Pilot campaign for 22% tax hike tries to justify Southeastern Parkway for relieving congestion


[Editor's note:  This is 4th in a series of articles by Robert O'Connor, president of Citizens Action Coalition Inc. taking issue with positions published by the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.]


On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, the Virginian-Pilot presented the fourth part of a series of articles to continue their effort to convince you to vote for another tax for roads. The article attempts to justify the Southeastern Parkway as needed to relieve traffic congestion. The article fails to do so. Instead, note the emphasis on economic development opportunities.

The subheading of the article tells the tale - the Highway would "lure business to Chesapeake and Virginia Beach." Quotes from several paragraphs throughout the article leave no doubt about the main purpose of the proposed parkway.

A study completed for Chesapeake "showed the growing city could net up to $40 million in increased tax revenue within ten years from high-end residential and commercial development generated by the parkway's presence." Notice that the emphasis is on tax revenue collected and not on relief from traffic congestion.

Chesapeake "must rezone large portions of undeveloped land along the parkway's route." This would provide relief from traffic congestion?

The Mayor of Chesapeake is quoted as saying, "We hope it will have a significant economic impact for the city." Notice the emphasis on economic development not on traffic relief.

Virginia Beach proclaims that the Southeastern Parkway is infrastructure that "We've got to have to ensure our economic vitality." I know I am repeating myself, but notice that the emphasis is on economic development, not traffic relief.

Proponents say that the parkway "would stimulate economic development in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake." One more time, notice that the emphasis is on (do I need to say it again?).

Sounds like there will be no traffic relief, but more roads, more cars, more miles driven, more pollution.

Finally, the article quotes Virginia Beach Councilman Jim Reeve that the parkway is such a necessity that "we will continue to push to build this" even if November 's referendum fails. He said that it could be built as a toll facility. Fine. Let's vote NO on November 5th and build a toll road.

See also:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Parts V & VI