VDOT As Bureaucratic as Ever?

Del. Mark L. Cole, representing parts of Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fauquier counties, tells this story in a recent General Assembly update:

I recently ran into a situation that kind of highlights the need for reform in the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). A neighborhood in my district wanted to get no through truck restrictions on their neighborhood streets in place. Keep in mind that this is a subdivision neighborhood and not a major highway or street. They went through the process of getting petitions signed, getting approval of the county Board of Supervisors, and the regional VDOT office. However, the signs still have not been posted and the restriction is not in place.

When I asked VDOT what the hold-up was they said that the request had been sent to the Commissioner of VDOT in Richmond for final approval. Why does the Commissioner need to approve a restriction on a neighborhood street? What value or insight can he provide for a neighborhood that he has probably never even seen? This is just a small example of the bureaucratic nature of VDOT and why they tend to be inefficient and slow in getting things done.

Good question: Why does approval for a neighborhood sign need to be approved by the VDOT commissioner?

Follow-up question: What important issues are not being considered as a result of the commissioner being inundated with this level of detail?

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4 responses to “VDOT As Bureaucratic as Ever?”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Why does anybody prefer to push a decision off on someone else? The system discourages independent thinking and if any decision turns out bad, the blame game is ruthless. Better to shove it up the chain. Or course such a decision should be made by the county or district engineer, especially if hte locality concurs, but such decisions are rarely unanimously supported. Cole will be the first one to complain if some lowly engineer with five or six years of experience makes a bonehead error — polticians, heal thyselves.

  2. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    I’d like to get no trough truck restrictions, too. Or maybe no Jake brake.

    Unfortunately, my neighborhood street is I-66. There are probably three or four homes affected by this problem in my neighborhood. I could get the signatures in ten minutes. Since 66 is federally supported, how far up the chain in federal bureaucracy will I need to go to get my signs put up?

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Of course, since VDOT has NO commissioner right now, they could be waiting a while.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    VDOTs acting commissioner has all the powers necesary….now, if he is reluctant to even approve such a minor matter, they really are gridlocked. I agree it should be on his desk to begin with, but it will take a new commissioner to give the regional and local managers some ownership and responsiblity. In a vacuum, their reluctance is just human nature.

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