Residents tell legislators to abolish...

Residents tell legislators to abolish HRTA -- National Governme...

There are 22 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from Apr 3, 2008, titled Residents tell legislators to abolish HRTA -- National Governme.... In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

Local residents and commuters gave lawmakers a three-pronged to-do list Wednesday night during a public forum on transportation: * Finish off the financially impotent Hampton Roads Transportation Authority.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hampton Roads Daily Press.

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Fed up in JCC

AOL

#1 Apr 3, 2008
Recommendation: Each peninsular local elected official( not one was noted as being at this meeting) should immediately withdraw membership in anything to do with Hampton Roads Partership.Next , the peninsula's state politicans should let the governor know any special session called to discuss transportation must include a state wide commitment to fund the roads using STATE tax money, get off this LOCAL stuff.
Reid Greenmun

Virginia Beach, VA

#2 Apr 3, 2008
I attended the meeting last night. It was full of Peninsula local elected representatives.

Over all I think Kimble Payne did a good job capturing the main points of the meeting. The three other common themes he did not mention in his story were:

1. The state and the port should pay for the 3rd Crossing, not just us.

2. There is a need for funding to expand mass transit, mostly mentioned was Light Rail.

3. There is an immediate need for a better evacuation route and that is a responsibility of the state to plan and provide for that - especially in a post-911 global terrorist world.

Of course the lobbyists could not refrain from speaking at a meeting that was supposed to be for citizens to speak to their elected representatives. The Real Estate lobby sent a lobbyist to beg for the removal of the grantors tax - that is $0.40 per $100.00 HB 3202 forces us to pay when we sell our homes in our region. Basically the Real Estate lobby was saying - "We support all these billions in new taxes, fees, and tolls, but don't tax our industry!"

Typical.

Steve Haner was a highly paid lobbyist for "Virginians For Better Transportation" - they are a major business lobby pushing this $9B highway mess on us. He had the nerve to speak too - changing his spots and now pretending that whatever they come up with - he supports.

In a issue as complex as this, Mayor Kearney’s 3 minute time limit was stifling the ability for citizens to fully offer new ideas. It was as if he was in a hurry to "get through" the public speakers.

That was a mistake.

On the "people are funny" side, one speaker expressed her view that a major problem with traffic congestion in our region is "Hispanic Drivers" that can't read English, don't know how to drive very well, and are here illegally.

A follow on speaker got up and began his remarks with how offended he was - of course he was Hispanic.

Another speaker went off on a rant about how all drivers down here in our Podunk burgs area "stupid" and don't know how to drive in an "urban setting". He sat in front of me during the meeting and was full of his superiority as he looked down on us because he moved here from New York City and no body here knows how to drive, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Dude, the roads go both ways; I'm sure New York City misses you ... he actually proposed heavy fines for anyone that is involved in a accident or leaves too much space between them and the car in from of them; ah yes, bring back the "abusing driver" fees.

Most of the elected folks echoed a common theme; we here you - it is statewide problem - the Southside is evil and is screwing us - and we will demand more lanes at the HRBT.

I was pleased to here common support for abolishing the useless HRTA. There was also discussion of what a mess the MPO is too. I notice that did not make the paper. But, just like the 3-minute limit - the paper only allows so much "ink" for these stories and the result? You don't get the full story - you only get what the paper wants to tell you.

The most interesting idea I heard came from Senator Miller. He said he is discussing new ideas and he was told that port containers could be moved UNDER THE WATER. I am curious to see how that is done. But it does show that fresh thinking is taking place – and that is good. I’m tired of this old MPO plan screwing up our government’s ability to fix the roads.

The scariest thing I heard also came from Senator Miller. He talked about a technology using GPS that would TAX YOU AT THE GAS PUMP for every mile your car traveled since it was last filled up! Big brother is watching you – we will track how much you drive each day – an where you buy your gas … great; let’s just put the chips in our head and be done with it – we can call it “EZ TAX”. Why not .. user pays, right?
Reid Greenmun

Virginia Beach, VA

#3 Apr 3, 2008
I attended the meeting last night. It was full of Peninsula local elected representatives.

Over all I think Kimble Payne did a good job capturing the main points of the meeting. The three other common themes he did not mention in his story were:

1. The state and the port should pay for the 3rd Crossing, not just us.

2. There is a need for funding to expand mass transit, mostly mentioned was Light Rail.

3. There is an immediate need for a better evacuation route and that is a responsibility of the state to plan and provide for that - especially in a post-911 global terrorist world.

Of course the lobbyists could not refrain from speaking at a meeting that was supposed to be for citizens to speak to their elected representatives. The Real Estate lobby sent a lobbyist to beg for the removal of the grantors tax - that is $0.40 per $100.00 HB 3202 forces us to pay when we sell our homes in our region. Basically the Real Estate lobby was saying - "We support all these billions in new taxes, fees, and tolls, but don't tax our industry!"

Typical.

Steve Haner was a highly paid lobbyist for "Virginians For Better Transportation" - they are a major business lobby pushing this $9B highway mess on us. He had the nerve to speak too - changing his spots and now pretending that whatever they come up with - he supports.

In a issue as complex as this, Mayor Kearney’s 3 minute time limit was stifling the ability for citizens to fully offer new ideas. It was as if he was in a hurry to "get through" the public speakers.

That was a mistake.

On the "people are funny" side, one speaker expressed her view that a major problem with traffic congestion in our region is "Hispanic Drivers" that can't read English, don't know how to drive very well, and are here illegally.

A follow on speaker got up and began his remarks with how offended he was - of course he was Hispanic.

Another speaker went off on a rant about how all drivers down here in our Podunk burgs area "stupid" and don't know how to drive in an "urban setting". He sat in front of me during the meeting and was full of his superiority as he looked down on us because he moved here from New York City and no body here knows how to drive, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Dude, the roads go both ways; I'm sure New York City misses you ... he actually proposed heavy fines for anyone that is involved in a accident or leaves too much space between them and the car in from of them; ah yes, bring back the "abusing driver" fees.

Most of the elected folks echoed a common theme; we here you - it is statewide problem - the Southside is evil and is screwing us - and we will demand more lanes at the HRBT.

I was pleased to here common support for abolishing the useless HRTA. There was also discussion of what a mess the MPO is too. I notice that did not make the paper. But, just like the 3-minute limit - the paper only allows so much "ink" for these stories and the result? You don't get the full story - you only get what the paper wants to tell you.

The most interesting idea I heard came from Senator Miller. He said he is discussing new ideas and he was told that port containers could be moved UNDER THE WATER. I am curious to see how that is done. But it does show that fresh thinking is taking place – and that is good. I’m tired of this old MPO plan screwing up our government’s ability to fix the roads.

The scariest thing I heard also came from Senator Miller. He talked about a technology using GPS that would TAX YOU AT THE GAS PUMP for every mile your car traveled since it was last filled up! Big brother is watching you – we will track how much you drive each day – an where you buy your gas … great; let’s just put the chips in our head and be done with it – we can call it “EZ TAX”. Why not .. user pays, right?
Reid Greenmun

Virginia Beach, VA

#4 Apr 3, 2008
I attended the meeting last night. It was full of Peninsula local elected representatives.

Over all I think Kimble Payne did a good job capturing the main points of the meeting. The three other common themes he did not mention in his story were:

1. The state and the port should pay for the 3rd Crossing, not just us.

2. There is a need for funding to expand mass transit, mostly mentioned was Light Rail.

3. There is an immediate need for a better evacuation route and that is a responsibility of the state to plan and provide for that - especially in a post-911 global terrorist world.

Of course the lobbyists could not refrain from speaking at a meeting that was supposed to be for citizens to speak to their elected representatives. The Real Estate lobby sent a lobbyist to beg for the removal of the grantors tax - that is $0.40 per $100.00 HB 3202 forces us to pay when we sell our homes in our region. Basically the Real Estate lobby was saying - "We support all these billions in new taxes, fees, and tolls, but don't tax our industry!"

Typical.

Steve Haner was a highly paid lobbyist for "Virginians For Better Transportation" - they are a major business lobby pushing this $9B highway mess on us. He had the nerve to speak too - changing his spots and now pretending that whatever they come up with - he supports.

In a issue as complex as this, Mayor Kearney’s 3 minute time limit was stifling the ability for citizens to fully offer new ideas. It was as if he was in a hurry to "get through" the public speakers.

That was a mistake.

On the "people are funny" side, one speaker expressed her view that a major problem with traffic congestion in our region is "Hispanic Drivers" that can't read English, don't know how to drive very well, and are here illegally.

A follow on speaker got up and began his remarks with how offended he was - of course he was Hispanic.

Another speaker went off on a rant about how all drivers down here in our Podunk burgs area "stupid" and don't know how to drive in an "urban setting". He sat in front of me during the meeting and was full of his superiority as he looked down on us because he moved here from New York City and no body here knows how to drive, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Dude, the roads go both ways; I'm sure New York City misses you ... he actually proposed heavy fines for anyone that is involved in a accident or leaves too much space between them and the car in from of them; ah yes, bring back the "abusing driver" fees.

Most of the elected folks echoed a common theme; we here you - it is statewide problem - the Southside is evil and ripping us off - and we will demand more lanes at the HRBT.

I was pleased to here common support for abolishing the useless HRTA. There was also discussion of what a mess the MPO is too. I notice that did not make the paper. But, just like the 3-minute limit - the paper only allows so much "ink" for these stories and the result? You don't get the full story - you only get what the paper wants to tell you.

The most interesting idea I heard came from Senator Miller. He said he is discussing new ideas and he was told that port containers could be moved UNDER THE WATER. I am curious to see how that is done. But it does show that fresh thinking is taking place – and that is good. I’m tired of this old MPO plan screwing up our government’s ability to fix the roads.

The scariest thing I heard also came from Senator Miller. He talked about a technology using GPS that would TAX YOU AT THE GAS PUMP for every mile your car traveled since it was last filled up! Big brother is watching you – we will track how much you drive each day – an where you buy your gas … great; let’s just put the chips in our head and be done with it – we can call it “EZ TAX”. Why not .. user pays, right?
Reid Greenmun

Virginia Beach, VA

#5 Apr 3, 2008
I attended the meeting last night. It was full of Peninsula local elected representatives.

Over all I think Kimble Payne did a good job capturing the main points of the meeting. The three other common themes he did not mention in his story were:

1. The state and the port should pay for the 3rd Crossing, not just us.

2. There is a need for funding to expand mass transit, mostly mentioned was Light Rail.

3. There is an immediate need for a better evacuation route and that is a responsibility of the state to plan and provide for that - especially in a post-911 global terrorist world.

Of course the lobbyists could not refrain from speaking at a meeting that was supposed to be for citizens to speak to their elected representatives. The Real Estate lobby sent a lobbyist to beg for the removal of the grantors tax - that is $0.40 per $100.00 HB 3202 forces us to pay when we sell our homes in our region. Basically the Real Estate lobby was saying - "We support all these billions in new taxes, fees, and tolls, but don't tax our industry!"

Typical.

Steve Haner was a highly paid lobbyist for "Virginians For Better Transportation" - they are a major business lobby pushing this $9B highway mess on us. He had the nerve to speak too - changing his spots and now pretending that whatever they come up with - he supports.

In a issue as complex as this, Mayor Kearney’s 3 minute time limit was stifling the ability for citizens to fully offer new ideas. It was as if he was in a hurry to "get through" the public speakers.

That was a mistake.
Reid Greenmun

Virginia Beach, VA

#6 Apr 3, 2008
On the "people are funny" side, one speaker expressed her view that a major problem with traffic congestion in our region is "Hispanic Drivers" that can't read English, don't know how to drive very well, and are here illegally.

A follow on speaker got up and began his remarks with how offended he was - of course he was Hispanic.

Another speaker went off on a rant about how all drivers down here in our Podunk burgs area "stu-pid" and don't know how to drive in an "urban setting". He sat in front of me during the meeting and was full of his superiority as he looked down on us because he moved here from New York City and no body here knows how to drive, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Dude, the roads go both ways; I'm sure New York City misses you ... he actually proposed heavy fines for anyone that is involved in a accident or leaves too much space between them and the car in from of them; ah yes, bring back the "abusing driver" fees.

Most of the elected folks echoed a common theme; we here you - it is statewide problem - the Southside is evil and is screwing us - and we will demand more lanes at the HRBT.

I was pleased to here common support for abolishing the useless HRTA. There was also discussion of what a mess the MPO is too. I notice that did not make the paper. But, just like the 3-minute limit - the paper only allows so much "ink" for these stories and the result? You don't get the full story - you only get what the paper wants to tell you.

The most interesting idea I heard came from Senator Miller. He said he is discussing new ideas and he was told that port containers could be moved UNDER THE WATER. I am curious to see how that is done. But it does show that fresh thinking is taking place – and that is good. I’m tired of this old MPO plan screwing up our government’s ability to fix the roads.

The scariest thing I heard also came from Senator Miller. He talked about a technology using GPS that would TAX YOU AT THE GAS PUMP for every mile your car traveled since it was last filled up! Big brother is watching you – we will track how much you drive each day – an where you buy your gas … great; let’s just put the chips in our head and be done with it – we can call it “EZ TAX”. Why not .. user pays, right?
Reid Greenmun

Virginia Beach, VA

#7 Apr 3, 2008
Sorry for the repeats - the website is messing up.
Sam

AOL

#8 Apr 3, 2008
Grantor's Tax? The RE lobby is correct in opposing it. Who pays it? You do! The real estate industry gets none of it and has nothing to gain from it other than to remove another nuisance tax when one desires to sell his house.
Jim Crutchfield

Forest Hills, NY

#9 Apr 3, 2008
Virginia needs more trains, not more roads. More roads creates more traffic and more congestion. Newport News is perfect for commuter rail. We have thousands of workers all going to and from the same place at the same time, and a rail line right down the middle of the city. The Shipyard should lead by fronting the money for a commuter train for its workers. Once the train is in place, it should inform workers that unless their jobs or special circumstances require them to have a car available at work, they can't park in company lots.

Then Downtown, which has become a wilderness of shipyard parking, could be rebuilt as a mixed residential-commercial area like Ghent in Norfolk.

Evacuation of coastal cities requires a national passenger rail system with sufficient excess capacity to allow trains to be pulled from low-traffic routes and sent to danger areas. Evacuation by car is impossible. By train it could be simple and fast.

Ultimately, one side of all dual highways and tunnels should be converted to rail lines, with two-way auto traffic on the other side.

The costs must be fronted by business taxes, as business will be the chief beneficiary of increased mobility for workers and shoppers. But we will all benefit from cleaner air, fewer accidents and deaths, and less time wasted sitting in traffic!

Jim Crutchfield
Newport News boy, sojourning in NY
Jack Gergely

Annapolis, MD

#10 Apr 3, 2008
Good article. I attended, and the story captured the high points of the forum accurately.

As a retired NNS employee, I certainly didn't appreciate a Shipyard lobbyist claiming to speak for all of the NNS workers and contractors. I know many of them well, and he certainly did not speak for those who I know.
Gabby

Williamsburg, VA

#11 Apr 3, 2008
AMEN,AMEN & AMEN......
Bretticus

Virginia Beach, VA

#12 Apr 3, 2008
Wow, the Ax the Tax crowd must have had a bingo and beer party out front of this meeting.

Folks, at 36 i'll be working for the next 30 years, at least, and with NO social security benefits because the older generations have bilked ME of my money. And continue to take it every day. It's my hand to your mouths now. There is NO fund. The least responsible thing elders can do is give up a 6 pack of Bud and a week of bingo nights each month. That's all it will cost over the course of a year. Please, take no offense to this, but if you're not a working person, you likely shouldn't even have a voice in this matter. An improved transportation system is for people like me to get to work in the future and for our children. Too bad if you don't like it. This is something that has to be done. Work to fix broken things please don't work to keep broken things broke because it does not suit your spending habits. I'm afraid rising fuel prices will affect your budget and mine more than a respectable tax for a better local transportation infrastructure. Go protest Bush.. A rich Texan will never Ever complain of high gas prices, it's how they got rich!
I also agree with the post stating must better utilize our rail system as well! But remember, there was rail service from downtown Norfolk to VB, passing Cape Henry Light, until (racist elitist politicians in) RICHMOND removed it. Go to the gift shop at Cape Henry Light and see a picture of an overhead electrified trolley. Follow the old rail easement all the way down Shore Drive up North Hampton to Princess Anne Road, where rail is still in the ground. The rail easement in North VB was sold to VEPCO in long ago by the owning railroad... Use Eminent Domain to take it back!!!
John McMullen

Newport News, VA

#13 Apr 3, 2008
I am thankful for Mayors Heisel of Poquosin and Mayor Kearney of Hampton, the only mayors who really care. They are the only politicians who have opposed this redistribution of the citizens wealth from the beginning on grounds that it is not constitutional. This HRTA scheme to support the port does not provide any congestion relief for the citizens commute to work or soccer Moms delivery's and totally neglects the most important commuter route in the area, the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Responsibility for this boondoggle can be laid at the feet of the drivers of this initiative, Mayor Frame of Norfolk, Mayor Frank of Newport News and Vice Mayor Jones of Virginia Beach. These three individuals have schemed secretly for years to get these projects done to support industry and port interests on the backs of the taxpayers. They have been the principle drivers for these projects by their leadership positions on the MPO, HRPDC and now the HRTA.
Bretticus

Virginia Beach, VA

#14 Apr 3, 2008
By the way, evidently, there were are some seriously wacky ideas presented in this forum. GPS taxation? Hispanics causing more problems than SOV's (single occupant vehicles) or SSOV's (Single Sailor occupant vehicles)... Get a grip

Yes, HRBT needs more lanes.

It's not the South Side that's evil. If so, why, aside from tourist traffic, is the traffic back up ALWAYS East Bound in the AM and West Bound in the PM? Because so many people work in Norfolk and live on the Penn. The South Side gives jobs to so many folks. Get a grip.

Just tax fuel more and move on. That's a NO BRAINER. How to spend the money requires debate!
John McMullen

Newport News, VA

#15 Apr 3, 2008
Sorry, I misspelled Mayor Fraim's name in the previous piece.
angry conservative

Quantico, VA

#16 Apr 3, 2008
Reid Greenmun wrote:
I attended the meeting last night. It was full of Peninsula local elected representatives.
Over all I think Kimble Payne did a good job capturing the main points of the meeting. The three other common themes he did not mention in his story were:
1. The state and the port should pay for the 3rd Crossing, not just us.
2. There is a need for funding to expand mass transit, mostly mentioned was Light Rail.
3. There is an immediate need for a better evacuation route and that is a responsibility of the state to plan and provide for that - especially in a post-911 global terrorist world.
Of course the lobbyists could not refrain from speaking at a meeting that was supposed to be for citizens to speak to their elected representatives. The Real Estate lobby sent a lobbyist to beg for the removal of the grantors tax - that is $0.40 per $100.00 HB 3202 forces us to pay when we sell our homes in our region. Basically the Real Estate lobby was saying - "We support all these billions in new taxes, fees, and tolls, but don't tax our industry!"
Typical.
Steve Haner was a highly paid lobbyist for "Virginians For Better Transportation" - they are a major business lobby pushing this $9B highway mess on us. He had the nerve to speak too - changing his spots and now pretending that whatever they come up with - he supports.
In a issue as complex as this, Mayor Kearney’s 3 minute time limit was stifling the ability for citizens to fully offer new ideas. It was as if he was in a hurry to "get through" the public speakers.
That was a mistake.
Does this bozo think he is a reporter. boy i am glad he was there to "tell it like it is" Will somebody please give Reid a job so he won't bore us with his diatribes about his transportation expertise which by the way he does not have one ounce of training but he has all the answers. lets elect him transportation czar (of siberia of course)
We need a real solution

AOL

#17 Apr 3, 2008
angry conservative wrote:
<quoted text> Does this bozo think he is a reporter. boy i am glad he was there to "tell it like it is" Will somebody please give Reid a job so he won't bore us with his diatribes about his transportation expertise which by the way he does not have one ounce of training but he has all the answers. lets elect him transportation czar (of siberia of course)
==========

The comment above looks like a plant for the Chamber of Commerce hacks or even the Hampton Roads Partnership (or Have the Right to Pick-ur-pocket HRP). They seem to have shifted gears from comments on how they see it, to character assasination of anyone that speaks up. Time for real ideas, not closed door politics guys... We need to fire the MPO and HRPDC and start over. It is clear that somewhere along the path, these groups got high-jacked and perverted by the special interests. During the Legislative Caucus Meeting at VMASC in Suffolk today, it was clear that no one trusts the MPO any longer. Chairman Cosgorve and many others demanded to get information on who sat on the MPO, what the votes were for the selected projects, and how they were presented. It looks like it is good that Art Collins is retiring May 1st, or he might get fired... BYE BYE ART....
Jim - HRBT Commuter

United States

#18 Apr 3, 2008
No. No taxes to fund anything. You can't fix stupid with tax dollars. Drive the HRBT and you will find drivers who can't seem to maintain their speed going down into the tunnel or coming up out of the tunnel. Also, I can't ask my employer for more money just because I want something. I work within my budget to get what I need first, and then if there is anything left, I get what I want. Force our elected officials to work to the same philosphy. If they don't or won't vote them out!!
Charles Flynn Poquoson

United States

#19 Apr 3, 2008
Was there. Spoke. Agree with most of the above, esp Reid G. He is far more knowledgeable than the off stage critics posting here.
All in all, good forum. Agree, the inflexible 3 min limit limited constructive input.
The reporting was fair, though agree the amount of criticism of the Port/3rd Crossing boondoggle was omitted due to lack of print space.
The gauntlet was laid down...Yes to the HRBT...and No to the port of Va citizen subsidy.
Tim

Fredericksburg, VA

#20 Apr 3, 2008
NO NEW TAXES!

I am extremely surprised to read that people that attended the meeting were all open to more new taxes. This is crazy! Massive amount of major Interstate contruction recently completed in many areas of Hampton Roads, Northern VA and SW VA. Hampton Roads Growing with more businesses and residents which mean a lot more revenues from current taxes, etc.

It is EXTEMELY Simple...Cut waste to fund transportation; Cut taxes to continue to spur growth and incentives for new businesses and residents. You are welcome!

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