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Votes

No Relief for Roads

<bt>To the Editor:

Northern Virginia is in a well-known transportation crisis. We have the second worst congestion in the country. A legislative commission reports that we have 10 years of road projects that will take 20 years to complete. VDOT has frozen $251 million in construction because of a cash shortage. And the interim VDOT Commissioner will strip the six-year transportation plan of projects to reduce funds by as much as $570 million a year.

So, please tell me why five of eight Northern Virginia senators voted against a House and Senate compromise on March 5 that would permit a regional sales tax referendum for transportation? Their action killed the bill.

Either they don't understand the magnitude of our transportation crisis or they are too shortsighted to realize that a vote for the transportation referendum is not a vote against education. The House of Delegates has offered an alternative to the sales tax referendum for education, but these senators want the issue to be decided on their terms. Or they want nothing at all.

Because of their stubbornness, these state senators, including my own, are likely to give us no relief for road congestion or school crowding. I predict that it will be the second year in a row that legislators leave Richmond empty-handed on this issue.

Dave Hunt

Great Falls