Virginia Republican pursuing vendetta against Arlington for not wanting to be a "giant interchange"
DC isn't the only place in the area where a Republican legislative majority in a large, mostly exurban and rural geographic area is threatening serious budget blows against a small, Democratic-leaning, urban jurisdiction.
In the Virginia legislature, at least one influential House Republican is looking to take a big bite out of Arlington County's revenues as payback for its opposition to HOT lanes.
ARLnow has been reporting from Richmond about how Delegate Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), the chair of the House Republican caucus, has been holding up a bill to let Arlington continue its existing hotel tax. Now, he's also introduced three budget amendments which would withhold money from jurisdictions that oppose HOT lane projects, cut off state funding for Arlington's streetcar and roadway changes on Columbia Pike, and conduct an audit of the quality of roadways in Arlington.
In Friday's WAMU Politics Hour discussion with Brian Moran, Tom Sherwood joked that one of Virginia's transportation plans is to "obliterate Arlington and make a big interchange." It seems that Hugo, at least, really does see Arlington as nothing more than what's in the way of him driving to DC, and if they won't let the state ram wider roads through, he'd like to obliterate the county in the state legislature.
Instead, maybe officials should stop blaming Arlington for being dense and walkable while their own counties chose unsustainable, sprawling development patterns. Sherwood talked about how traffic is bad and how building more roads won't make it better. He said, "I'm very fatalistic about Northern Virginia traffic. I think it's always going to be bad... no matter how many roads they do or how many bicycles they buy... It seems to me that Northern Virginia is doomed because of the policies of the last 35 years."
Or, maybe the two small, oppressed jurisdictions on the Potomac should band together and try to push for statehood together. Republicans would get a redder Virginia in exchange, though it would sink their hopes of massive freeway expansions. Arlington might have a vote in the state legislature, but it's got a lot in common with DC's struggle.
- Zoning: The hidden trillion dollar tax
- As DC has grown, so has its racial prosperity gap
- Pedestrian tunnels would not make DC's streets better for walking
- 8 ways to make it easier to walk around North Bethesda... or anywhere, really
- Scarred by urban renewal, Silver Spring's Lyttonsville neighborhood gets a second chance
- Adams Morgan could get more housing and preserve its plaza, too. But it probably won't.
- Why can't Metro label escalators "walk left, stand right" or label where doors will stop on the platform?