argument for a 22% tax hike for roads is 'clear demonstration of last
[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
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.
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
Parts V & VI