Take Action: Weigh in on these key issues at the VA General Assembly

Metro Funding | Better Biking | Safe Streets | Better Bus Stops | More Housing | Highway Robbery | Curbing Data Centers 

The Virginia General Assembly is speeding through its 60-day session, and your legislators want to hear from you! Here’s info on key issues and how to reach your legislators.

Metro Funding! Metro has a budget gap due to inflation and pandemic ridership drops. But Metro is fighting back by restoring frequent, reliable, safer, more affordable service under the inspiring leadership of Randy Clarke. CSG is urging Governor Youngkin and the legislature to provide Virginia’s fair share of the funding to close the gap. Use our action page to support Metro funding!

Safer Streets! A few great bills you can support:

  • HB20/HB905: Photo speed enforcement – allowed in any city, county, or town where locality deems necessary (currently only allowed in school and construction zones).
  • HB533: Photo speed enforcement for high pedestrian risk corridors on roads posted at 45mph or less.
  • SB336: Photo speed enforcement for high-risk intersections.
  • HB21/HB1072: Expands school crossing zones.
  • HB793 & HB1071: Allows Fairfax County and City of Richmond respectively to lower speed limits from 25mph to 15mph

Better Bus Stops! Just 11% of bus stops have a shelter and 19% have a bench. But it can take 30+ months to get a bus shelter installed on state-maintained roads.

Bill HB285 would streamline the process so we can provide dignified places to wait for the bus, and budget amendment 71#2h would provide funding to implement.

Addressing housing needs. Bills would direct localities to make housing “by-right” in more situations including for Accessory Dwelling Units (SB304/HB900), for housing on “faith-land” (SB233/HB1124), and in commercial and industrial areas (SB430). The bills will likely go into studies this year. CSG will participate and support improving the process so we can build more housing in sustainable, accessible locations.

Better Biking! A few bills to support (links to fact sheets):

  • HB1266: Omnibus bicycling safety – includes allowing cyclists to yield at stop signs and to ride two abreast, and a safety rule for cars passing on a narrow road.
  • HB1077: also allows cyclists to yield at stop signs.
  • HB748: e-bike rebates for $500, with priority for lower-income residents to receive another $500.
  • HB657: Bikes in bike lanes may proceed on walk signal.
  • HB937: Ensures localities that implement “bike trains” and “walking school buses” for schoolchildren will not lose state school bus funding.

Stop Highway Robbery! The Governor and some legislators are trying to take hundreds of millions in transportation $ off the top of our transportation trust fund to pay for pet highway projects. This would reduce funds available for rail and transit, and for road maintenance. It would also evade Virginia’s nationally-recognized SMART SCALE project prioritization process and fuel sprawl. We’re opposing and will keep you posted.

Data Centers, Power Lines, and our Utility bills. The industry is pushing millions of square feet of data centers – and received $1 billion in tax breaks last year. They convinced officials to destroy the Rural Crescent next to Manassas National Battlefield Park. Their huge power demands require hundreds of miles of new high-power lines – that we, as Dominion customers, pay for in higher electric bills. Legislators have filed dozens of bills to deal with the challenges. Learn more and take action!

How to get involved and communicate with your legislators 

Virginia Conservation Network’s bill tracker for bills affecting the environment, transportation, energy policy and more. Register for Virginia Conservation Network’s Conservation Lobby Days in Richmond on Jan. 30 and 31, which will include updates on transportation bills among many others.

Thanks for being involved!