Today's Virginia News Source brought us a piece by Bob O'Connor on Transportation. Bob's quickly becoming my whipping boy. Well, if he keeps making statements like these, someone is bound to call him on them:
1. "The Southeastern Parkway Greenbelt (SEPG), fraudulently claimed as a needed escape route from a hurricane, is in fact primarily for future development."
Bob, have you actually looked at a map of the route? First, the only place it goes south of the Green Line is the western portion of the Transition Area - the same area virtually sealed against development by the BRAC Ordinances. Second, much of the rest of the route falls in AICUZ areas.
2. "A tunnel to Portsmouth would not be needed if Navy presence in Norfolk is reduced as well as civilian employment."
Predicating your Transportation strategy on the region's largest employer downsizing is simply bizarre. In addition, given the congestion at the Downtown Tunnel, added capacity at the Midtown Tunnel would see traffic divert there regardless.
3. "Light rail will encourage more high density development and perpetuate the last century approach to live in one city and work in another."
"Our city and state officials owe taxpayers assurances that any future projects are designed to invigorate Smart Growth...."
Bob, do you have a friggin' clue as to what Smart Growth is?!? Smart Growth features "high density development" in transit corridors (locally: "light rail"). Urban areas within a quarter mile radius of the train station, with lower density outside of that. Smart Growth without transit is nothing but "high density development" without the added Transportation to deal with the numbers!
4. "The people at the Virginia Business magazine get it. In an article in their October 2002 issue they stated 'The state's tax structure promotes sprawl"...."
Agreed. However, I'll only take O'Connor seriously at wanting to tackle the problem when he runs a piece calling for the local Property Tax to be abolished, replaced by a local income tax. Until then, he's simply hiding behind the tax code as an excuse to do nothing.
5. "The people who wrote the document 'A CONSERVATIVE TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVE' get it."
You mean the same "document" that Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) Transportation Chairman Reid Greenmun has attacked? Maybe first the Deaniacs should caucus and decide whether they're for or against the "Alternative".