Kaine Warming up to Transportation/Land Use Issues in 2007 Session

In a tour of Northern Virginia, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine stated that he would push for land use reforms and extra transportation funding in the 2007 session of the General Assembly. In previous statements, he had said that he would steer clear of transportation issues until after the fall 2007 elections when voters would have a chance to throw out opponents to his proposed tax increases.

Although the governor is sticking to his guns regarding the need for more transportation revenues, he apparently sees limited areas of agreement with a House of Delegates where low-tax sentiments run strong. According to a report filed by Washington Post reporter Amy Gardner, Kaine said he would:

  • Focus on how to spend the $339 million in surplus General Fund revenues that House Republicans agree can be steered to transportation without raising taxes.
  • Resurrect a campaign proposal to give local governments more authority to reject rezoning projects that would swamp local transportation infrastructure.
  • Revisit legislation authorizing the Virginia Department of Transportation to conduct traffic-impact analyses of major rezoning projects. With the General Assembly crafting permanent legislation, the measure may encounter more opposition than the pilot project did last year.

Gardner also noted that the legislature is likely to take up proposals that would make developers more responsible for maintaining the subdivision roads they build, and also to require greater connectivity between subdivisions, which would provide more options for traffic flow. The Kaine administration is examining both issues, but Gardner provided no details on the governor’s current thinking.

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


4 responses to “Kaine Warming up to Transportation/Land Use Issues in 2007 Session”

  1. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    I may have a few other thoughts later, but what really jumped at me was the fact that Kaine has not offered to do a similar traffic study for the proposed redevelopment of Tysons Corner. Also, why don’t reporters ask why a study was crucial to the proposed rezoning for the development in Loudoun County, but not for the proposed development in Fairfax County?

    I agree with the decision to study Dulles South, which effectively killed the massive rezoning. The time to study potential traffic impacts is before the zoning decisions are made. But why won’t the Governor insist on the same type of analysis for Tysons Corner? Is it because the project would benefit West Group, one of his biggest campaign contributors? Is it because Democrats control the Fairfax County BoS? Is this just cheap politics?

    Again, the MSM is either totally partisan or asleep at the wheel.

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Good point TMT.

    the reason why though is that VDOT does not “do” transit.

    WE have SEPARATE road-only, transit-only agencies that have their own rice bowls and don’t coordinate their projects much less weigh in on when/where road/transit might be appropriate – much less worry about intermodal functionality.

    I think it is a total misnomer for VDOT to have the moniker TRANSPORTATION when there is an entirely separate agency called Rails and Transit – and NO agency for Intermodal connectivity between the two.

    In Fredericksburg.. it took YEARS to get the local transit agency to agree to run shuttle buses from commuter lots to the VRE station… they had to have their arms twisted big time… to finally agree to do it.

    TMT may be correct – both VDOT and METRO are obedient lap dogs for the development industry in Va. We KNOW that the development industry contributes enormous money to the GA and they pretty much call the shots at the GA… one frown from them.. effectively kills legislation they don’t care for … legislations never makes it past the bill in the hopper.. it’s dead at the first committee meeting… witness APF…

  3. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    I had the need to review some files last evening. I ran across a summary of an informal study of the likely impact on traffic of the proposed rezoning of Tysons Corner, with the assumption that Metrorail was built through Tysons Corner. (The “study” was done by people with sufficient background in this are.)

    The estimate assumed rezoning to an average FAR of 3.0 – which is conservative since many of the APRs seek FARs in the 5.0-5.5 range. A FAR of 3.0 would produce an additional 58 M S.F. of space. They then assumed that the new development would be 50% residential, 30% office/commercial and 20% retail. That seems reasonable to me.

    Then, they extrapolated automobile traffic from an APR from 2004 that also covered a portion of the Tysons Corner area. They calculated that the additional 58.5 M S.F. of space would produce an additional 783,000 car trips per day from the requested plan amendments. Assuming that Metrorail captured 20% of these trips (which is about 70% more trips than Gerry Connolly has been forecasting for the Silver Line), we could expect an additional 626,000 car trips in and around Tysons Corner. Again, this estimate is based on a conservative FAR and a liberal Metrorail capture estimates.

    As I recall, the Dulles South APRs, which were rejected by the Loudoun County Board, would have produced an additional 300,000 car trips.

    So where’s the VDOT study for Tysons Corner? Why won’t Kaine charge VDOT with performing such a study? Politics or campaign cash?

  4. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I’d be interest in a link to that study.

    If it is Kosher with a capital “K” then I’d agree.. why is the Post ignoring it.

Leave a Reply