Friday, May 11, 2007

MCPW

Seth Rosen and I met the night before my candidacy announcement. He is an able and young reporter for the Daily Progress. He has not been in the City long and he hailed from Arlington. Seth's stories about the budget were right on target. So now that I am a candidate, I have to say his stories are still on target and I appreciate the way he digs into issues.

That said, the Meadowcreek Parkway is a tertiary issue at this point. It is not relevant to this campaign. Many, if not all, of the issues confronting Council will be resolved prior to the election, so a new council will not have any say over it (one of the first council's in 35 years- fingers crossed).

Three reasons I do not support the MCPW (not all encompassing).

1. Traffic congestion in Charlottesville. Chamber tells me traffic is good since people in cars stop and shop, eat and play all the good engines of economic well-being. My concern is the City's apparent lack of preparation for the increase in traffic presented by the congestion. Proactive leadership is needed to prevent gridlock downtown, if MCPW approval is inevitable, my task will be to PREPARE the City by modernizing our transit and transportation network.
I can tell you from my experience in Falls Church, the longer you sit in traffic the less likely you are to stop and shop. I would have a list of three things I needed to do with a limited time to complete the tasks, traffic prevented me from getting to all the things on my list and then the question always became, what is it I can get away with NOT doing? This is not the environment I want in Charlottesville.
Traffic also incorporates Melbourne Road- what the heck is going to happen here?
Traffic concerns also relates to the idea of a freeway between RIO and Biscuit Run and beyond- there is no shopping in Cville if that happens- The County benefits.

2. McIntire Park- Paul Goodloe McIntire donated this enormous chunk of land at the beginnning of last century. Already we have two roads running through or into the donated land (in addition to CAAR and firehouse). I have no idea how McIntire would view these roads, he may not care. I do care because if we build a road a generation through the park, how long will it be when there is no more park? And imagine what McIntire could be- a real gathering spot in nature.

3.Children- greenspace is limited. The impact of the road no matter how few acres the actual width and length of the road will be dramatic. Greenspace is a precious, limited space, we have to preserve the resource.

Charlottesville is a great City, but it is not NYC or even Portland, Oregon, we have our own history and character. As we move forward, we need solutions that are sustainable for the long-term, this road will be obselete the moment it is built, traffic will gridlock downtown, Park St. will still remain a cut-through and finally if the Eastern Connector is ever built (which is a condition) then two parks will have been destroyed by road-building. This is not creative, we can do better than destroy two of our parks. We need to look forward instead of back to the 60's for our transportation solutions.
I look forward in particular to the CHART committee report on regional transit
options.
Having said all of that, reasonable people disagree all of the time and I am open to hearing more from supporters & opponents of the MCPW.

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