Keep them in the dark & steal them blind…

The Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections defeated SB1072, a bill proposed by Sen. Ken Cuccinelli. It called for a voter referendum on the question “Shall the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors be prohibited from committing or appropriating County revenues and funds to the Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit Project?” (AKA Rail to Dulles)

Many have called Rail-to-Dulles a boondoggle. (See my Dec. 2003 column “The Rail-to-Dulles Scam.”) It’s no wonder that most politicians don’t want the voters to have a choice on whether to fund this project or not. Were the truth about this scheme to bilk billions from an unsuspecting public to come out, the voters would certainly defeat it–if only they were given a chance to vote.

In the meantime the conniving continues. The next step to promoting this scheme is to raise the tolls on the

Dulles Toll Road

. Commuters on the Toll Road will have the privilege of paying 70% higher tolls if the Commonwealth Transportation Board has its way—tolls that will be diverted from the Toll Road to line up the pockets of the big money contributors of the legislators that are supporting this boondoggle.

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  1. Why even build this when we can just expand the express bus service for probably 1% of the cost…

    In the end, what’s the difference between a bus and train? Put it on an HOV or a dedicated lane and it does the same thing…it gets you somewhere.

    These long buses (scroll down) would be a particularly good idea:

    Long buses

  2. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    What you’re saying Paul makes good sense to me. Why is it that our politician’s can’t (don’t?) want to see this logic?

  3. Why extend the metro out into a low density area where people can’t walk to it? What’s the point? The system is already jam packed at 95% capacity…(if you ever ride the blue/orange line during rush hour, you’ll know what I mean). How does expanding it into the suburbs take any traffic off the roads?

    I guess suburb to suburb commuting is increasing…but if a bus does the same thing and is cheaper, let’s use a bus.

  4. Politicians don’t see it because public transit is so popular with their constiuents. There have been sociological studies done on this…it’s the free rider problem. Everyone loves public transit because they imagine this metro system that all of their neighbors use…thereby freeing up the roads for their own smooth commute to work! Of course, everyone takes this attitude, then we’re all screwed.

    Environmentalists have successfully tied smart growth to the environmental movement as well as the historic preservation movement…so that means you have tons of people going to planning meetings and yelling REALLY LOUDLY about the benefits of metro (these kinds of lefties tend to be pretty intense).

    And the road building community seems to be impotent lately…they can’t get their federal highway funding through (Bush’s budget today gave them the shaft, once again) and they can’t build more roads in VA (other than the utterly useless route 288 near Richmond). Of course, road builders can blame the excesses of their predecessors in the 50s and 60s (literally paving over cities with ugly bypasses) for todays opposition to road building.

    The Smart Growth folks argue that roads bring more sprawl. It’s not that simple. Two facts to consider:

    1. The sprawl is already coming. You can’t stop it. It’s in the pipeline already. Stop trying! Instead, do something about it!

    2. Dumb roads will continue the problem. But there are smarter roads that we can consider. For example, a western bypass around the city of DC that is limited access with access points only every 6 miles or so, taxes out of state drivers, and has high density “smart growth” points surrounding each exit so that we aren’t as sprawled out.

    I’ve posted about this on here before…I love the Western Bypass idea. Get the out of town traffic around the city (especially the trucks). Meanwhile, finally give the Loudoun/Stafford/Western Fairfax people a north-south connector. Focus the growth instead of letting it continue to be a free for all…

    It’s the amazing compromise solution that they’ll never consider adopting! Lately, the roadbuilding community has taken to dividing the project into pieces (the Techway, the Western Transportation Corridor, the Battlefield Bypass, etc.) Doesn’t seem to be working – Warner doesn’t even want to do a section 4f environmental review this year on any of the projects…

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