Huge traffic changes are coming to Alexandria thanks to the Defense Department’s Base Realignment & Closure Commission (BRAC), but little has been done to figure out how 6,400 federal employees will get to & from Alexandria’s Mark Center.
The conservative Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board rightly heaps a share of the BRAC blame on the slouched shoulders of Gov. Bob McDonnnell (R-VA) and his fellow Republicans who control a majority of Virginia’s state government:
Virginia has known for years that base consolidation would bring more workers here. But it has failed to get ready, because state leaders – almost exclusively Republicans – have failed to take the necessary step: raising the gasoline tax, whose value has been greatly eroded by inflation.
To be sure: Contrary to the impression given by certain Democrats, raising the gasoline tax is not the only step the state should take to address road woes. Land-use planning needs an overhaul (Gov. Tim Kaine started work on that). Zoning rules need relaxing, and telecommuting, flextime and similar measures need encouraging.
Metro is adding a bus line, but that project is being supported by the Defense Department & City of Alexandria, not the state. And considering Gov. McDonnell waffled as his Congressional Republican friends like Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) tried to slash Metro’s budget, McDonnell may actually be doing less than nothing.