“I’ll be the first to admit that light rail is not going to reduce congestion.”
That’s what Virginia Transportation Secretary – and chief light rail apologist – Aubrey Layne said about extending the Norfolk Tide to the Oceanfront.
So why would Virginia Beach politicians try to RAM this $1.3 BILLION boondoggle down taxpayers’ throats?
The truth is, this would be nothing short of a taxpayer train wreck.
As you’ll see, this petition simply urges the Virginia Beach City Council to vote down light rail expansion and choose the “no-build” option at the upcoming May 5 Virginia Beach City Council meeting.
The formal public comment period ends on May 5, at 5:00 p.m.
Can I count on you to take action right away?
Time and again, politicians have proposed light rail as the “silver bullet” to our transportation problems around Hampton Roads.
But all you and I have gotten is more congestion and more taxes.
The city of Norfolk completed their Tide Light Rail project 18 months late, costing taxpayers over $318 MILLION — nearly $106 MILLION over budget!
In Northern Virginia, the Metro Silver Line extension came in at $150 MILLION over budget and seven months late.
So you can bet as soon as ground is broken on the Virginia Beach Light Rail extension, politicians will throw their budget out the window.
And Virginia Beach taxpayers will be on the hook for ALL cost overruns!
Not only that but Virginia Beach politicians are already proposing property tax increases to pay for it all!
In fact, if the light rail is extended to Oceanfront, it will cost an estimated $44 MILLION per year just to operate – with Virginia Beach taxpayers expected to foot most of the bill.
But no matter what politicians may say, you and I both know the economy has been limping along for many in Hampton Roads over these past few years.
Virginia Beach taxpayers have been forced to tighten their belts, but local politicians have been on a spending binge.
In addition to the cost to build and operate the light rail extension, Virginia Beach business owners along the proposed route would take a major hit.
During construction, traffic flow will change and commuters could avoid these areas altogether.
Once complete, rail lines and stations will obstruct storefronts — and lack of visibility could force many business owners to shut down.
A study by the Foundation for Economic Education showed that light rail actually INCREASED traffic congestion in Phoenix, AZ – after they spent over $1.4 BILLION to build light rail.
That’s because politicians had to reroute traffic on many popular streets to make room for their pet project.
The same study showed that — despite the claims of the politicians — light rail even slightly increased pollution!
Of course, politicians have been flat-out wrong with their ridership projections, too.
Norfolk Tide ridership has been less than half of the projected 10,400 weekday riders in its opening year.
Some are already calling for a drop in Tide fares – from $1.50 to ZERO!
Why would politicians expect you and me to believe the Virginia Beach Light Rail would be any different?
My goal is to deliver up to 1,000 signed “STOP LIGHT RAIL!” petitions to the Virginia Beach City Council ahead of their May 5 meeting.
But I can’t do it without your help.
If politicians are going to take you and me seriously, we have to send them the LOUD-AND-CLEAR message:
“No to Light Rail!”
By delivering stacks of “STOP LIGHT RAIL!” petitions, they’ll see that you and I are serious — and organized.
I believe you and I can make a MAJOR impact right here in our own backyard.
But it will only happen with your IMMEDIATE action.
Virginia Beach City Coordinator
Virginia Campaign for Liberty
P.S. Virginia Beach politicians want you and me to foot the bill for their $1.3 BILLION light rail boondoggle.
In fact, they’re already proposing property tax increases — even though they admit light rail won’t reduce congestion.