RICHMOND, VA – Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell and members of the House Republican Caucus announced more than a half-dozen transportation reform initiatives aimed at increasing the use of technology, prioritizing congestion-relief and ensuring return on investment in transportation spending.
“Last year’s landmark transportation reform plan is generating much-needed revenue that will allow Virginia to build and maintain a 21st century transportation network,” said Speaker Howell. “But money alone does not solve problems. We must ensure that we are spending this new revenue in the most efficient and effective way possible. The legislation we are highlighting today will significantly reform how Virginia spends its transportation dollars by promoting greater use of technology, prioritizing projects to meet the needs of taxpayers and maximizing return on investment by demanding a metric-based approach to decision making.”
There are seven transportation reform bills that have or are expected to pass the House of Delegates this year.
Delegate Chris Stolle is carrying House Bill 2. HB2 requires the Commonwealth Transportation Board to develop and utilize a prioritization model for making determination about all transportation projects. Each highway construction district will be allowed to make set its own “weights” for key factors like congestion mitigation, economic development, accessibility, safety and environmental quality.
For example, one construction district might elect the following weighting: congestion 70%, safety 10%, accessibility 10%, environmental quality 10%, economic development 0%. While another construction district might elect the following weighting: economic development 70%, safety 10%, accessibility 10%, environmental quality 10%, congestion 0%.
“This important piece of legislation will help Virginia better prioritize its transportation projects in a way that meets the needs of our citizens,” said Delegate Stolle. “This system will give localities tremendous flexibility, while also ensuring that projects are picked in an objective, metric-based way.”
House Transportation Reform Initiatives
HB 2 (Stolle) – In Committee – Requires the Commonwealth Transportation Board and VDOT to develop and utilize a prioritization model for making determinations about all transportation projects. Stakeholders from various regions, including highway construction districts, metropolitan planning organizations and the CTB, will collaboratively set “weights” for key factors like congestion mitigation, economic development, accessibility, safety and environmental quality.
HJ122 (LeMunyon) – House Floor – Requires the Secretary of Transportation and VDOT to create and implement statewide transportation technology goals and a five-year plan of action. Such goals and plan are to be directed to enhancing the efficiency, safety, and convenience of all modes of transportation throughout the Commonwealth.
HB1090 (Villanueva) – Second Reading – Requires Secretary of Transportation and Department of Transportation to revise and update the state’s Smart Travel Programs by evaluating and incorporating, where appropriate, new smart road technologies and other innovations in transportation.
HB1095 (Peace) – Second Reading – Creates the Innovation and Technology Transportation Fund to fund pilot programs and fully developed initiatives pertaining to high-tech infrastructure improvements with five percent of the annual amount allocated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
HB1098 (Anderson) – In Committee – Requires the Secretary of Transportation and VDOT to establish a smart transportation pilot zone (modeled on the Smart Road managed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in Montgomery County) in either the Northern Virginia or the Hampton Roads highway construction district.
HB1100 (Yancey) – In Committee – Requires the Commonwealth Transportation Board to include key factors like congestion mitigation, economic development, accessibility, safety and environmental quality in the development of the Commonwealth’s Six-Year Plan.
HB1183 (Comstock) – Passed House – Creates the Virginia Transportation Solutions Working Group and authorizes it to advise the Commonwealth Transportation Board on matters pertaining to transportation policy, transportation innovation and technologies, and traffic congestion relief strategies.