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How would you rather fix the State budget?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hampton Roads Transportation Authority

(sigh) Where do I start? Hampton Roads needs thA regional transportation authority, not particularly this one but we still need one. We need one that focuses on FIXING our problems and not delaying them. That means NO third crossing and NO Southeastern Parkway. We DO need a wider HRBT, a wider Downtown Tunnel and a second Midtown Tunnel. We DO need a reliable, efficient REGIONAL mass transit system. That means Regional Light Rail and a complimentary bus system. This Regional Light Rail would cost LESS THAN the 3rd Crossing. We also need a passenger rail connection to Richmond that connects to the Southside.
Currently, our VA Supreme Court has ruled that non-elected bodies cannot hold a taxing power. I agree. What I do not agree with is our illustrious General Assembly sitting back with their thumbs up their .. nose. They have the power to tax and earmark that money to transportation. They do not want to tax though, that might hurt their zero-tax reputation. They don't think of what their reputation will be if they don't fix our problem. Here's an idea. Let's just deduct the money from their pay. They don't get paid until we get a plan. Or lock them in. They can't leave until we have a plan. No food or water. We'd have a plan real quick. So what if they cease to exist, maybe we could get a new, progressive legislature.


Avenging Archangel said...

You support light rail and oppose The Third Crossing at the same time ? Since you apparently haven't received the memo, The Third Crossing's multimodal tube is where the light rail line connecting the Peninsula and Southside would go through.

Theoretically you could go multimodal over the HRBT, but that presents some other problems that would be very expensive to correct.

Russell Manning said...

The Third Crossing doesn't make a third crossing. It connects 564 to 664 on the south side of the MMBT. The multi-modal tube you speak of has no mention of going to the Peninsula. VDOT's own website says the third crossing will include:
* Widening I-664 in Newport News to eight lanes
* Constructing two new tubes parallel to the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel, adding four more lanes for travel
* Constructing an additional new multi-modal tube to add transit/rail lines from the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel to near the Norfolk Naval Station
* Adding a new four-lane highway connector from the new bridge tunnel to the Western Freeway in Portsmouth
* Widening I-664 to six lanes from the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel to the Bowers Hill interchange
Apparently the multi-modal stops on the southside. Which doesn't make much sense. However, I am for a transit connection to the Peninsula, it is only unnecessary. The rest of the third crossing project is a huge regressive waste of money and will only delay eventual gridlock.

Michael Ragsdale said...

Interesting. Yes, we do need a "real" authority and yes, the GA needs to fix it NOW! I support tolls in combination with other ways (gas tax). When I used to drive, I would take the Jordan any day than sit at a tunnel. What we really need is a PTBA (Public Transportation Benefit Area) which is an authority allowed to collect taxes and is answerable to the people in addition to the elected officials for transit use only.

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