By Brian Chenault, Community Outreach Planner
On the evening of March 4, 2013, local elected officials and transportation experts gathered in Christopher Newport University’s (CNU) Gaines Theatre for a transportation town hall to discuss the transportation challenges facing Hampton Roads. Panelists included Hampton Mayor Molly Joseph Ward, Portsmouth Mayor Kenneth Wright, Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Deputy Executive Director Camelia Ravanbakht, Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) member Aubrey Layne, and former Commonwealth Transportation Board member Alan S. Witt. Hosted by the Daily Press and the Wason Center for Public Policy at CNU, roughly 80 audience members listened on as panelists went back and forth over the following regional transportation issues:
The town hall proved especially timely given the recent passage of transportation funding legislation by the Commonwealth - the first comprehensive overhaul of the way Virginia pays for its transportation system that the legislature has approved since 1986. Specifically, the HRTPO and CTB members walked audience members through key provisions of the bill and what it will mean for Hampton Roads. The bill is expected to generate $800 million annually statewide and $175-200 million each year for Hampton Roads specifically.