Advertising

Blog Roll
Who's My Legislator?

Virginia Blogs
Augusta Free Press
Bacon's Rebellion
Blue Ridge Caucus
Blue Louisa
Coarse Cracked Corn
Crew of 42
DemRulz
Dixie Pig
Equality Loudoun
Greater Greater Washington
Loudoun Progress
Moonhowlings
Ox Road South Blog
Pilot on Politics" blog
Richmonder
Richmond Sunlight
RTD Virginia Politics blog
Roanoke Times blog
Shad Plank
Vivian Paige
Waldo Jaquith


Find more about Weather in Arlington, VA
Click for weather forecast
Search




Advanced Search


New Revenues from Regressive, Foolish Transportation Deal Largely Slated for Wasteful Boondoggles?

by: lowkell

Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 16:33:56 PM EST


This transportation deal is atrocious enough, for the reasons I've outlined below (and that Paul Goldman has chimed in on regarding the "200-proof politics"), that it should be deep sixed unceremoniously no matter what. Having said that, at least if the revenues raised from the proposal were slated for worthwhile projects - ones that made sense in terms of Virginia's future, ones that were cost effective, ones that helped make our lives and our environment better and not worse, ones that encouraged smart growth and not sprawl development - than perhaps there would be some redeeming value here.

But no. Not even close. Instead, believe it or not, the Virginia Department of Transportation is planning (see slide 5) to take $869 million in Garvee Bonds (see here for more on what those are all about) to spend on two wasteful, boondoggle, environmentally harmful projects -- Route 460 (see here for why this thing is an utter waste of money) and the Coalfields Expressway (aka, "Mountaintop Removal Masquerading as a Highway Project").

That $869 million represents over two-thirds of the $1.2 billion in Garvee bonds authorized by the General Assembly in 2011. This will reduce funds available for much higher priority, far more beneficial projects. Add in the Charlottesville Bypass ($243 million, with estimates up to $400 million; see here for a demolition of that "road to nowhere") and the "unneeded and wasteful Outer Beltway" (estimated cost: $1 billion) to Route 460 ($1.4 billion) and the Coalfields Expressway ($2.8 billion), and total spending on wasteful, environmentally damaging, unnecessary projects ratchets up to a potential $5.5 billion. Clearly, the traffic numbers do not justify these highways, and the money is being diverted from much higher priority needs (e.g., our statewide maintenance backlog, needs in the heavily congested parts of the state's metro areas, and local transportation needs statewide).

I checked with Coalition for Smarter Growth Executive Director Stewart Schwartz, and he responded:

Completely missing from the debate has been any review of how VDOT has been spending the $3 billion in borrowed money the General Assembly approved in 2011. Much of that is being squandered, as demonstrated by the billions being spent on four unnecessary rural highway projects. The proposed deal lacks any oversight of how VDOT will spend the additional statewide funds.
Great, huh? In sum, we get a regressive plan that takes money away from education and health care in order to fund wasteful, environmentally damaging, and unnecessary road projects. Are you sold on this monstrosity yet? Yippee!
lowkell :: New Revenues from Regressive, Foolish Transportation Deal Largely Slated for Wasteful Boondoggles?
Tags: , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Bait and Switch (0.00 / 0)
This just shows how entirely clueless Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads Democrats are.

The transportation deal is being sold as increasing transportation funding because Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads desperately need more money.

But the projects and priorities of the Commonwealth are still being steered to wasteful and unnecessary rural projects.

Transportation is a mess in the Commonwealth, and it seems like some Democrats are too short sighted to figure out what needs to be done to fix it.


Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Advertising



FOLLOW BLUE VIRGINIA on SOCIAL MEDIA


Donate to Blue Virginia

About
The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

P.S. You can contact us at lowell@raisingkaine.com and you can subscribe to Lowell's Twitter feed here. If you'd like to subscribe to Miles Grant's Twitter feed, click here. For Teacherken, click here. For Kindler, click here.

P.P.S. To see the Blue Virginia archive, please click here. To see the Raising Kaine archive, please click here. To see the Blue Commonwealth archive, please click here.



RSS Feed

Subscribe to Blue Virginia - Front Page


Real Time Web Analytics
Powered by: SoapBlox