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PNS Daily Newscast - September 30, 2020 

Trump and Biden square off in a debate marked by interruptions; COVID-19 highlights neglect of undocumented residents.

2020Talks - September 30, 2020 

Last night was filled with interruptions at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

'Shovel Ready' Road Projects Push Aside Public Transit?

January 19, 2009

Richmond, VA - Democrats in Congress included $90 billion in infrastructure spending in the latest proposed stimulus plan, announced January 16 - and transportation experts in Virginia fear the funds will go toward projects that are out-of-date and unnecessary.

The focus on so-called 'shovel-ready' road and infrastructure projects in President-elect Barack Obama's proposed $825 billion dollar stimulus plan worries such transport specialists as Stewart Schwartz of Virginia's Coalition for Smarter Growth.

"Just because a road project's been on the plans since the 1950s does not make it a good idea. There's a lot of ideas from the 1950s that we've left behind."

Schwartz says the Virgina Department of Transportation's long-range plan focuses on new roads at the expense of saving farmland and supporting public transit.

"We need to tear up Virginia's long range transportation plan and fundamentally re-evaluate where we're going. And we need a new plan for Virginia that is based upon energy-efficient and location-efficient communities."

What's needed, Schwartz says, is a fundamental restructuring of Virginia's Six-Year Improvement Program - one that fixes current roads and bridges and supports energy-efficient public transit and rail. The Commonwealth Transportation Board is currently conducting an unusual revision of its 2009-2014 plan to account for a billion dollars in anticipated cuts. The board is to finalize the revised Six-Year plan later this month.

Aries Keck, Public News Service - VA