Fairfax Gets It, Why Can’t We?

9 12 2009

Fairfax recently released a new 10-year plan aimed at making transit travel more attractive the vehicle travel. The plan would increase service and frequency, create new routes, and use innovative techniques such as tying traffic lights to bus schedules, so that they never wait at lights. They also plan on utilizing dedicated bus lanes and fixed-route-style fare collection on some bus routes to speed the buses through stops. These new routes, including their already planned BRT routes, would work in unison with METRORail to make transit commutes faster than traditional, usually single-occupant, private car transportation.

My only question is why can Hampton Roads not come up with something this comprehensive. We did work on a plan for the future of transit but it seems to be viewed more as a dream and less of an actual this-is-what-we-need-to-work-for plan. Think about it. You see city after city create plans and actually follow them. Our area can do that too. Virginia Beach has been working on the Southeastern Parkway for 23 years now because it falls into their now-outdated plans to make the Corporate Landing office park successful. Why can’t we work this hard to make transit plans come through? If you ask any city, they will tell you that they want it to work, but nobody seems to be actually pushing for it.

In my opinion, the reason for the lack of drive for this issue is the lack of regional cooperation. Fairfax’s plan will work and has support because it only deals with one locality, Fairfax County. It ties into existing routes that go into other municipalities, but the plan itself, only expands service inside county lines. Here, however, our plan encompasses Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, James City County, and York County. In fact part of our Transit Vision Plan extends service toward Moyock, NC. How in the world do our leaders think that they can make something this expansive work if they can’t make simpler regional systems work. It is hard enough to get two cities to work on a bus route together let alone a system including both light rail and commuter rail. We need a functional regional government. If our localities could combine services and resources, we could actually overcome the problems that we face now. Look around. we are facing budget cuts all the time and money can no longer be guaranteed by the state. We have to help ourselves. Nobody else is coming to our rescue.

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3 responses

9 12 2009
t1ewis

i agree

what i also find sad is that this upcoming GA Transportation session is going to be another victim of more lack of cooperation. it’s also a slap in the face that it has to be in the middle of another party battle. it would be nice if these leaders would stop thinking of themselves and there parties and more about the place they live and how it’s crumbling

10 12 2009
Russell Manning

I think that they should all have two-consecutive-term limits. I am fine with them being in office many times, but if they have to get out ever two terms it creates an opening for someone new. If that person does a good job, they can stay. If not, they can get voted out and either the old person put back in or another newbie.

12 12 2009
t1ewis

yeah that would be a great idea, but too bad they’ve glued themselves to those seats if u know what i mean.

one positive i’m hoping is that the Tide combined with Dulles silver line will spark an interest in transportation funding. by seeing the growth in the HR metro areas and the constant-continuous growth in NoVA metro, they’ll have no choice but to surrender their stiff ideals and start compromising a plan with each other. at least that’s what i hope. if not, then they’re showing what complete stubborn mules they really are.

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