How bad is the state’s financial situation? VDOT is allocating $325,000/year to Albemarle County each year for the next five years for secondary roads, Brian Wheeler writes for Charlottesville Tomorrow. Compare that to $5,150,000 in 2004. And that tiny bit that we’re still getting is from right-of-way fees in our own utility bills—the state is, strictly speaking, not giving us a penny. The only transportation project that’s happening now is Meadowcreek Parkway, and that’s due to federal funding from back in 2005.
You just can’t build much for $325,000 in the realm of transportation. That’ll get you a nice new sidewalk, maybe a hundred yards of widened road. Gov. Bob McDonnell was elected to office last November on a platform that involved a great deal of talk about solving the state’s transportation crisis (we’re fast hurtling towards the day when we can no longer maintain existing roads), which he pledged to do without raising taxes. If you can figure out how to do that, you might let the governor know—no doubt he’s wondering how to pull it off, too. The General Assembly lacks the political will to solve the transportation problem, which will require developing a long-term revenue source to fund roads at a rate that adjusts with the use of roads, such as by increasing the gas tax.
A fun fact from this article: “Secondary roads are those numbered 600 and above. Primary roads, such as U.S. 29, are funded from other sources for their construction and maintenance.”