like that.
    * The Political Parties (GOP, Dems, Libs, other). Their leadership needs to agree to take transportation out of the political struggle or it is doomed to fail due to polical issues taking a higher priority then problem solving
    * Advocates for development that are not “smart growth” – their voice needs to be heard as well. What do pro-suburbian advoicates want and what are they willing to accept?
    * The Federal Transportation organizations (FTA, FHWA, others).
    * Grassroots taxpayer organizations (such as the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance – of which I serve as a board member)

    But … I suspect that Roger doesn’t want to have to consider the views of these “other groups” – because to consider the views of others would be understood by Roger as only slowing down “the process”.

    Of course – those “other people” as a significant reason nothing can be decised upon – or agreed to.

    But Roger does not appear to appreciate this reality.

    In closing, I would add that Roger, your failure is your desire not to seek to actually fix any root causes of the mistakes made to arrive in the state we are no in – but only to raise more money – NOW – and spend our way to some future “vision”.

    Yet, if we don’t fix the root causes – just as with the 1986 tax hike – the new tax dollars will be frittered away into a black hole of unaccountable spending – and decisions on what “transportation investments” will be funded – without any requirement to produce any results related to the reducing of traffic congestion – or the logical nexus between “growth” (land use) – and the over crowding of our transportation system.

    “Balanced Communities” are intelligent because they focus on the cause of commuter traffic congestion – that being where the JOBS ARE – and where the worfforce LIVES.

    None of the propsals on the table addresses two of the most significant causes of traffic congestion. That being:

    * Accidents not be cleared from the roadway fast enough – thus causing huge backups
    * Poorly coordinated road construction that reduced existing lane capacity – for far too long

    But hey, why should anyone listen to me? According to Roger, I am only not to be included as one of those allowed to join the “collective effort of good, civic minded, responsible Virginians.”


    Unelected “Business Leaders” often are, aren’t they?

    So, what eles is new?

    The 22% never learns from their mistakes, do they?

  16. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    OK, everybody take a deep breath and calm down. I see no reason for anyone to question the motives of anyone else participating in this blog. Here are the articles that Rodger Provo has alluded to, as published on the Virginia Business website:

    Virginia needs a Utah approach to growth (May 2005)

    The budget deal didn’t solve Virginia’s real problems (June 2004)

    Divided we fall: doing ‘stealth damage’ to Virginia (October 2003)

    I thought the most recent column was pretty good. Rodger appears to acknowledge the critical necessity of achieving land use reform and taming dysfunctional human settlement patterns (i.e. suburban sprawl): Virginia, he wrote, “should include land-use reform, new transportation plans and programs to steer growth into cities and older suburban areas.”

    I have to admit, given that sentiment, it is a bit of a mystery why Rodger thinks that some of us are doing a dis-service for emphasizing the very same agenda.

  17. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun


    It seems to me (based on his postings on this blog) it is because he doesn’t want to deal with the root causes (such as fixing VDOT, the broken decision-making/prioritization process, industry lobbyists fighting land reform) – but only wants to support the business community agenda of raising taxes – without having a real plan on the table – the “blank check” tactic.

    That … and the other goal of creating all-appointed regional governments with “power” to raise taxes and spend them.

    To disagree with this tactic is to be branded my Roger as not being a good, civic minded Virginia – and a “anti-taxers” to be dismissed as not working on any meaningful solutions.

    Not doing bad things is as important as doing the right things.

    All-Appointed Regional Authorities are a bad thing.

    Blank Checks paid for with tax hikes are a bad thing.

    Not having any plan for how – and when new transportation infrastructure is completed – is a bad thing.

    Do you disagree?

  18. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    Reid, I agree with most of what you’ve just said. I’ve been very disappointed with the “business community” agenda on transportation and land use. And I’ve taken aback at Rodger’s suggestion that I’m not a good, civic-minded Virginian. I’ve spent the better part of my career — including 16 years as editor and publisher of Virginia Business magazine, and the past four-and-a-half years as publisher of Bacon’s Rebellion — thinking about what it takes to create more prosperous, more liveable communities.

  19. Anonymous Avatar


    I am stunned at the responses to my reply
    to Larry Gross’s latest challenge to me.

    Gentleman, you need to relax.


    Rodger Provo

  20. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    You’re “stunned”? Why? You call those that disagree with you names and claim we are not really offering and meaningful ideas and concepts to lead to solutions for better land use and transportation – and you are “stunned”?

    I am … I was going to say “stunned that you are stunned” , but I think a more accurate/truthful comment would be to say – I am not buying it that being that you are “stunned”.

    I’m throwing the B.S. Flag on that my friend.

    Roger, it is obvious to me that you are intelligent, therefore why would you be “stunned”? That doesn’t make any sense.


    Much like Jim, I also invest a lot of my time and energies working to help make my community and our state a better place for all of us – and our children too. I have spent many years working with many diverse organizations and our government to help develop better ways to plan for, pay for, build, manage, and maintain our transportation system.

    Your dismissive and condescending attitude is no surprise to me – and it shouldn’t be any surprise to you when others object to it.

    As to this tired and worn out “talking about who shot John is not productive” tactic – that is also simply not the case. This whole “let’s look forward” and the “past is past, we can’t change that” game is a fool’s game.

    If we do not properly analyze how we arrived at the current sad state of affairs in regard to our transportation system – meaning what are the root causes of the problems – we are treating symptoms and not seeking a cure for the disease.

    It is intelligent to do both – treat the immediate symptoms to “stabilize” the patient – and, in parallel, continue to look for the root causes/disease.

    That is the logical path for “getting well” – and remaining well – to be cured.

    It seems to me that you are far too myopic on looking for a cash transfusion to treat the symptoms – and ignoring the need to diagnose the disease – and then develop a cure.

    To point this out is not to be a “nay sayer”, “anti-taxer” or any of the many pejoratives you use to denigrate many of us – it is a valuable contribution to developing a sustainable – and affordable solution – while avoiding repeating the mistakes of the past.

  21. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I admit to being a strong critic of VDOT and of local government in the context of growth and development and transportation.

    I won’t apologize for that because for the most part it is true.

    But Rodger claims that, that is all I do.

    He’s either wrong or dishonest.

    Any casual reader of this blog will see that I have put dozens of ideas on the table including supporting the recommendations of Va agencies recommendations for improvement – JLARC and APA.

    I also was a strong supporter of Phillip Schucet and his efforts to have VDOT more accountable with their on-time, on-budget Dashboard Concept.

    I’ve also strongly supported the efforts of local government when they go to their constituents with referedna for transportation projects.

    I’m a strong supporter of MPOs and the use of constrained financial plans that match projects with known available funding.

    Usually I post footnote URLs to allow folks to reference where I justify my views and thoughts…so they can see for themselves and they know that there is more than just self prouncements behind the logic.

    I can go on and on but I think it unfair and to be honest -intelectually dishonest to be continuously attacked by Rodger who then turns around and puts nothing substantive on the table instead using words and phrases like “complex”… and “get a group of stakeholders together” etc.

    He wont’ tell us HIS ideas of what he thinks these “teams” should do … some ideas…

    gas tax? sales tax? regional authorities? local responsibility for roads? Kaine’s budget proposal, etc ……

    we’re getting no counter ideas, dialogue or engagement of the issues by summary judgements about who we are – I presume –
    because Rodger’s views are different (of course we don’t really now what they are either).

    I’m NOT attacking Rodger as a person – as I know him to be a fine person – I’m questioning his method of engagement and dialogue.

  22. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Larry Gross and Others:

    I take issue, Larry, with your judgements about my
    public comments about our growth and transportation

    Because of my professional activities, I have a
    good understanding about how other states are
    tackling these problems.

    I have sought to share some of that information
    on this blog and in my articles featured in a
    number of state newspapers and magazines.

    I have no personal issues with you or others on
    this blog.

    However, do think Jim Bacon has allowed this blog
    to be pr vehicle for the GOP House of Delegates
    Caucus. It is used for constant attacks against
    the Governor, the Senate, VDOT, local governments
    and the real estate industry. I do not approve of
    that. This blog is being used to promote the GOP
    House’s political agenda.

    I disapprove of the postings by the likes of Reid
    Greenmum, who is a self promoter with a critical

    Not once have I read a posting by Jim Bacon urging
    a means be created to bring Virginians together to
    tackle these complex issues.

    I do not think the answers to our problems will be
    found in the discourse encouraged on this blog.

    It will found in a collection of Virginians of good
    will, civic minded persons, willing to listen to sort
    of a variety of options we might pursue.

    It is my view we need a program similar to what Utah
    has used to solve our problems which should include
    our doing the following:

    -a state planning department;
    -a revamped role of our planning district commissions
    and MPO’s to produce better plans;
    -a state program to encourage new growth to be used
    to rebuild our older suburbs and cities;
    -a program to building a new rail line from Richmond
    to Washington, DC, similar to the Cascade train that
    serves Portland, Oregon to Seattle to Vancouver, BC
    (which my wife and I visited in October, 2006);
    -a program to create better highway and rail capacity
    out of Hampton Roads to move cargo;
    -a program to create better highway and rail capacity
    to move cargo along the I-81 corridor;
    -a program to build light rail systems in Norfolk,
    Newport News, Richmond, Charlottesville and Roanoke;
    -a program of land use law reform in Virginia to make
    this program work;
    -and an ongoing program to insure we get the best end
    product from VDOT.

    It is going to take money to solve our problems. There
    is no free lunch. The blame game being played by some
    involved in this debate needs to end. Virginians are
    suffering daily because of our failures to deal with
    these issues.

    Best of luck to all of you,


    Rodger Provo

  23. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Larry Gross and Others:

    It is going to take a combination
    of new taxes, tolls, user fees, etc.
    to provide the revenue stream we
    need to create a transportation
    system for 21st Century Virginia.

    All of you would so well to study
    the remarkablel success Norfolk is
    having attracting new commercial
    and residential projects along the
    route of their light rail system
    that will be operating by 2009 or
    early 2010. That system is designed
    to be extended into other parts of
    South Hampton Roads, including out
    into Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.
    Norfolk will redefine development
    patterns and transportation systems
    in that part of Virginia with this

    This turn of events is not unlike
    the success Arlington County has
    had over the last 30 years linking
    the METRO system development with
    land use plans and development.

    Thus, in both instances, growth is
    encouraged to be located in older
    cities and suburbs. That is a good
    thing for Virginia for it reduces
    some of the pressure to push new
    development further out into now
    rural areas.


    Rodger Provo

  24. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Hey Rodger –

    “For the Record” – I can count on one hand the number of times I have voted Republican in Virginia and none of them recently. As long as they are in close quarters with the Christian right they don’t have a chance for my vote. (Sorry if this was “too much info”).

    I’m not at all in disagreement with your grocery list of things we ought to do.

    and I don’t disagree that ALL of this will take money – more money.

    Where we start to diverge is WHERE to get the money and WHO decides using what kind of a budget prioritization process.

    I’ll give one simple example.

    Spotsylvania residents approved a transportation referenda based on specific projects that were in it’s 6yr plan. They TRUSTED the process.

    BOS supervisors engaged in due diligence and realized that the projects themselves had been lowballed by VDOT (suprise suprise) then they looked at their debt ability – and they stated making some hard choices by focusing on criteria like accidents, traffic counts, etc.

    Their plan is going to match their budget and yes they had to toss things overboard to accomplish that.

    This is the process folks like myself want to see done at the State level.

    I don’t want to give them money to go into a slush fund where unknown VDOT folks will make decisions like they have always none – NOT on objective criteria but rather – as the Va Auditor documents – “popularity”, i.e. politics.

    I am not alone. Only 22% of people support a tax increase – while 50+% support road tolls.

    Now why do you think this is the case?

    It’s really simple… there has to be a road to use before they’re willing to pay.

    They’re NOT willing to pour money into Richmond to be allocated out like it has been in the past.

    They simply don’t trust the process – and to be honest.. why should they?

  25. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Larry Gross and Others:

    I am not advocating we tackle our
    growth and transportation problems
    with the same failed approaches
    that has gotten us into the awful
    position we are now struggling to
    deal with in our daily lives.

    These problems will not be solved
    by taking polls. It going to take
    some leadership in our state to
    create a plan that will work and
    to get public support behind it …
    just as former Gov. Mark Warner
    did with the 2004 budget agreement
    and the later, former Gov. Mills
    Godwin did in 1968 with the sales
    tax package that produced our new
    community college system at the


    Rodger Provo

  26. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Rodger –

    No the POLLs won’t solve the problem but leadership means leading where the people are willing to go.

    Leaders have to be perceived as honest brokers of change.

    Claiming that those folks who insist on this being the bargain as being “anti” is at best counter-productive and at worst – it betrays a condecending if not cynical approach to public policy.

    Are folks saying “no” to collaborative process?

    No. In fact, they’ve been asking for it for a long time.

    and the response is – as it is now – such folks are labeled as “anti”.

    so much for collaboration.

  27. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Larry Gross and Others:

    I doubt President Eisenhower took a
    poll when he decided to have the country
    build the interstate highway system !!!!

    Or when the federal government decided to
    build the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Colonial
    Parkway do you think a poll was taken?

    You, Jim Bacon and others on this blog
    have a great deal of anger in you that
    I do not share.

    I am not one to tell you 20 reasons why
    we can’t do something, but instead I would
    rather discuss 10 ideas about how to get
    things done.

    With the writing of this posting, Larry,
    Jim and others I will say good day to all
    you and wish the best. I will not visit
    this blog again …..


    Rodger Provo

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