WAMU 88.5 : News

Transportation Priorities Trump Funding, McDonnell Critics Say

Play associated audio
According to smart growth advocates, emphasis on highway spending underpins Virginia transportation challenges.
VaDOT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vadot/6923782709/
According to smart growth advocates, emphasis on highway spending underpins Virginia transportation challenges.

As Virginians wait to see if the governor and General Assembly can reach a compromise to salvage a transportation funding plan, one advocacy group says there is more to this drama than simply raising more tax revenue.

One of the McDonnell administration's most vocal critics says the state's future transportation priorities are just as important as the ongoing battle in Richmond over the gas and sales taxes. Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, which favors developing public transit alternatives to highway construction, says the governor and state Department of Transportation have the wrong priorities.

"The fundamental problem has been this administration's waste of much of the $3 billion in additional funds the General Assembly provided in 2011," Schwartz says.

He points to four highway projects he says amount to about $5 billion dollars in waste: Route 460 in southern Virginia, the Coalfields Expressway in western Virginia, the Charlottesville Bypass, and an unnamed north-south highway corridor between I-95 in Prince William County to Route 7 in Loudoun County.

"This administration has been squandering money on rural highway projects that are flatly unnecessary and could actually make our problems worse," Schwartz says.

Schwartz says the legislature should strengthen its oversight of VDOT's spending and approve a transportation funding plan that dedicates at least 25 percent of revenues toward commuter rail.

NPR

For A Female Banker At The Top Of Her Game, What Does It Take To Stay There?

In the film Equity, investment banker Naomi Bishop navigates the male-dominated world of Wall Street. Screenwriter Amy Fox discusses the film and her research, which included many interviews with women who worked on Wall Street.
NPR

Salvage Supperclub: A High-End Dinner In A Dumpster To Fight Food Waste

The ingredients — think wilted basil, bruised plums, garbanzo bean water — sound less than appetizing. Whipped together, they're a tasty meal that show how home cooks can use often-tossed foods.
NPR

LISTEN: At The DNC, We Asked Women Why They Were Voting For Clinton

We asked women — as young as 4 and as old as 77 — how much the weight of history factored into their decision.
NPR

New Reports Of Hackers In Democratic Party Computer Systems

The Clinton campaign says its systems were not hit but that a program it uses was in the party's compromised system. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was also hacked.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.