We'll do it ourselves!

2016 was a big—and successful—year for transit initiatives on ballots across the country. Wired has a nice article detailing some of the impetus for all of these referendums:

A year ago, Congress finally passed a longterm transportation bill, increasing federal funding but maintaining the status quo focus on cars and highways. It’s not enough, cities, regions, and states say, their roads still pitted, their regional transit visions unfunded. It hasn’t been enough in a long time.

So over the past three decades, local policymakers have turned away from Washington, using ballot referendums to ask voters to fund projects themselves. And this year, more than ever, US cities had a message for the feds: Fine, we’ll do it ourselves.

And do it they did!

And the full list is way, way longer! While our region didn't have anything transit-related on our ballots, a regional sales tax is one of the ways we could fund a truly regional transit system in Richmond.

As Jarrett Walker said after election night:

This is becoming a common pattern. There is a strong urban consensus about what it takes to make a great city, and the will is there, among urban populations, to do what needs to be done.


This week you've got two opportunities to get involved:

  1. On November 15th and November 16th, you have the opportunity to check out the new Pulse Corridor Plan and give some feedback. These meetings are set up to answer questions about what development is going on in the Pulse corridor and how to make that development awesome. More details on those meetings can be found here.
  2. On Wednesday, November 16th join us at the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting to show support for transit in Chesterfield.


One transit ballot initiative that failed this week (again) was the Virginia Beach extension of The Tide. The Virginia Beach City Council will now need to figure out if they want to move forward regardless of the public referendum.


The New York Times has an article about autonomous vehicles that I can get behind: Adorable, autonomous, electric buses in Helsinki.


—Ross Catrow