Local Leaders Press State to Fulfill Responsibility on Transportation
September 5, 2012 – Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova led the mayors and chairs of the Urban Crescent yesterday in sending a letter to top Commonwealth leaders urging them to meet the state’s responsibility to adequately fund transportation and head off the “transportation funding crisis currently facing the Commonwealth.”
The letter, addressed to Gov. Robert McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and members of the General Assembly, points out the poor condition of Virginia’s secondary roads, the looming end of highway construction funds needed to match federal dollars, and numerous other challenges that are the state’s responsibility to meet.
“This is an economic issue, a jobs issue, and the state is putting our business-friendly reputation at risk by not adequately funding our transportation system,” Chairman Bulova said, referring to the recent CNBC rankings of America’s Top States for Business which lowered the Commonwealth’s overall ranking in state competitiveness from no. 1 to no. 3, and its ranking for infrastructure and transportation from no. 10 to no. 33. “The cost of inaction will no doubt be higher than the cost of addressing this crisis now,” Chairman Bulova said.
The Urban Crescent officials stressed the importance of a functional transportation network in the letter and said the transportation crisis presents a great threat to the economic well-being of the region and the state.
“An efficient transportation network links communities; sustains our important tourism industry; maintains Virginia’s critical role as a hub of national security efforts; allows businesses to move goods and provide services; and spurs economic development by drawing new businesses and revenues to our state every year,” the leaders wrote.
The Urban Crescent, the region that stretches from Northern Virginia to Richmond and Hampton Roads, “comprises 24 percent of the land area in Virginia, it comprises 68 percent of the population and generates 79 percent of the gross product of Virginia,” the leaders wrote. Since the Urban Crescent is critical to the economic well-being of Virginia, and a functional transportation network is key to economic viability, all regions of the Commonwealth will be adversely affected if the state fails to invest in transportation using “new stable, reliable, permanent, and balanced sources,” according to the letter.