Statement on Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board Approval of $17.6 Billion Six-Year Capital Spending Program
A Road to Ruin?
Today with no debate, the appointed Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the largest transportation spending program in Virginia history, $17.6 billion in capital spending.
“We are shocked by the lack of discussion of the spending priorities in the Six-Year Plan, by the failure to tie the program to specific policy goals, and the assumption that simply adding road capacity will solve our transportation problems. The plan includes a number of wasteful mega-projects that have been strongly criticized as unnecessary including Route 460 ($1.4 billion), the Coalfields Expressway ($2.8 billion), Charlottesville Bypass ($244 million), N-S Corridor ($1 billion plus), and a long range $11.4 billion plan for I-81.
The CTB doesn’t understand the benefits of more efficient land use – of cities, towns, and compact transit-oriented development — along with transportation demand management programs (carpooling, telecommuting, etc.) that reduce driving demand. They don’t understand changing demographics and market demand that have led to big declines in vehicle miles traveled. The plan includes just 9% of the total for transit even though 69% of the state population lives in the Urban Crescent.
In short, we believe this program will be remembered for squandering billions of tax dollars while making Virginia’s patterns of development less efficient, more oil dependent, and less competitive.”
Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director
About the Coalition for Smarter Growth
The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington D.C. region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies needed to make those communities flourish. To learn more, visit the Coalition’s website at www.smartergrowth.net.