September 28, 2006
Failing to narrow their differences over transportation funding, the Virginia General Assembly has called off their special session that was supposed to last two more days. There is virtually no chance that they will reconvene before the next regular session in January. Apparently, the squabbling in Richmond between moderate Senate Republicans and conservative House Republicans is as bad as ever. The inability to reach a compromise is another black eye for the Republican Party, but no deal is better than a bad deal. For the time being, taxpayers can breathe easier, while motorists get even more frustrated. Unless regional transportation authorities for Northern Virginia and other congested areas are created, it appears that toll roads are in our future. So be it.
In their meeting on Wednesday, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors voted against holding public hearings for granting permits to expand truck service centers. Supervisors Kay Frye and Nancy Sorrells were the dissenters, in a repeat of the controversy over the proposed industrial megasite at Weyer's Cave. See the News Leader. I am sympathetic to those who want to rein in truck traffic, but the reality is that those trucks are already on the road, and they need a place to stop. As I wrote yesterday, there is a terrible problem with trucks clogging public rest areas. The only solution is a long-term one: shifting freight traffic to railroads!