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Taking Va. transportation planning in the wrong direction

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Derechos Donating Member (892 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 07:35 AM
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Taking Va. transportation planning in the wrong direction
Virginias political leaders are taking a chain saw to policies that promote smarter, more efficient growth by axing reforms designed to better connect neighborhoods and pushing design contracts that fast-track road construction and discourage public input.

Such are the conclusions drawn from recent blog posts by David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington and Jim Bacon, publisher of Bacons Rebellion, my home blog.

Alpert and Bacon detail how Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton are throttling reform-minded policies that had recently put Virginia at the forefront of good planning. They are using the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), a 17-member panel appointed by the governor, as the spearhead to advance their ideas on how subdivisions and roads should be built.

According to Alpert, the CTB recently voted to get rid of policies enacted in 2009 to encourage developers to build new subdivisions that connect easily to secondary and primary roads. Up until then, planning in Virginia was of a 1950s model that erected countless cul de sacs with only a few roads leading out of a development. The result was more time and gasoline wasted as residents traveled to shop or work and more trouble for emergency workers such as police, fire or ambulance drivers trying to respond to a crisis.
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