Media's argument for a 22% tax hike for roads is 'clear demonstration of last century thinking'


[Editor's note:  This is 3nd in a series of articles taking issue with positions published by the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot by Robert O'Connor, president of Citizens Action Coalition Inc.]

On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, the Virginian-Pilot presented the third part of a series of articles to continue their effort to convince you to vote for another tax for roads. The article is a clear demonstration of last century thinking.

The article states that the proposal is for "A second Midtown Tunnel parallel to the existing one between Norfolk and Portsmouth" and " It would connect two core cities." Why expand the connection between two core cities? A better solution is move jobs from Norfolk to Portsmouth. The people in Portsmouth could live and work in their city which would be much better for the (former) commuters and better for the Portsmouth tax base. The real question should be: Why haven't the leaders of Portsmouth been working with business leaders to move jobs to Portsmouth? They should have been doing this for years.

Later in the article, we are told that the new tunnel would "Open access to the fast-growing suburbs of northern Suffolk and western Tidewater." (Access apparently means development.) So how does that square with the oft-repeated mantra that the six projects will decrease traffic congestion? Opening access is an invitation to development. Obviously, development means more cars, more driving and more pollution. Great planning!

The article states that we opened the existing tunnel forty years ago. Planning another tunnel is based on the same thinking process. Some seem to have analyzed the growth of population and jobs and traffic and said, "Well, that's the way things developed the last forty years, therefore that's the way things will always develop."

We need a new approach - the 21st century approach to the design of living and working areas.

To our politicians, planners and developers - much has changed during those forty years. Wake up and recognize the benefits of modern technology.

See also:

Part I
Part III
Part IV
Parts V & VI