HB 2: Keep It Simple

Posted on October 23, 2014 in: Commonwealth Transportation BoardHouse Bill 2Prioritization

In October 16th testimony, the Alliance urged the Commonwealth Transportation Board and Virginia Department of Transportation to focus predominantly on congestion reduction and economic development when rating projects in the General Assembly-mandated transportation project prioritization process known as HB 2.

The Alliance noted that “HB 2 started off based on measuring value in terms of congestion reduction in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads and economic development promotion elsewhere. Somewhere along the way in the General Assembly safety, accessibility and environmental quality were added in, regionally funded projects in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads were excluded (even though regional funds represent the bulk of the HB 2313 new construction dollars) and a bunch of other categories of projects were also excluded from evaluation.”

The Alliance noted that by definition new projects will improve safety; that projects that most reduce congestion also will most improve accessibility; and that strict federal and state laws ensure environmental protection.

In short, the Alliance recommended that the HB 2 process be focused on its original intent with the preponderance of weight (60% to 80%) being assigned to “congestion relief” in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads and to “economic development” elsewhere “with the proviso that ‘economic benefits’ be tied to specific, realistic development factors as opposed to a general ‘if we build it they will come’ attitude.”

Read the Alliance statement here.

Focusing on Congestion Reduction
and Economic Development
Is Best Guarantee Taxpayer Dollars Are Well-Invested