Adapted from comments to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors October 10, 2018
By, Neil Williamson, President
Tonight, you will be considering asking for permission from the Commonwealth Transportation Board to ban through trucks on Owensville and Miller School Roads.
Trucks make up a small fraction of all of the traffic on these roads. According to the staff report, trucks make up less than 4% of all traffic on Owensville Road and 10.4% of traffic on Miller School Road. Recognizing some portion of this truck traffic is local, the ban would likely impact less than 5% of the traffic.
This is just the latest in a series of truck bans the county has pursued. Such bans are NOT supported by the state. From your packet this evening:
It is the philosophy of the Commonwealth Transportation Board that all vehicles should have access to the roads on which they are legally entitled to travel. Travel by any class of vehicle on any class of highway should be restricted only upon demonstration that it will promote the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth without creating an undue hardship on any of the users of the transportation system. Emphasis added -nw
We believe health, safety and welfare are core government functions but that’s not what we see in action here. We believe this is an evolution of the Not In My Backyard or NIMBY movement. We call it NIMBY 2.0.
The staff report cites a higher than average crash incidence on Owensville and Miller School Road but it does not answer the larger question. According to the state vehicular crash database, there were 41 crashes on Owensville Road from 2010-2017. During the same time frame there were 50 crashes on Miller School Road.
Do you know how many of these crashes involved large trucks?
Staff indicates 3, our research says ZERO
If you accept staff’s numbers then there were 88 vehicle crashes that were not large trucks. If this is about health, safety and welfare perhaps you should consider banning cars or fixing the road; neither of which are being talked about.
This is not about health, safety or welfare; if this is your interest fixing the road would do the trick.
The data does not support banning through trucks. These roads were paid for by public dollars and all have a right to use them.
The Free Enterprise Forum asks you to follow the direction of the Commonwealth Transportation Board and affirm the right of all legal vehicles to use public roads.
This is what we will argue to the CTB, or the Commissioner should you choose to recommend this NIMBY 2.0 regulation.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak.
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.