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Beware Politicians Promising Transportation Studies

A column in last week's Richmond Times-Dispatch reports a promise made by the independent gubernatorial candidate to "convene a blue-ribbon commission on transportation as soon as he is sworn in, (and) then convene a special session of the General Assembly to adopt its recommendations." The columnist then proceeds to identify all the transportation studies undertaken since 1986 beginning with Governor Baliles' Commission on the Future of Transportation in the 21st Century. Other transportation studies were started or completed in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. If that's not enough, the Commonwealth Transportation Board and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission are charged with studying transportation. That's just the beginning. The column notes the most recent call for a study was made by State Senator John Chichester, Finance Committee chair, who "announced formation of a promised . . . study of Virginia's transportation needs and ways to finance them." The lesson seems to be that transportation studies are a dime a dozen.


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