DIALOGUE WITH LOCALITIES AND MORE LOCAL CONTROL
When the Springfield mixing bowl was restructured and rebuilt, it was done without any concern for the interests of the community, and now many people think it was done improperly. When the General Assembly handed down a rule that said all public schools had to display the words “In God We Trust” in the entryways to schools, they did so without concern for how much money such an effort would cost the county or whether the community thought it was a priority.
When I wanted to get a cross walk painted on a road near an elementary school to make the area safer for pedestrians, I had to wait months to get permission from the state. By that time I could have gone out there with a can of paint and done it myself. It is time for the delegate from the 38th District to advocate for more local control.
More local control on the budget and transportation
Too many Republicans and Democrats in Richmond believe that a “one size fits all” model can apply to creating the budget and fixing transportation. These advocates of the Dillon rule could not be farther from the truth. The fact of the matter is a decision made without concern over a specific locality is a decision doomed for failure. As your delegate, I promise to conduct my work on the budget and transportation issue in a way that reflects the needs of the 38th District.
Increased dialogue with local officials
I have been on the School Board for ten years. In that time, I was contacted by my Delegate once. Ten years. Ten budgets. One contact. As your delegate, I promise to be more responsive to local elected officials and leaders when dealing with an issue that is important to them. Because I’ve been in their position and I know that Richmond is better off with the advice of localities. I make the same promise of responsiveness to each and every person who lives in the 38th District.
Increased abilities for localities to deal with safety needs
My tale of trying to get a cross walk painted is one of many examples of local officials being unable to address safety concerns due to constrictions from Richmond. As your delegate I will work to give localities more control over matters of safety on the roads.
SHORT-TERM FIXES AND LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS FOR OUR TRANSPORTATION PROBLEMS
One of the biggest problems facing the 38th House of Delegates District is the issue of transportation. In Richmond, there has been a focus on large-scale projects that cost millions and take years to complete. We need to refocus our efforts to improve transportation with pragmatic and doable options that have an immediate and positive impact on the people of the 38th District and the Commonwealth as a whole. As your delegate, improving transportation for our residents and our businesses will be one of my top priorities. I will fight for a better approach to transportation in Richmond; one that includes short term low-cost fixes and the development of a long term sensible and pragmatic solution.
Northern Virginia Transportation Coalition Community Resolution
Kaye supports the 2009 Northern Virginia Business Community Resolution drafted by the Northern Virginia Transportation Coalition. This coalition of sixteen major Northern Virginia private organizations wants state politicians to secure transportation revenues that will eliminate the transportation deficit. The coalition believes that solving the existing transportation problems is necessary to achieve economic prosperity. The resolution is available in entirety at http://www.nvta.org/index.asp.
VDOT Performance Audit
Virginia needs an independent, performance based, outcome driven approach to solving transportation problems. As your Delegate, I will call for a performance audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation as a foundation for future transportation planning and expenditures. This audit will give us a clear picture of the needed transportation improvements, while offering an increased level of transparency and accountability to the general public. The outcome of the audit will help Virginia set our transportation goals of the future.
Short Term Fixes
The best thing we can do to improve public safety and move traffic more efficiently in the short term is to improve major arterials like Route 50 that traverse the 38th District. As your delegate I will work with the Virginia Department of Transportation and Fairfax County to improve flow on these key economic routes. Actions such as improving the timing of traffic lights to better handle parking and turning have several major benefits. These plans can be implemented quickly and at a low cost with incredible and immediate benefits to transit and highway users. As a matter of public safety, improving our arterials reduces the temptation for drivers to cut through residential neighborhoods and allows authorities to clear accidents more quickly. Economic benefits include improving access to our businesses and saving residents fuel. It also has incredible benefits for the environment in reducing green house gases and decreasing the amount of time cars spend on the road.
Long Term Solutions
As a long-term goal, we need to focus transit on meeting the needs of lower income residents of the 38th District. It is impossible to expand access to job opportunities to our low income population without roadways and public transportation to support them. The state government needs to work with localities to create a cost effective way to accomplish this. As your Delegate, I will convene a study to research the effectiveness of low-cost options for new transit routes to get our workers to key job centers and metro stops.