Washington – The transportation funding bill passed by the Virginia Legislature last week is a much needed compromise that will give local jurisdictions the chance to allocate new local funds while increasing the state’s total support for roads and transit, members of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments said today.
“I support the bill because compromise is the only way to make our political system work,” said Alexandria Mayor William Euille, who’s also vice chairman of the Council’s Board of Directors. “A 27-year stalemate finally gave way. The state and the region will benefit, even if we might not agree on all the details.”
In December, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) sent a letter to state lawmakers explaining why additional transportation funding is essential for the maintenance and development of the area’s roads and transit system and highlighting successful funding strategies that have been enacted elsewhere in the country.
“This is great news for Northern Virginia! We finally have the ability to allocate funds raised locally to ease what is the worst congestion in the country,” said Chairman Scott York, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and Chair of TPB. “Yes, we still need and expect State support, but this new authority gives us the chance to use new local revenues to improve our transportation network and get Northern Virginia moving!”
Karen Young, chairwoman of the Council of Governments, and president pro-tem of the City of Frederick, MD Board of Aldermen, called on Maryland leaders to adopt their own compromise to increase transportation funding.
“The priority must be to take action that will benefit the state and our entire region,” Chairwoman Young said. “Here at the Council of Governments, we applaud every initiative that will help achieve our main goal of “Region Forward,” which means building a prosperous, livable, accessible and sustainable metropolitan Washington area. Maryland as a whole is in desperate need of more transportation funding, so we hope our state leaders now will take action.”