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
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
Parts V & VI