Election Day and Transportation
November 8 was a sad day for transportation in Hampton Roads as Virginia Beach residents rejected the light rail initiative. A lot of plans and initiatives will have to be undone and funds reallocated. But apparently one monkey doesn’t stop the show. Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander said the failed measure is a blow for regionalism but not for Norfolk.
“We are the hub, the urban center, the downtown for a region of 1.7 million people. We have a firm commitment to light rail because we know connectivity and reliability is key moving forward.” (Virginia Pilot)
Voters in northern Virginia seemed to share that sentiment. Voters in Arlington and Fairfax approved $58.8 million and $120 million, respectively, in bond measures to upgrade Metro.
And the good news continues across the country. From Seattle, LA and the Bay Area to Atlanta, Maryland’s Prince Georges County the American Public Transportation Association reports that Americans approved 33 of 48 local and statewide public transit measures. Voters in Pueblo, Colorado even approved a measure that will help fund work to continue and extend Amtrak’s Southwest Chief service. Altogether, those 48 ballot measures represented roughly $200 billion in public investment in transit.
The Center for Transportation Excellence tracks transportation inititatives by state and the results at http://www.cfte.org/elections.