By. Neil Williamson
Yesterday (2/11), the Free Enterprise Forum blog posed the question, Did Albemarle’s Photosafe Cameras Run the ARB Stop Light?
Lee Catlin, Assistant to the County Executive for Community and Business Partnerships, sent an e-mail explaining Albemarle’s position on this issue. At her request, I am sharing the content of the e-mail:
The PhotoSafe system (both cameras and signage) is located in the Virginia Department of Transportation right of way and thus is subject to VDOT traffic control and safety requirements and is exempt from local planning and zoning provisions like ARB review. The PhotoSafe system is considered part of the area’s traffic control system, much like a stop sign or a traffic signal. The County obtained the necessary land use permits from VDOT last September before any construction was started, and the system was installed following the specific direction of a VDOT traffic engineer to make sure all requirements were met. Aspects of the system, for example the color and exact placement of signs, were determined by VDOT requirements that give very specific guidance about what colors are to be used for what type of signs, what distances and orientations should be used in placing signage, etc. so that the ultimate goals of traffic safety and control can be achieved.
While we understand Albemarle’s position, we continue to see a double standard. Prior to obtaining the VDOT land permits, Albemarle County could have asked the ARB for their opinion. They chose not to.
Entrance Corridor businesses do not have that option.
Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Nelson County. For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org