Kerry Dougherty: Misguided, Wrong, Contradictory

16 02 2009

I used to like Kerry Dougherty’s column in the Virginian Pilot. She seemed rational. She had good ideas. Recently, however, she seems to be completely misguided, she contradicts her own thoughts, and sometimes, she’s just plain wrong. Her past few stories on Light Rail have been unimaginably misguided. She repeatedly calls the $40 million-a-mile LRT project too expensive and urges Virginia Beach to look at better options. I can only assume she mean options like the Southeastern Parkway. Does she realize that this new road would cost nearly $47 million-a-mile? I would like to know what she thinks about the Third Crossing as well. It is going to cost well over $100 million-a-mile. Even the cost to rebuild the Battlefield Blvd. Interchange is nearly $100 million and that is just the interchange and immediate roadway. The point that I am trying to get at is that ALL construction costs have gone up. If Ms. Dougherty thinks that $40 million-a-mile is too much to spend on a mode of transportation that would actually be efficient and cost less than highway in the long run when you factor in other costs, such as air pollution and the cost to businesses of sitting in traffic. Not to mention, we are getting ours at a relative steal. Seattle’s planned expansion is going to cost over $300 million-a-mile.

On mass transit in general, Ms. Dougherty seems to have differing opinions as well. On July 10, 2008, She wrote an article basically saying that we should close high school parking lots and make the students ride the bus. She said that this would save money for everyone and help gas prices due to lower consumption. Interesting idea. She wants to make kids ride the bus but its too good for her? School buses are already over crowded. Not to mention the fortune they cost the school systems every year. Then, in a separate article, she talks about how HRT buses are ’empty.’ Apparently, she only looks at fringe buses on off-peak hours. There are quite a few HRT routes that are standing room only during rush hour. Maybe they would have even more passengers if people like her spent less time complaining about them and more time giving them a shot.

Mass transportation will succeed in Hampton Roads. The majority of residents are for it. Unfortunately, the few that are against it are more vocal than those that want it.




3 responses

16 02 2009


i think it comes down to her trying to get readers. but what she doesn’t realize is that one day soon, she won’t have any readers at all if u know what i mean

22 02 2009
Michael Ragsdale

When you talk about Seattle extension, which one? I assume you’re referring to the U-Link which, by necessity, is underground tunnel in a heavily built-up area (thus explaining the high cost)

29 05 2009
Daniel M. Laenker

Kerry Dougherty is absolutely daft. Unlike the Southeast Sprawlway and the Second-and-a-Half Crossing, transit is not only cheaper but more effective the more we build out to places people want to go.

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