HJR 843

Commission on the Future of Transportation in Virginia

November 15, 1999, Wise

Among the 15 presentations before the commission, the most frequently heard theme was that the transportation needs of Southwest Virginia, though very different from those of Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, or other parts of the "Golden Crescent," were no less vital than those of Eastern Virginia. While Eastern Virginia needs transportation improvements (including expansion of mass transit systems) to maintain its economic vitality and quality of life by keeping traffic congestion from strangling the economy and degrading air quality, Western Virginia looks to transportation improvements (particularly highway construction) as the foundation of its economic development. Speaker after speaker stressed that failure to address the region's transportation needs will not only frustrate efforts to provide new jobs, but will almost certainly result in the loss of many existing jobs.

Transportation Needs

Among the needs most frequently identified were:

Other Recommendations

In addition to these points of consensus, the commission was urged to recommend that:

Bicycle Safety

One speaker focused on bicycle and pedestrian safety, particularly in urban areas, such as the City of Roanoke and urbanized portions of Roanoke County. He suggested:


In response to questions from commission members, several speakers suggested that additional funds required to meet presently unfunded transportation needs be raised by either an increase in the motor fuel tax, an increase in the sales tax, or increased issuance of bonds. One speaker, however, did mention several additional options: The Chairman announced his intention to hold the commission's fifth public hearing in the greater Roanoke area during the first week in December.

The Honorable William P. Robinson, Jr., Chairman
Legislative Services contact: Alan B. Wambold