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August 25, 2006

Supervisors outline transportation priorities

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Bos20060825cEarlier today, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors met with five members of the General Assembly delegation representing the Charlottesville area.  The purpose of the meeting was to review transportation priorities identified by the County for the 2007 General Assembly session and the upcoming special session on transportation.

Bos20060825bPresent for the discussion were Supervisors Dennis Rooker, Ken Boyd, David Wyant and Lindsay Dorrier.  General Assembly members included Senators Creigh Deeds and Emmett Hanger, and Delegates Rob Bell, Steve Landes, and David Toscano.  Butch Davies of the Commonwealth Transportation Board also participated in the discussion.

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Listen using player above or download the podcast:Download 20060825-bos-trans.mp3

Highlights:

  • 01:20 -- Call to order by Dennis Rooker (Jack Jouett), Chairman, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
  • 01:50 -- Mr. Rooker describes local transportation priorities and funding challenges.
  • 02:36 -- Mr. Rooker notes that between 1996 and 2006 the cost of transportation projects has increased 300% but the revenues available from the state for secondary road funds has decreased from $2.9 million to $2.14 million over those ten years.
  • 05:15 -- Mr. Rooker describes the Meadowcreek Parkway as an example of the funding challenge.  The City and County need an additional $7.6 million to keep the project on schedule for its June 2008 advertised start date.
  • 07:44 -- Mr. Rooker describes the Meadowcreek Parkway Interchange project and the joint efforts of the community to raise $27 million in funds for that component of the Parkway.  Last year's inflation costs on the County's portion of the Meadowcreek Parkway was about $4 million.
  • 30:30 -- Supervisor Ken Boyd (Rivanna) asks about expectations for special session on transportation.
  • 31:38 -- Delegate Steve Landes suggests new tolls and taxes based on vehicle road miles traveled deserve consideration.   Mr. Landes indicates his belief that long-term transportation solutions are 4-5 years off.
  • 34:07 -- Mr. Boyd details three important road projects (Meadowcreek Parkway, Hillsdale Dr., and 29/250 bypass lane improvements at Best Buy) and asks what the General Assembly can do to help.
  • 35:20 -- Senator Creigh Deeds critiques "abuser fees" which he does not think are a legitimate funding mechanism.
  • Bos20060825a 46:50 -- Butch Davies of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) provides details on cooperative efforts by Albemarle, Charlottesville and VDOT to fund improvements on 29 North corridor, Meadowcreek parkway, and Hillsdale Drive. [This is a very significant set of remarks by Mr. Davies describing how he views the funding challenges]
  • 58:32 -- Delegate Rob Bell asks Butch Davies about the status of the legislation sponsored by Lynchburg/Danville area to penalize the Culpeper District if the US 29 Western Bypass resources ($40 million spent for land in right-of-way) are redirected to other projects.  Mr. Davies describes his past efforts to sell the bypass property because of its increased value.  He describes what he sees as political obstacles to redirecting these funds to other improvements in the 29 corridor.
  • 59:50 -- Mr. Davies outlines his belief that development North of the proposed bypass terminus (ending near the South Fork Rivanna River on US 29 in the area of Sam's Club) with projects like Hollymead Town Center, North Pointe, and in Greene County have rendered the 6 mile, $250 million bypass obsolete.
  • 1:01:25 -- Mr. Rooker asks for consideration of the County's legislative proposal to allow for primary road funds to be spent on urban construction projects.  Specifically, the County would like to direct proffers from Albemarle Place to improvements in the City of Charlottesville to build a new lane on Route 29 starting at Hydraulic Road and to add a new lane on the ramp from Route 29 to the 29/250 Bypass at the Best Buy.

Brian Wheeler

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