RAIL Solution keeps abreast of transportation planning by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and its related agencies, including The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (VTRANS), The Commonwealth (Virginia) Transportation Board (CTB) and The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).

When and if a plan or proposal is made available for comment RAIL Solution reviews and usually provides comments and suggestions to the issuing agency to assist in the formulation better policy.

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In November the Virginia Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI) issued their Draft Multimodal Freight Plan (DMFP) for comment through November 15, 2013, and RAIL Solution responded.

We commend OIPI for its rigor and persistence in developing systematically these useful references and for its
ongoing commitment to multimodalism. Such studies constitute the logical foundation for developing a Freight Plan.

However:

Where’s the beef?

RAIL Solution is not finding fault with what is there. Much of it is useful background. But the big problem is implementation. The DMFP is a Plan in name only.

We continue to see in Virginia a disturbing disconnect between the detail of studies and what is NOT there – key action steps to guide Virginia’s transportation policies and investment in the otherwise haphazard deployment of major transportation construction projects.

Such studies are a good and essential starting point. But citizens get no value from them if they do not form the
basis for intelligent real-world planning actions.

For many years transportation infrastructure advocates, RAIL Solution among them, have been saying we need a
dedicated funding source for transportation. HB-2313 moves us a long way in that direction. But now the real and
paramount risk is that a spending windfall will result in a torrent of new highway programs with no analytical
assessment of alternatives. Everyone’s long delayed and favorite road project can now be funded.

A real plan must start with the needs and deficiencies in Virginia’s transport infrastructure revealed in the studies
and develop solid steps for dealing with them.

 

See the full text of RAIL Solution‘s response (PDF): [wpdm_file id=13]

 

 

 

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A. L. (Pete) Lotts, Director, Rail Solution, Contributing to site as Pete Lotts
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David Foster, Executive Director, Rail Solution, Contributing to site as David Foster
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Robinson Foster, Director, Rail Solution, Contributing to site as Robinson Foster