This text is from our February 8th email alert:
New Transportation Bill, Same Wasteful Spending?
The General Assembly may be arguing over the sources of funding, but we're concerned about where that money is going.
Twenty days left. We had some good news from the General Assembly last week with the withdrawal of this year's uranium mining legislation, but it's going to be a few weeks before we can savor that win.
Now, all eyes have turned to transportation. The Republicans and Democrats have different ideas in the works -- but there's one thing they agree on -- new transportation legislation will be passed and they are asking for a lot more money to put towards new mega-projects.
A quick look at history shows that sending a blank check to VDOT is not a solution that works. In 2010, the General Assembly provided nearly $4 billion in additional funds to road projects. However, the last three years have not yielded the transportation improvements Virginia was promised. Those funds are still being wasted on mega-projects in the Piedmont like the Rt. 29 Charlottesville Bypass and Outer Beltway and around the Commonwealth, like the Rt. 460 Toll Road and Coalfields Expressway.
Tell your senator to support to support transportation improvements in the places where people already live and work, instead of prioritizing mega-projects with little accountability.
The Biggest Needs are Local Road Improvements, Not Mega-Projects
This administration has repeatedly favored unnecessary and expensive new mega-highways while neglecting to fix the roads that people use every day in urban and suburban neighborhoods.
These highways have opened up huge areas of land to development and will continue to impact currently developed areas, requiring expensive new transportation networks and destroying agricultural and historical resources. Taxpayers will bear the brunt of the additional costs (local services) associated with this sprawling development and these roads will exacerbate local congestion.
The General Assembly may be arguing over the sources of funding, but we're concerned about where that money is going. Unless the legislature takes action to stop wasteful projects, require better prioritization, and increase public input and accountability, it should not approve yet more funding.
Director of State Policy
The Piedmont Environmental Council
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