Joint Subcommittee Studying
Creation of a Northern Virginia Regional Transportation Authority
October 11, 2000, Annandale
Joint subcommittee members began
the meeting with a general discussion of whether or not they should recommend
to the Governor and General Assembly the creation of a regional transportation
authority for Northern Virginia. Among the opinions expressed:
- Several members felt the need
for greater linkage between land-use planning and transportation planning.
Senator Mims urged that transportation decision-making be decentralized,
so that transportation project decisions, funding decisions, and land-use
decisions could all be made locally.
- Mayor Donley supported implementation
of the 2020 Plan, but feared that the necessary financial assets would
not become available fast enough. He urged creation of a regional authority
with bonding authority as a means of accelerating the pace of making
transportation improvements. Delegate Rust agreed, adding that a lack
of political will in Richmond made it necessary to take action regionally,
but not on a locality-by-locality basis.
- Delegate Marshall was not
convinced that creation of an authority would remove the various impediments
standing in the way of regional transportation improvements and wondered
whether an authority should be given the power of eminent domain.
- Several members thought it
would be helpful to look at existing authorities--both within Virginia
and elsewhere--that have been successful in improving transportation
and adapt them to the Northern Virginia context. To varying degrees,
several members urged that transportation revenues generated in Northern
Virginia should be retained and spent locally, rather than transferred
to Richmond and only partially returned to be spent on regional projects
by the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation
- Ms. Hanley suggested giving
the Transportation Coordinating Council (TCC) a revenue stream and bonding
power and making it responsible for transportation programs throughout
Planning District Eight. Several suggestions were made as to ways in
which the size and selection of the TCC should be changed, if it were
to be given this responsibility. Several members suggested that there
should be a consolidation of existing regional and subregional transportation
entities, not an increase in their number.
The focus of discussion then
shifted to the precise mission of any new transportation entity and it
was agreed that, at its next meeting, the panel would discuss the missions,
organizations, and powers of successful transportation authorities and
which of them might serve, at least in some degree, as a paradigm for
a Northern Virginia regional transportation authority.
The Honorable Warren E. Barry,
Legislative Services contact:
Alan B. Wambold