Get a Piece of the Stimulus Package Pie

Lindsay -- February 17th, 2009

The Commonwealth of Virginia has provided a website where “citizens, groups, localities, and others” can request funding from Virginia’s portion of the federal stimulus package.

From the site:

Virginia is working to ensure the interests of the Commonwealth’s citizens are well represented in the federal economic stimulus package. The Virginia Stimulus website is a forum for citizens, localities, and others to submit project proposals to be considered should federal stimulus funds become available. Your input is greatly appreciated as we await more news about the federal process and project requirements.

They started accepting proposals on February 10, 2009, and the end date is TBD.

22 Responses to “Get a Piece of the Stimulus Package Pie”

  1. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    If you go to the part called Reports, you can see some of the projects that have been suggested. One of them in the “concept” phase (not “shovel-ready”) is to build some train stations for a Central Virginia light rail system. It says it would go to Harrisonburg, but we don’t have any passenger train stations along our tracks, do we?

  2. Frank J Witt says:

    Jeremy, did you see this one?

    WE NEED MONEY TO SAVE OUR HOME, FUEL FOR HEATING, TO PAY OUR MORTGAGE, GREDIT CARDS, ELECTRIC BILL, PHONE, INSURANCE ,PROPERTY TAXES, MEDICAL BILLS FROM AN UNINSURED MOTORIST THAT HIT US.MONEY FOR EVERYDAY LIVING. WE NEED HELP…

    I guess people just want the government to run their lives and cover their debts…shameful.

  3. Emmy says:

    Frank,
    I don’t quite think that’s what that meant. There will be a lot of those I think. It’s not that people don’t want to pay their own bills, it’s that they can’t. If you haven’t noticed, a lot of people are losing their jobs. I see the example you posted as a general cry for help shared by many across the country. While some may, I doubt that many actual expect they will get money from this for those things. They are simply stating that something needs to happen before people are homeless.

  4. Brian M says:

    Sure we do Jeremy. Unfortunately, our train station is filled with plywood from Monger’s Lumber.

  5. Renee says:

    Jeremy, no there aren’t any passenger trains that come through here (at least not Amtrak). I have thought a DC-Leesburg-(Martinsburg -existing station)-Winchester-Harrisonburg-Staunton-Roanoke-Charlottesville-Fredericksburg-DC loop would get a lot of ridership. I know of people that would live here and commute to DC area by train if it only took an hour or so, because commutes from Gainesville to Alexandria can take an hour+ in traffic, and why not live in Hburg instead of Gainesville if you could?

    Also, it would be nice to have a quick way to get up to the Verizon Center or Kennedy Center for a game/show. Also, students at JMU, UVA, and even VT (via Roanoke) could take it home to NoVA.

    I think one of my professors at JMU was pushing for a high-speed “81 Corridor” train at one point.

  6. Renee says:

    One thing I didn’t realize is that the Staunton station is on one of the NY-Chicago routes. You can get to NY in 8+ hours for $84. Not the best option, but an alternative for someone that doesn’t want to drive to Dulles, pay to park the car, and deal with the hassles of flying. Heck, with all the delays these days, it might be faster to take the train.

    I took one from Cleveland to Martinsburg once. (Parked my car in WV and rode with my Dad up there but needed to come back sooner than him.) It wasn’t the greatest ride, but a good option.

    I’ve also taken the Amtrak from DC to Boston to see a friend, which was really exciting as a high schooler going on a big trip alone for the first time.

    Anyway, I know I’m off the topic of this thread, but I think a train loop like I mentioned above would get a lot of riders.

  7. linz says:

    I’m with you Renee. I love train travel in Europe (and bigger cities in the US), and wish we had a few more options like that here. I don’t want it to be coal-burning, though!

    Jeremy, that is intruiging… Right now I’m picturing people hanging out with their luggage at the feedmill or something, unless the plan includes a station! :)

  8. Scott Rogers says:

    There is actually a more tangible way to get a piece of the stimulus package pie, if you are a potential first time home buyer. You can get an $8,000 tax credit (either pay $8K less in taxes, or get an $8k check back) if you buy in the next 8.5 months, and haven’t owned a home in the last three years.

  9. Emmy says:

    Good point Scott. Wish I could take advantage of that one, but you have to be able to afford the home first ;)

  10. Annie Hololob says:

    There are out of use passenger train stations in Waynesboro- right near the old Fairfax Hall Hotel (now an assisted living facility) and several in and around downtown Roanoke and Salem.

    I would also love to be able to train to Richmond for a day, to DC, or even the beach for the weekend. This is a long overdue and much needed improvement in VA.

  11. Frank J Witt says:

    I took AMTRAK to Florida from Philly one day. 24 hours of truly wonderful scenes.

    I know about being unemployed Emmy, but I won’t be asking for handouts…except for help getting my house off the power grid. If we could get a discount to buy a home unit, I would love to disconnect.

  12. linz says:

    Thanks Scott. After all, who just wants one piece of pie? :)

  13. I love riding Amtrak myself but it is often very, very late in Staunton. I don’t consider it a good option if you have a meeting to get to, etc. I don’t know why it’s so late … seems someone explained that to me once or I read an explanation, but I’m not remembering details.

  14. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    Well, it would have been on time, but you know how traffic is.

    Wait a second…

  15. Amtrak currently purchases track access from the Class A railroads (NS, CSX). In the past (pre-recession) the track was heavily traveled and traffic was congested. Freight comes first, then passenger.

  16. Thanh says:

    Anyone know about TransDominion Express (TDX)? I’m interested to learn more.

    TransDominion Express – is a proposed passenger rail service, crossing the Commonwealth of Virginia on existing tracks—using modern “European-style” rail cars for maximum safety and comfort. http://www.tdxinfo.org/

    Here’s some more interesting info:

    Rail Solutions – RAIL Solution is a grassroots advocacy group with over 1200 individual participants and a coalition of allied organizations. We emphasize balanced transportation planning, with a leading role for railroads. http://www.railsolution.org/

    Past hburgnews post – http://hburgnews.com/2008/02/13/the-crescent-corridor/

    I think the construction of rail lines throughout the country with the use of stimulus monies would be a great idea. I do however fear how long planning, assessments, public input/hearings will take to make it all happen. But you have to start somewhere!

  17. zen says:

    I am all for investment in rail. Virginia is a beautiful state that I criss-cross often. I would love for a reliable, realistic method to avoid driving 81, 64, and 66. Traffic, fuel and other fees of driving are a hassle(beck) avoided by a solid rail system. The overall savings are significant. A smart approach to development combined with continued government infrastructure investment can be a sound plan for success—particularly for Virginia.

  18. Renee says:

    zen, I agree. I love how VA has big cities, small “boutique” towns, mountains, lakes, beaches, etc. and it would be great to have a way to take frequent trips around the state, and it would be good for the economy, too. And with people’s budgets these days, I think providing a better way to do local travel would be well-accepted.

    Thanh, thanks for those sites, I’ll check them out!

  19. Renee says:

    So, if you all think rail is a good investment here, maybe I can collect these comments and submit our ideas to the stimulus plan site linz posted!

  20. Renee says:

    Thanh, TDX looks interesting – I wonder why they left the valley towns off of the proposed route list?

    The Crescent Corridor in that WSJ article in the old hburgnews post does seem to follow I-81.

  21. Bubby says:

    That Amtrak Acela train from Washington’s Union station to New York’s Grand Central station is the best way to get into Manhattan!

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