As you may recall, last month we reported on a meeting with representatives of the Urban Crescent– localities from NOVA to Hampton Roads, along the I-95 and I-64 corridors– focused on transportation funding solutions. Following this meeting, your Prince William Chamber worked with other Urban Crescent leaders to craft a letter urging legislators to take action to avoid what Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton refers to as the state’s “Transportation Cliff.” The letter says in part:
The Commonwealth can no longer afford to continue to take a wait-and-see attitude. CNBC’s rankings of “America’s Top States for Business” downgraded Virginia’s ranking for infrastructure and transportation from #10 to #33. “Business as usual” is no longer acceptable.
The Urban Crescent Mayors and Chairs and the CEOs of the Chambers of Commerce respectfully request that State elected leaders come together to develop an effective business-type approach to solve critical maintenance and construction funding problems. It has been 26 years since Virginia’s funding system for transportation maintenance and construction has been modified.
Mayors, Chairs and Chamber executives from the Urban Crescent jurisdictions, including Mayor Hal Parrish, City of Manassas and Mayor Frank Jones, City of Manassas Park and Prince William Chamber CEO Rob Clapper, signed the letter (read it in full), which was sent to Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and members of the General Assembly. Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart did not sign on, but did send a letter to his fellow jurisdictional leaders explaining his rationale for not doing so.
During the recent “Legislative Kick-off,” Senator George Barker called transportation the “number-one priority.” Given the cost– in time, money and quality of life– of not solving Virginia’s transportation crisis, we hope that other state legislators feel as strongly, and will continue to urge action to get Virginians moving.