The GOP Transportation Package: The Bad

The Republican transportation package recommends a number of valuable reforms, but it omits at least three critical components to any meaningful re-shaping of Virginia’s transportation system.

Technology. Other than a bill that would require all tolls to convert to electronic payments, the GOP package fails to utilize promising new technologies.

  • Intelligent Transportation Systems would put more real-time traffic information in the hands of commuters and businesses.
  • Traffic light synchronization could increase the capacity of road corridors without the expense of adding new lanes.
  • Modeling & Simulation could provide planners with more powerful tools to examine the system-wide impact of transportation improvements, enabling them to allocate construction dollars more precisely.

The Kaine administration wants to create a $20 million fund to advance ITS projects in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. It’s not much, but it’s $20 million more than the GOP plan provides for.


. The relationship between workers and the workplace is undergoing a seismic shift not seen since the advent of the industrial revolution. Technology allows hundreds of thousands of Virginians to work at home all or part of the time. The state could do far more than it has to encourage telework, which would take commuters off the roads or, at the very least, give them the flexibility to drive to work during non-rush hour periods,

Mass transit deregulation. This topic isn’t even on the radar screen, but it’s vital. One way to reduce traffic congestion is to get more people to use more shared vehicles. But taxis are highly regulated, jitneys are outlawed, and bus systems are government monopolies. As a consequence, there is shockingly little innovation. The General Assembly needs to think seriously about deregulating the shared-ridership sector with the vision of encouraging entrepreneurs to find creative ways to serve the public.

The GOP legislative package is so ambitious that it’s hard to fault legislators for failing to address every conceivable transportation strategy. But technology, telework and mass transit deregulation are critical. They must be addressed — if not this year, then next.

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3 responses to “The GOP Transportation Package: The Bad”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    One more thing missing – incentives/support for casual carpooling (slugging).

    this is a nit… but an important nit because there ARE things the state and VDOT could do to make this a much more widespread practice – that takes cars off of the roads.

    The other thing that is missing is that many of these things are essentially a laundry list of “ideas” rather than a Comprehensive .. integrated.. unified Strategy to optimize the benefit our current infrastructure as – at least, if not, more important than new infrastructure.

    Picture.. casual carpoolers… zip/flex cars, metro, optimized signals, congestion pricing, fare toll credits, the end of free parking…

    I’m not saying that there will be agreement on all the constituent parts but what I am asking is WHERE is the initial DRAFT Congestion Reduction Strategy????? from VDOT???

    They are the biggest, weightest player in transporation planning… and rightly or wrongly … it “feels” like they are a gigantic machine that needs money to operate.. and the “rest” is internal administrative VDOT issues.

    They’re motto in this respect is … well I dunno what to say… but the motto is “We keep Virginia Moving”.

  2. E M Risse Avatar

    Jim and Larry:

    There are lots and lots of things that are missing, most of all an overarching understanding of the role of mobility and access in the 21st Centruy.


  3. Anonymous Avatar

    I understand there’s a telecommuting bill in progress via Senator Herring (a tax credit for home computers, basically), per Dulles South Online’s coverage of today’s Caputo/Herring/Homer town hall in Chantilly…that’s progress, albeit minimal

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