Trouble in the Hinterlands: Bacon’s Rebellion Publishes Again!

The May 1, 2006, edition of Bacon’s Rebellion has been posted online. Columns include:

Suburbia Absurdia
Suburbs are full of sidewalks that go nowhere and nobody uses. What are people thinking? Why do we persist in building this schlock?
by James A. Bacon

Take a Piece of Transportation
Since being named to the Commonwealth Transportation Board, this e-zine columnist is trying to stay on time and on budget.
by Doug Koelemay

“I Don’t Give a Rip”
Editorial pundits are blaming Bill Howell for Virginia’s budget impasse. But John Chichester is the one who’s repeatedly used the threat of a government shut down to get his way.
by Patrick McSweeney

Discord in the Axis of Taxes
Tim Kaine has split with the state Senate over increasing the gas tax. That gives the House of Delegates a chance to seize the initiative in the taxes-and-transportation debate.
by Patrick McSweeney

Let’s Make a Budget Deal
The General Assembly can make big improvements to the transportation budget even without a special session and new taxes. Here are some ideas to get budget negotiators started.
by Michael Thompson

The One Object Rule
Determined to raise taxes, the State Senate is trampling the “one object rule” of the Virginia Constitution. Thankfully, House Speaker Bill Howell appears determined to hold the line.
by Philip Rodokanakis

Economic Law and Order
One law the politicians can’t repeal is the law of supply and demand. If legislators want lower gasoline prices, they must increase supply or moderate demand. Nothing else works.
by Jim Bowden

Teaching our Teachers
Virginia seems ill-prepared to deal with a looming teacher shortage. One solution might be to re-think the policies of its education schools.
by Conaway Haskins

Where’s Waldo?
Waldo Jaquith, a pioneer of Virginia political blogdom, has just launched an aggregator. Now you can get Virginia political commentary around the clock.
by Conaway Haskins

A Community in Formation
The UVa students who got arrested for their sit-in last month may not have won the battle over a living wage, but they did help build a movement.
by Barbara Ehrenreich


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2 responses to “Trouble in the Hinterlands: Bacon’s Rebellion Publishes Again!”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    we actually had this discussion yesterday in a meeting with the county planning director.

    His answer was two-fold:

    1. – legacy development that did not require sidewalks

    2. – new development where the question is asked “why should we, the developer, build sidewalks for our project when they don’t connect to other (legacy) development that lacks them?

    His answer was that the county needs to have a CIP sidewalk fund that is used on a priority rank basis to “connect” the network.

    I have very personal experience with this phenomena when I had my car in the shop and decided to use our local bus service to get back to the repair shop.

    The first part went quite well. Found the bus stop, boarded the bus, and rode to a point one mile from the repair shop at which point I got out to hoof the remaining distance.

    All went well on new development sidewalks until they ran out… in a legacy neighborhood – at which point – like the fellow in the article – I was presented with a no-win dilemma and defeat would mean retracing my steps to the bus stop.. waiting.. then boarding it to return home – without my vehicle – so I pushed on.. walking on the shoulder of a 4-lane road warily eyeing the onrushing cars for ones operated with cell-phone fiddlers or moms checking out their sqalling kids in the back-seat, etc.

    To boot.. it was raining.. so I also was most attentive to the potholes near my walk… fun fun 🙂

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: Take a Piece of Transportation

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    VDOT IS doing a much better job of on-time and on-budget but only time will tell if Schucet’s personal courage actually translates into an institutional culture at VDOT.

    But there are two nagging questions in my mind:

    1. – Do we estimate the cost of a project in today’s dollars or do we estimate it’s cost according to when it will be built – and – if that project is delayed – do we adjust the cost accordingly?

    I ask this question because this has been pointed out as a fundamental reason why VDOT had less money that the projects it had on the build list.

    The second question is how does the CTB Prioritize and Rank projects?

    How does it move a project from the long-term list to the build list?

    What criteria is used beyond asking politicans for their preferences?

    Does the CTB use a need-based performance criteria when considering which projects to move forward?

    I’ve also asked how the CTB decides to defer a project when delays and/or revenues fall below projections.

    The answer to date – is a resounding silence and I note in our local area that rather than removing a project – it gets pushed out on the 6yr plan to extend beyond the 6yr window and also the estimated cost – stays the same rather than be inflation-adjusted.

    These are really not my personal questions but rather ones that I saw in the Va Auditor of Public Accounts report and there was an expectation that, at some point, CTB would, in fact, respond with information about their process.

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