Elections have consequences, a consequence of the 2017 election is that not only did Northern Virginia (NOVA) lose many great public servants, but the region lost some of its biggest champions of transportation reform. Let the stats speak for themselves!
NOVA Democrats have abandoned any attempt to relieve congestion and reduce tolls.
Out of the 27 Democrats representing NOVA, not one has introduced a traffic congestion relief bill. On the contrary, Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax)and David LaRock (R-Loudoun) are the two lone Republicans left serving Northern Virginia and have introduced a combined eight bills on tolling and congestion relief, and another five budget amendments on these issues. Republicans are leading the way in bringing true relief to traffic gridlock in Northern Virginia. The only I-66 tolling legislation, House Bill 1417, sponsored by Democrats was introduced by David Bulova (D-Fairfax), but it’s an exact copy of one already introduced by Republicans.
Hugo has introduced a bill to restrict I-66 tolling to between the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. for eastbound traffic and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for westbound traffic. A separate bill grandfathers in certain clean fuel vehicles for using I-66 without a toll. And yet a third bill would require the state to renegotiate tolling related to I-66. All three bills are addressing campaign promises.
Much the same can be said about LaRock who is also carrying legislation to cap tolls and address transportation issues. He has also sponsored House Bill 1291 in effort to direct the Secretary of Transportation to renegotiate the agreement governing transportation facilities on I-66 outside the Capital Beltway.
Democrats must be held accountable for making promises to voters that they now are not keeping. Instead of focusing on extreme issues such as allowing localities to raise minimum wage as high as they want, giving driver’s licenses and precious in-state tuition slots to illegals, and other divisive social issues, maybe Democrats should focus on the issues they were elected to solve.