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    Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 11:30am
The HOT mess was not VDOT's fault. The staff at VDOT are proud of their role in fostering the world's greatest HOV (ours, in case you're wondering.)

The problem was with the Gilmore administration's mania against taxes (remember the No Car Tax slogan that got him elected? Ahem, how much did you pay last September?).

The Republicans pushed through a law that said any company could submit a proposal to the state government for work it wanted to do, and the state would be REQUIRED to review it, even if it went against the state's own plans.

So here is a statement by a VDOT official in reply to a query from a PWC Supervisor... (in parens are my original notes):

"An unsolicited proposal was submitted on September 24, 2003 by a joint venture of the Clark Construction Group, Inc. (Clark), Shirley Contracting Company, LLC (SCC) and Koch Performance Roads, Inc. (KPRI), collectively identified as the Clark Team under the Public Private Transportation Act (PPTA) of 1995, as amended to develop, finance, design and construct new high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, from approximately I-95 to Route 17. Pursuant to the PPTA Implementation Guidelines, the conceptual proposal was posted for 120 days beginning November 18, 2003, and ending March 17, 2004.
During the posting period, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) received one competing proposal. Fluor Virginia Inc. submitted the competing proposal dated March 1, 2004 for VDOT's consideration. This conceptual proposal, submitted in association with a host of private entities provides for the development, finance, design, construction, operations, and maintenance of Interstate 95/395 Bus Rapid Transit/HOT Lanes System (BRT/HOT). The Fluor proposal expands and/or extends the I-95/395 HOV lanes from the 14th Street Bridge to Massaponax and provides a transit component which links Massaponax to Dulles Toll Road corridor and other transit facilities in the Northern Virginia area.
The two proposals have been reviewed by the Initial Review Committee, which considered the proposer's qualifications, and the proposals' technical and financial feasibility. Based on their findings, the Initial Review Committee recommended the concepts to the Commonwealth Transportation Board for approval. On January 20, 2005, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved both concepts and recommended them for further review and evaluation by the Advisory Panel.
The Advisory Panel began its study of the proposals on April 20, 2005. The Advisory Panel is comprised of individuals having the expertise and knowledge to objectively evaluate and analyze which project would promote the Commonwealth's transportation goals and are in the public's best interest. The panel is chaired by the Special Advisor to the Secretary John A. Rollison, III and includes VDOT's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Engineer, an engineering representative from the academic community, and members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board."

Just for the record, I asked the Advisory Panel and NOT ONE of them commutes in Northern Virginia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scottt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 8:47am
quote:
Originally posted by SpongeBob

The problem was with the Gilmore administration's mania against taxes (remember the No Car Tax slogan that got him elected? Ahem, how much did you pay last September?).



Um, I paid 70% less than I would have paid had he not been elected.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SpongeBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 11:59am
What part of "no" is unclear, Scottt? The promise Gilmore made, as you would recall if you were here when he made it to get elected, was to eliminate the car tax, not reduce it.

The result is the current transportation bind in which we find ourselves today: gutless twits like the Gilmore crew who didn't have the courage to say Services cost Money, Money means Taxes. No taxes = no services.

Instead, his administration said: We will reduce taxes yet provide equal state services. That is the stance of either an idiot or a liar. I think the latter. Which do you think?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scottt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 9:07am
quote:
Originally posted by SpongeBob

What part of "no" is unclear, Scottt? The promise Gilmore made, as you would recall if you were here when he made it to get elected, was to eliminate the car tax, not reduce it.

The result is the current transportation bind in which we find ourselves today: gutless twits like the Gilmore crew who didn't have the courage to say Services cost Money, Money means Taxes. No taxes = no services.

Instead, his administration said: We will reduce taxes yet provide equal state services. That is the stance of either an idiot or a liar. I think the latter. Which do you think?



I think the flaming Liberals (who didn't let him finish the job) would be the ones to talk to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SpongeBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2009 at 4:08pm
Because they stopped him from totally destroying the state's financial structure? Everyone knows, including the Republicans in the statehouse, that his governorship was a total disaster. It's not even open for debate!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2009 at 10:16am
Every dollar spent on HOT tolls is a dollar that will not contribute to local tax-supported services. HOT will erode local suburban communities discretionary-income base. HOT tolls paid will not be spent in support of local economies. HOT toll dollars will not be spent in the local stores, they will not pay local salaries, they will not fund local bake sales, and they will not contribute to the local tax base. HOT tolls are monies that leave the local communities, and they will leave the country as revenue for foreign HOT contractors. HOT tolls will rob the lifeblood of local communities! This is reason enough for every citizen and local politician to oppose HOT lanes.
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