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Va. Transportation Politics Heating Up

The primaries in DC and Maryland are wrapping up -- slowly -- but the transportation politicing in Virginia is about to enter a new phase: A special session of the Virginia General Assembly is scheduled to begin on Sept. 27 to consider proposals to improve travel conditions in the state.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority plans to hold a press conference Friday morning at the Dunn Loring Metro station in which some of the region's leaders will push for new investments in transportation services. I'm very much a supporter of upgrading the road and rail network. How could I not be after hearing the frustrations of so many VRE riders and road warriors this summer.

But the choice of Dunn Loring Station for the press conference reminded me of how difficult it is to win support for new transportation programs. Back in 2002, I attended a press conference at the same spot. The sponsors then sought to rally support for the proposed transportation tax, which was rejected by Northern Virginia voters in a referendum a couple of months later.

Dunn Loring Station has visual advantages for the sponsors of such events: Reporters, photographers and camera people can look over the jammed up traffic on I-66 and check the see the crowded Orange Line trains coming through.

I hope that this special legislative session will be more successful than the 2001 referendum effort or the two assembly session so far this year in Richmond.

It's a topic I plan to deal with in the Dr. Gridlock newspaper column, and I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts about what needs to be done in Northern Virginia, whether you think things are okay the way they are, or you see solutions that don't involve raising more money or you think new tax investment is necessary.

Please send comments for possible publication in The Post to drgridlock@washpost.com. Many of you know our format: Please include your full name and your home community, along with your thoughts on this issue.


By Robert Thomson  |  September 13, 2006; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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