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The traffic congestion of Northern Virginia has been a problem my entire life.  It is a problem I’ve studied with the same diligence and attention to detail that I’ve devoted to studying healthcare so as to find real solutions to very complex problems.

We live along the worst interstate corridor in America.  Commuters here waste an average of one hour a day idling in traffic.  Lost time in Northern Virginia alone is worth $2 billion a year and the congestion limits employment opportunities. The emotional cost is even greater, the missed business meetings, soccer games and family dinners, as well as the unpredictability of transit times and the related stress.  This is not a problem that can be solved by state and local officials alone because much of the traffic originates north of Baltimore and is destined for south of Richmond, or vice versa.  If we continue on as we are, with the continued failure of the federal government to act comprehensively and strategically, it will only get worse:  more carbon, more traffic, more congestion, and more delays.

The many studies done on the Maine to Florida I95 Region have fallen on deaf ears because the GOP refuses to invest in America.  For much of the corridor, there is no alternative to I95.   A single accident will shut it down.  The I95 region is 10% of America’s landmass, 40% of our population and the 3rd largest economy in the world, and it’s stuck in traffic. It has the same population density of Western Europe, but only a fraction of Europe’s mass transit, and high-speed freight and passenger rail.  We have neither their canals nor intermodal marine routes.  And we don’t even have a plan.  In fact, there’s been no comprehensive approach to transportation since Eisenhower initiated the interstate system sixty years ago. Like healthcare, this is not a problem that will be solved by private enterprise, even for those who can afford a $40 toll to go six miles.

And it’s not unique to Virginia, or even the East Coast, so I will form a strategic transportation caucus in Congress. We will bring together experts, professionals, citizens, and stakeholders and study the issue in detail.  We will propose a multi-modal approach including all options and alternatives.  For example, we must look for ways to move long-distance traffic such as vacationers and cargo trucks away from commuter routes.  We will no longer abdicate this federal responsibility nor relegate it to lonely county traffic engineers or the state Departments of Transportation alone but will work with them and all stakeholders to agree upon and implement a vision that puts all alternatives to work to get America moving again.  
The initial estimate to actually solve this problem is about $38 billion a year, or about 3 weeks of what we spend for defense.  But this investment would create thousands of jobs, lower carbon emissions, improve the lives of commuters, help vacationers get to destinations more quickly, and make cargo transport more efficient.  And it would improve the lives of 150 million Americans. Today I am announcing a national effort, the East Cost Strategic Transportation Initiative, to address our traffic problems strategically and comprehensively. It’ll be neither quick nor easy but the longer we delay in taking action, the worse it will get.  I’m John Suddarth, I am the best candidate to actually beat Rob Wittman in November and actually go to Washington and get this done.  I ask for your vote so I can get to work for you.

Committee to Elect John Suddarth
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