Wednesday, June 25, 2008

HB 6028 Makes The Newspaper

Do they read my blog at The Virginian-Pravda? They finally picked up on the story of HB 6028. http://hamptonroads.com/2008/06/legislation-would-extend-light-rail-virginia-beach

On Monday evening, I told HR Transit Ideas' Michael Ragsdale that I owed a hug to whomever masterminded HB 6028. It's sheer genius:

1. The rail line will probably get built quicker this way.

2. Making it a state project insulates it from the antics of the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA).

My one real question is how would it be financially structured as a PPTA? On a road, you let them collect tolls; however, on a rail line, that money goes toward operating the trains. A percentage? Development rights at the stations? Parking concessions for the park-and-rides? Let's hope that whomever came up with the PPTA idea also figured how to fit it into a regional light rail network.

20 comments:

Eileen said...

Henry, you may want to listen in on this and maybe call in with your questions about light rail as a PPTA.

At noon today, tune in to Kathy Lewis' Hearsay show on WHRV (89.5 FM). Kimball will be on, along with Sen. Wagner, former VDOT chief Phil Shucet and the press secretary for Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, where they are supposedly making great progress on public-private partnerships.

William Bailey said...

I just paid $17 to park two short hours at Dulles International Airport the other day, so I can't imagine "Free parking" for light rail would even be on the table. There has to be cost recovery, expansion and maintenance funding as well in the fee structures.

I support light rail in VB but we are dreaming if we think it will be cheap or free in any shape or form.

Anonymous said...

Hum, the Virignia Beach voters reject Light Rail in 1999 and the GOP turns around and ignores the will of the people.

At the very least another referendum is required to determine if the voters have changed their mind.

Of course this could all be a distraction to avoid the truth that the 6 projects included in the MPO plan and the new HRBT capacity proposed are all highway projects and none of the billions in new REGIONAL taxes, fees, and tolls, is allowed for use in mass transit projects in our region.

Granted, the Governors plan does tax the sale of people's homes across the entire state to be used for mass transit, but that doesn't include any specific funding dedicated to our region.

-Reid Greenmun

Michael Ragsdale said...

Knock it off Reid. From what I saw at Kaine's town hall meeting, you like sitting in congestion. To quote Mike Barrett (which we all know the VNS would never "really" do):

"So now we have the classic confrontation; the Senate has passed a bill which solves our gridlockbut but the House has killed the Governors bill and now will oppose raising taxes and fees to build the same projects it approved last year. What gives? Frankly, the majority in the House is betting its future on the stupidity of us, the voters. That is, they fully believe that by a flurry of bills, by spin, by PR gimmicks like another audit, they can convince us that while there was a problem last year, there really is no problem today. Well, I trust my own power of observation of gridlock and my own memory of a transportation system that actually worked in the past. I hope others will ignore the spin and trust their own instinct. Ignoring a profoundly important issue like transportation infrastructure only places more future burden on taxpayers. Costs rise; they don't listen to the spin. A House of Delegates majority that ignores the needs of its citizens deserves to be defeated at the next election cycle. It really is up to us."

Anonymous said...

Michael, Mike Barrett has it worong ... again. He writes:

"So now we have the classic confrontation; the Senate has passed a bill which solves our gridlock ..."

Not for our region.

The 6 MPO projects, as i showed you at the Town Hall meeting, do not solve our gridlock.

Neither does wasting money on a low volume, grade-level Light Rail line running down the old NS ROW.

-Reid

Avenging Archangel said...

Reid,

Name one state PPTA that has ever been put to referendum. Please.

Anonymous said...

Beats me Henry - it doesn't change anything regarding the role of a representative government. The citizens said "NO!" - that is what matters.

Instead of ignoring the Will of the people as expressed at the ballot box, the elected representatives should ASK the citizens if they have changed their minds.

Ignoring the Will of the People is bad government.

-Reid

Avenging Archangel said...

Ignoring the VBTA is common sense.

Michael Ragsdale said...

apparently Reid can't read: on Pilot boards as well as at the town hall meeting, the cry was "do something"

Btw: there ain't no such thing as a free lunch (or roads in this case) perhaps we should bill the VBTA the cost of the delay

Anonymous said...

I am really trying to understand this blog. I have stopped by on several occasions finding the link from Bearing Drift. The blogger infers this is a right of center blog. Huh? All I've read from the posts is the most pinkish socialist tripe ever. Avenging Angel advocates governmental investments, entitlements, and control. This blog is about as far left as one can go. It's all about gimme more at someone else's expense.

E.V. Stone
Portsmouth

Avenging Archangel said...

Yeah, I'm so far left that I endorsed Bob Marshall for U.S. Senate and Mike Huckabee for President.

That was very pinko socialist of me.

Anonymous said...

Does Reid actually believe a 1999 referendum is valid 10 years later?? What was the price of gas in 1999? What was the population of Virginia Beach? How many hundreds of thousands more visitors does Virginia Beach have now?

Anonymous said...

Well AA, that is interesting! Obviously your "endorsements" must be motivated on life issues (religious). But your blog indicates you look for fiscal government handouts. I can't see where Marshall and Huckabee fit that bill!

E.V. Stone (Ed)

Anonymous said...

Yes, the referendum on Light Rail is a matter of public redcord and to detemine if there is a change in the will of the voter, another referendum is required.

Mr. Stone, you noticed that too?

-Reid

Jessica Blaine said...

Uh, Reid? Stuck in the past? 9 years DOES make a difference! Anyone who listens to the VBTA/TLP/CACI is stuck in the past.

I'm now happily settled with my brother in Boston. Michael: thanks for telling us about MBTA - we happily report that we have no cars :)

Anonymous said...

A new referendum is "required?" Is that state law or a VBTA wish?

Michael Ragsdale said...

VBTA "insistence" (they couldn't make a decision on their own even if it would save their life)

Jessica: no problem. Good luck in Boston.

Avenging Archangel said...

Ed,

I don't support every government spending item voted out of every meeting I attend. I look at this as a niche blog, where you can get news from certain areas (i.e. transit, RAC, etc.) that you can't get anywhere else.

Yes, I am a moral conservative but an economic moderate, just like Huckabee and former state Senator Nick Rerras.

For your attempts at litmus testing, if you believe your Portsmouth will get out of it's mess without the very government investments you attack, you can room with Reid at the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center.

Name one urban area in the industrialized world with a libertarian services model. Please.

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 8:30,

You're catching onto the game here. The VBTA can't make a statement on light rail without using the word "referendum".

Here's the deal: the VBTA is on life support, only able to muster Moss and Shuler as Council challengers. They're toast in November without something to revive them. That's right: they want a light rail referendum so they can try to take the credit should "No" win, and use that to try to jumpstart the VBTA.

You are correct: there is no legal requirement to hold a referendum. Norfolk is building LRT without a referendum, NoVa built Metro without referenda, etc.

Anonymous said...

AA
Sorry, I'm an old guy, from the old school and just don't equate how political party labels like Libertarian fit in with economic systems. Under economical disciplines, I only know of three; Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism. So what are you really trying to say? An economical moderate? What's that? Political spin for Socialism? Heck, if your a Socialist, fess up. This is a free country. Your economic beliefs are your right and not a disease. All this liberal, moderate, conservative, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian label junk gets so intermingled its no wonder politics is so nasty. No one knows what they are talking about.

As for Portsmouth, it is doing just fine. As a matter of fact, if local and state government would take all those crazy special-interest regulation crap and we would once again become Laissez-faire we would probably see a resurgence of economic success. Its all this government leveraged risk that has put us in this fix. Guess you don't remember how great the Commonwealth was doing on a pay as you go basis. Now the bankers and the bond writers have you youngsters thinking borrowing and spending what you don't have is good and paying for what you can afford is bad and stupid.

Funny you should mention Senator Rerris. That was a really comedy of errors, but that is for another post.

Regards,
Ed
Portsmouth