Time to Take a Stand on The US29 Bypass


By. Neil Williamson, President

Very rarely does the wonkish world of local public policy evoke images of Gary Cooper and “High Noon” but there seems to behigh non an ominous sense of a showdown coming at the US 29 Western Bypass hearing this Wednesday at 4 pm (not High Noon).

Where do you stand?

Will you make your voice heard this Wednesday?

Last week, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB)  voted (12-1) to allocate $230 million dollars to the US 29 Western Bypass and the widening of US 29 between Polo Grounds Road and Holymead Town Center.

The CTB did not vote (nor was it on their agenda to consider) in favor of the Christmas list that was included in a letter signed by the chair and vice chair of the  Charlottesville Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).   After our blog post regarding the letter, one commenter on the Free Enterprise Forum blog opined “I am surprised they didn’t ask for a pony”.

We have written a number of posts related to this road in recent weeks.  We are unabashedly in favor of building the Western Bypass.

It comes down to this – a vote by the MPO to accept or reject the CTB allocation of $230 million for the US 29 Western bypass and a second project to widen U.S. 29 to six lanes between the South Fork Rivanna River and Hollymead Town Center.

This morning’s front page story  in The Daily Progress by Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Sean Tubbs suggests the MPO may defer a decision (as predicted by this blog last week).

The Free Enterprise Forum believes the time for a decision is now.  There has been significant citizen input and a commitment made by the Commonwealth to fund both the Bypass and widening of US29 – As a community are we really going to walk away from that??????

high_noon_clockLet me ask the question directly – Will you come down to the Albemarle County Office Building on Wednesday at 4 pm and make your voice heard?

Alternatively, you can contact the members of the MPO directly with your vision of the future of US 29.  The MPO member’s contact information:

Rodney Thomas, Chair, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
3411 N. Indian Spring Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901
(434) 242-3322

Kristin Szakos, Vice Chair, Charlottesville City Council
Box 911, City Hall, Charlottesville, VA, 22902
(434) 970-3113

Satyendra Huja, Charlottesville City Council
1502 Holly road, Charlottesville, Virginia, 22901, U.S.A.
(434) 977-5094

Duane Snow, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
905 Leigh Way, Charlottesville, VA 22901

James Utterback, VDOT Culpeper District Administrator

The future belongs to those who lead and those who support them.  Make your voice heard.   I anticipate I will see you on Wednesday.

Now is the time, the state has stepped up, will you?


Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson

Photo Credits (Stanley Kramer Productions)


20070731williamson 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, Louisa and Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org


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