People have been saying that we have a transportation problem for decades, and this legislative session was no different. Dozens of bills designed to address our growing transportation needs were put forward during the most recent legislative session, and each and every one of them was either defeated or failed to be placed in the budget.
Meanwhile our road system has continued to deteriorate dangerously. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) over 3500 of our bridges are either obsolete or structurally deficient. Our roads are pitted and potholed, and within five years we'll be entirely out of money for any new construction.
In the face of universal agreement that the transportation problem is growing into a transportation crisis, proposed budgets offer no solutions. Worse, there isn't even any current plan to find a solution to this critical problem.
"By 2017, we will have no money left in construction," said Virginia's Secretary of Transportation in an October 6th Richmond Times Dispatch article.
We could have avoided harming our transportation system if our elected leaders had chosen to adopt a balanced approach to our budget issues, one that included new revenue through reform of costly and inefficient tax loopholes.
There are dozens of approaches that could help our transportation woes, some good, some not so good, but the one thing guaranteed not to work is not doing anything at all.
Virginia Organizing is part of Better Choices for Virginia-a broad alliance of business leaders, community organizations, retirees, parents, educators, health care providers, people of faith, and nonprofit organizations who want to make sure our state is a great place to live, raise a family, and run a business. We've come together for the common good. We want to make sure Virginia invests what it takes to create jobs and preserve a prosperous future: schools, health care, public safety and other building blocks of a strong economy.
"10 Ways in 10 Days" is an educational campaign to highlight the impact of the budget choices we've made in Virginia, and how we can better address the current challenges we face to ensure future prosperity.