Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Virginia's road-building process is flawed, new study contends

See the article from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.

The basic problem is lack of public oversight, as these projects are greenlighted by the Governor's Office.

And the Governor serves for one term only (although former Governors can run again and serve nonconsecutively, now US Senator Mark Warner just decided not to do this).

So the projects, like the High Occupancy Toll Lanes* recently launched in Northern Virginia ("Virginia has high hopes for HOT lanes on the Beltway" from the Washington Times) or the plan to build a new expressway tunnel in Hampton Roads funded by tolls ("Va. officials moving forward with tunnel tolls project" from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) can be very ideological.

The report, An Analysis of the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995, is published by the Southern Environmental Law Center. (press release)

Left: the Metro Expresslanes promotional campaign in Los Angeles included heavy duty outreach, including participation at street festivals, etc., and the sales of EZPass transponders from the van and in other public places.

* The opening in the last couple weeks of HOT lanes in Northern Virginia and Greater Los Angeles is another item on my long list of topics that I intend to write about.  The big problem is that HOT lanes promote "solo" driving at the expense of carpooling and transit.  State transportation departments are okay with this because of the revenue.  Local authorities concerned with promoting less traffic and more sustainable transportation modes, like Arlington County ("County Emerges Victorious As State Gives Up HOT Lanes" from the Arlington Now blog) are not so enamored.  Although I will say I have been impressed with the pre-opening promotional activities in LA.

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At 8:33 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

the HOT lanes will actually encourage slugging/car-sharing in the beltway, since those are free uses. Not saying that as a fan of the lanes --- they are a waste since the real traffic in NOVA is on secondary roads not the beltway. I think the problem with HOT is it encourages long commutes of ANY type rather than getting people to live closer to their job.

We probably need more mini-van/jitney sevice out in the burbs -- even in DC -- rather like the airport shuttls whichi are easier for other traffic than even small circulator buses.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

interesting point about jitneys/vanpools functioning closer in, as now they typically operate much further out.

This blog entry doesn't really discuss that idea per se, but references a book on this form of transportation in South Africa. I looked at it once at the LC, but really have to go back to it.

Once again, interesting "new" idea. Thanks for contributing it.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Good point about sluglines. I wonder if they will develop in LA?

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

The only problem with sluglines is they seem to be restricted to federal workers/contractors. Private sector is just too flexbile...

At 8:02 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

again, very good point. It requires a large number of people going to a small set of the same places at roughly the same time.

I gather, thinking about it now, that the dispersement of military sites away from places like Crystal City may reduce the demand for slugging?


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