Absence of Reliable Transportation Funding Costing Virginia Motorists Billions

February 3, 2020 by Dan McCue
Cars move slowly along the notoriously congested Capital Beltway, looking north at Tysons Corner, Virginia on April 5, 2012. Relief for Beltway drivers is on the way, in the form of express toll lanes, which will open in December 2012. Drivers using the center lanes will pay a toll that adjusts to traffic volume, and the outer lanes will remain toll-free. Washington Metro's extension to Dulles International Airport crosses the highway in the center of the photo. (Curtis Tate/MCT)

WASHINGTON – Virginia motorists lose 9.5 billion annually on roadways that are rough, congested and lacking in some desirable safety features, according to a new report by TRIP, a nonpartisan research organization focusing on transportation issues.

The nonprofit says the lack of sustainable, long-term funding costs as much as $2,583 per driver due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays, while also impairing Virginia’s ability to improve road conditions.

Previous TRIP reports raised similar concerns about Louisiana, where it says motorists are losing $6.9 billion annually, or $2,300 per driver; and New Mexico, where it concluded motorists are losing $2.6 billion annually or $2,100 per driver.

The TRIP report, “Virginia Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Virginia, approximately one third of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

In addition, more than 600 locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient.

The report also finds that travel on Virginia’s roadways has increased by 14 percent from 2000 to 2018 and six percent from 2013 to 2018, resulting in increasing traffic congestion, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.

On top of all this, tragically, 3,875 people lost their lives on the state’s roads in traffic crashes from 2014-2018.

The report goes on to say that Virginia’s current sources of transportation revenues will not keep pace with the state’s future transportation needs.

This is largely a result of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and the increasing use of electric vehicles, which, combined, are expected to significantly reduce the revenue generated by the state’s motor fuel tax revenues.

Average fuel efficiency for passenger vehicles in the U.S. has increased by 20 percent over the last decade and is expected to increase by 31 percent by 2030 and 51 percent by 2040. 

And, electric vehicles, which now account for two percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia, are expected to increase to 46 percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia by 2040. 

As a result of increased fuel efficiency and the adoption of electric vehicles, gasoline and diesel consumption in Virginia is expected to decrease 23 percent by 2030, and 51 percent by 2040.  This decline is expected to decrease Virginia’s state motor fuel tax receipts by 34 percent by 2030 and 62 percent by 2040. State diesel fuel tax receipts are expected to decrease 24 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

“The lack of adequate, sustainable transportation funding in Virginia will lead to increasing deterioration on the state’s roads and bridges and even longer congestion-related delays for commuters, businesses and visitors,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director, in a written statement.

“Deteriorated, congested roads rob drivers of time and money while reducing the state’s competitive advantage and threatening economic growth. Making investments that will improve the condition and efficiency of Virginia’s transportation system will ensure that the state remains an attractive place to live, visit and do business,” he said.

In The News

Health

Voting

In The News

House Panel Discusses VA Diversification Efforts
Employment
House Panel Discusses VA Diversification Efforts
May 6, 2021
by Victoria Turner

WASHINGTON - By late 2020 over 2800 formal Equal Employment Opportunity complaints of discrimination - by race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and more - were submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The fact that there are that many complaints in one year points... Read More

Russian Economy Damaged By Western Sanctions, Think Tank Finds
Think Tanks
Russian Economy Damaged By Western Sanctions, Think Tank Finds
May 6, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

WASHINGTON- Although western sanctions have not forced the Russian government to completely end its aggressions in Ukraine, the true impact of the sanctions has not been fully acknowledged, according to a new report from the Atlantic Council, an international affairs think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.... Read More

Transportation Official Says Security is Good for Airline Travel
Travel
Transportation Official Says Security is Good for Airline Travel
May 6, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A top Transportation Security Administration official gave an upbeat outlook to Congress Wednesday for a return to normal travel habits as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides in the United States. He said the agency would continue its pandemic health and safety procedures but did not... Read More

DOJ to Appeal Federal Judge Ruling on CDC Eviction Moratorium
Litigation
DOJ to Appeal Federal Judge Ruling on CDC Eviction Moratorium
May 6, 2021
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON — After a federal judge ruled on Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium on evictions exceeded the agency's authority, the Department of Justice announced it would appeal the decision. U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich authored the 20-page opinion accompanying the ruling.... Read More

Liz Cheney Clings to GOP Post as Trump Endorses Replacement
Political News
Liz Cheney Clings to GOP Post as Trump Endorses Replacement

WASHINGTON (AP) — No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney was clinging to her post as party leaders lined up behind an heir apparent, signaling that fallout over her clashes with former President Donald Trump was becoming too much for her to overcome.  Unbowed, Cheney on Wednesday... Read More

US Justice Department Worried About Arizona Senate Recount
In The States
US Justice Department Worried About Arizona Senate Recount

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice expressed concern Wednesday about ballot security and potential voter intimidation arising from the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate's unprecedented private recount of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County. In a letter to GOP Senate President Karen Fann, the... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top