Riding the Screed


The epochal Fairfax (VA) County chairman race between Democrat (and incumbent) Gerry Connolly and Republican environmental lawyer Gary Baise has taken a dark turn after Baise relied on a certain mystery-cloaked tome for much of his transportation plan. From a blog that recapped a recent candidate forum:

[Baise] comes from the private sector, will scrub the budget and get spending of enormous revenues under control, is outraged that the Dulles Rail initiative isn't competitively bid, and claims "as we all know, the government doesn't have any priorities—it just spends on everything". There's not only a "lack of, an abdication of leadership..it's simply lunacy" (regarding the Dulles Rail contract). All in all, very thoughtful and instructive narrative—but must be getting proceeds from the book "The Road More Travelled", which he constantly quoted from and suggested.

That's The Road More Travelled by Sam Staley and Ted Balaker, the incisive book by the Reason foundation that we excerpted earlier this year. According to Howard Mortman, Connolly is trying to use Baise's reading against him. Not by attacking the substance of the book or anything, mind you.

Connolly also criticized Baise for relying on "The Road More Traveled," a book he described as a "right-wing screed" against mass transit, as the basis for some of his transportation positions. The book, written by two scholars of the Reason Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to free markets and limited government, emphasizes adding lanes to existing roads, eliminating parking subsidies and increasing the efficiency of traffic signals to check congestion.

As a former resident of Fairfax County under the Connolly regime I'd really like to know what his problems are with this research. I'll give him credit for widening West Ox Road: Seriously, good job. But why are Baise, Staley and Balaker wrong about the way to untangle NoVa's transportation issues? Is clicking your heels together and wishing for a lengthened metro line a better plan? Are bonds that basically pay for road upkeep going to help with the flood of priced-out people moving into Prince William and Loudon counties but commuting to DC?