News and Views

VBT : The Consequences of Insufficient Funding, Part 4

SMART SCALE has been a huge step forward for transportation funding in Virginia. By creating a fair process for divvying up transportation funding, SMART SCALE is able to further development, improvements and transportation projects across all areas of the state.

But despite the good SMART SCALE is able to do for transportation projects, it also shines a stark light on the fact that the available funding still falls short of the need statewide.

Well over 400 projects were submitted to Round 2 of SMART SCALE. Of those, 404 went through the scoring process. Last month, SMART SCALE wrapped up the scoring and selection process, and 147 projects were able to get the funding green light to move forward.

Unfortunately, that number represents only a little more than 35 percent of the total number of scored projects. The impact of the 257 projects that could not be funded affects road safety, economic development, congestion and more.

For example, when it comes to safety improvements, Richmond City will have to go without improvements and additions to roadway lighting in the DI-95/I-64 overlap this year.

Newport News City will not get a reprieve in congestion along Harpersville Road and Saunders Road, as a proposal to widen route 17 to the city line had to go unfunded.

Amherst County will not be able to extend sidewalks along certain areas in Madison Heights.

The planned passing lanes on Route 501 in Campbell County will not be a reality in 2017.  

These are just a handful of the improvements that had to go unfunded during this round. Insufficient funding is still a very real issue—one that Virginians for Better Transportation is committed to fixing.

You can read more about the Fiscal Year 2017 projects submitted to SMART SCALE here, and find the specific projects in your area that did and didn’t receive funding here.

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