Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tim Kaine's Transportation Agenda

There were no big surprises in Gov. Tim Kaine's remarks about transportation in his first speech as governor to the General Assembly last night. Read his speech here.

I suspect that Kaine will find broad support for his fiscal reforms: setting up a "lockbox" to prevent legislators from raiding the Transportation Trust Fund to pay for General Fund programs. His proposal to link land-use and transportation planning will be more contentious. The idea of requiring developers to submit traffic impact statements along with the rezoning requests is a good one.

Kaine's proposal to give local governments more power to curtail rezoning requests on the grounds that the development would stress the local transportation grid, however, will encounter resistance. Home builders and developers will argue, with some reason, that it will only aggravate the mismatch between supply of and demand for housing.

The biggest news is this: The Governor also plans to submit a "long-term transportation investment plan" to address Virginia's long-term transportation needs. In putting together that plan, he says Virginians need to address several questions:

Should drivers who abuse our roads, and endanger our families, bear a higher burden through fees?

Should heavier vehicles that cause increased wear and tear on the roads be charged more in maintenance costs?

How much should we rely on funding sources like HOT lanes and tolls?

Should localities have more options to fund critical regional projects?

What is the appropriate role of responsible debt and financing?

Are the dedicated state revenue streams that support our maintenance, construction and public transportation needs sufficient?

And most importantly, what is the price of doing nothing?


At 7:52 AM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

For what it's worth, here are my answers.



We should understand the tolls and hot lanes will raise needed money, but probably won't ease congestion much.

Yes, but we should not use that as an excuse to distribute the burden unfairly. How we figure out what fair is may be a problem in itself.

Roads are a long term investment, it is only fair that future users share the cost.

Probably not.

Close to infinite.


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