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It's Only Mostly Dead

The "compromise" transportation plan worked out among some Republican leaders in Virginia was a compromise among those leaders, not a negotiated settlement with the General Assembly members who believe the commonwealth shouldn't set one public priority against the anothers.

Now that the Senate Finance Committee has rejected that plan, it's time to work out a true compromise. The political mechanism for it exists in Richmond. The House of Delegates and Senate can do their dealing in a conference committee before the end of the legislative session. Big problem: The session has only three weeks to go.

Northern Virginia's advocates for transportation improvements, many of whom were in Richmond on Thursday to lobby for the cause, should not give up now. Some people are pinning their hopes on the November elections to fashion a General Assembly more favorable to big investment in transportation. But that prospect is chancy at best.

Just about every legislator who represents an area concerned about the issue vocally supports spending more money to solve the problem. The 2008 General Assembly that emerges from the elections is no more likely than this one to rally around a particular means of addressing the concern.

Right now, you've got this House bill vs. this Senate bill.

The real goal among Northern Virginia leaders is to find enough money to carry out the TransAction2030 plan of improvements big and small across the region for the next two decades. For those stuck in traffic or jammed aboard trains and buses, it offers new roads, transit, bike paths, sidewalks and trails.

There were bound to be bumps along the way, and it's too early to abandon hope.


By Robert Thomson  |  February 2, 2007; 8:17 AM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Comments

Take Loudoun, Prince William, Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria and make a true Northern Virginia state. It's obvious that the rest of Virginia just wants what we've been providing so we'll take it back. If the rest of the state could pay for it's own roads and everything, then we'd have everything we needed up here. I'm tired of paying taxes and having bad roads while the rest of the state complains about "the northern folks" coming down to their areas and causing congestion while a pothole doesn't get fixed for a whole three days. WHOA.

North Virginia anyone???

Posted by: NoVa and the Rest | February 2, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

And how, pray tell, will Northern Virginia pull this off, given that the rest of the Commonwealth will never agree? (Read the Constitution--a new state can't be formed out of a current state's territory unless that state consents.)

I'm getting fed up of the attitude of all the politicians who think they're so much more knowledgeable than everyone else. It's too bad that people are too lazy to do anything about it at the polls.

Posted by: Rich | February 2, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Can we get Miracle Max to revive it?

Posted by: TheGreenMiles.blogspot.com | February 2, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Good call "TheGreenMiles"! Marc, love the Princess Bride "only mostly dead" shout-out!

Posted by: Buttercup | February 2, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Called you Marc...Sorry, Dr. Gridlock!!

Posted by: Buttercup | February 2, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no, Buttercup! What's next? Will they start looking through my pockets for loose change?

Posted by: Dr. Gridlock | February 2, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance if Northern VA wants to secede. Let all those kids pay out of state tuition at UVa, W&M and JMU.

Posted by: Western VA | February 3, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Time to get rid of "Mr. Obstructionist", Chichester, a pompous ass who hides behind a cloak of so-called fiscal reponsibility.

Posted by: CEEAF | February 3, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

NoVA creater their own problems with runaway growth and ignorant zoning ordinances. We made our deal with the devil through our locally elected politicians, now we expect the state to bail us out? Good grief...Let's get real here and fix our local governments so that we don't outgrow our planned transportation capabilities. The state has a clear plan, and has done an admirable job of allocating resources to the region (Wilson Bridge, Mixing Bowl, Silver Line, etc...). It's up to our idiot county and city governments to stop allowing the area to grow at breakneck speeds so that transportation can catch up with the damage that has already been done.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 6, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Russtinator:

"NoVA creater their own problems with runaway growth and ignorant zoning ordinances.We made our deal with the devil through our locally elected politicians, now we expect the state to bail us out? Good grief..."

NOVA made its real "deal with the devil" when it allowed officials to approve development while these officials SIMULTANEOUSLY allowed road-opponents to do the transportation planning. As long as SOMEBODY objected to a new road, it was either canceled or scaled down. I-66 in Arlington, the Fairfax County Parkway and the ongoing controversy over the Ouer Bypass are cases in point.

I once talked with a former VDOT manager who said NOVA officials' consistent backing down to road opponents WHILE THE MONEY WAS THERE convinced VDOT that NOVA didn't want roads.

You're right. NOVA created their own problems. And it will need more than privately-owned toll roads, interchange improvements, rebuilding old bridges, HOV for a relative few, and Metro to the airport to get out of its self-created mess.

Posted by: CEEAF | February 6, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

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