You may not have heard, but there’s an election Tuesday. It’s in Alexandria (and a bit of Fairfax), to fill Brian Moran’s seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Moran stepped down in December to run for governor. Democrat Charniele Herring and Republican Joe Murray are vying to represent the 46th District, which covers most of western, suburban Alexandria and a little sliver of Fairfax. Both have a lot to say about the issues facing their community, but as far as I can tell, not a word about transit.
Today’s Post discusses the race and the candidates’ struggle to get attention amid the holidays and the Inauguration. Murray, who calls himself a “pro-business and pro-jobs … pragmatic Republican,” wants to focus, among other topics, on transportation, “such as making sure that thousands of Defense Department jobs moving into Alexandria come with critical road improvements,” says the Post. Improvements to roads and…? Is Murray (or perhaps the Post reporter in paraphrasing) forgetting another important way to get to jobs, which many Alexandrians use every day? It’s called transit.
Herring has an exciting resume, going from a brief homeless stint in her teens to becoming a corporate attorney representing the DC Convention Center Authority and Verizon. Herring has worked on children’s health care coverage and protecting domestic violence victims as well. But on her issues page, she’s just as mum on transit as Murray.
She writes, “Ever since I moved to Northern Virginia, traffic has been an issue. I am tired of hearing about the issue and seeing no resolution. I will work to get funding into a lock box for our roads and infrastructure once and for all.” Yes, traffic is an issue in Alexandria. Creating more alternatives to driving is a good way to relieve that, like streetcars across Alexandria or an infill Metro station at Eisenhower Valley. I know that western Alexandria is relatively car-dependent and transit may not be constituents’ top priority, but if now-Congressman Gerry Connolly can proselytize alternatives to traffic-choked Fairfax, so could Herring and Murray.