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U.S. Route 29 Western Bypass

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Posted by: Eric H. Schmitz | July 10, 2011 at 11:40 PM

In today's Daily Progress, Supervisor Ken Boyd mis-attributed a woefully errant analysis to a Technical Memorandum prepared for the TJPDC.

"Absent from the arguments of those opposed to the bypass are statistics on local traffic as outlined in the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission's Technical Memorandum 3 of October 2007. Taking into consideration the commuting patterns of the University of Virginia employees living in Forest Lakes or the National Ground Intelligence Center woker living in Crozet, this document states that the percentage of traffic taken off U.S. 29 by the bypass could be as high as 49 percent."

The fact is, the document cited states no such thing. Read for yourself.

What is true is that a blog opinion piece recently written by Neil Williamson, Director of the Free Enterprise Forum, "49% of US 29 Traffic Could Use the Western Bypass – That’s A Horse of a Different Color" dated July 7, 2011, provides a hackneyed analysis of data from the above cited document and draws this conclusion.

So what, you say?

Well, for starters, this gem appears after an introduction by Mr. Boyd that cries foul to folks opposed to the proposed bypass who happen to live in or near its path. "Today we have residents along the path of the U.S. 29 Western Bypass who vehemently oppose another new road, but instead of a shotgun's blast, they use scare tactics and misinformation to protect their own interests."

Would a politician sensitive to purveyors of misinformation blatantly appropriate the imprimatur of a professional analysis for that of a rank amatuer to "protect" his own interests?

Apparently so. In response to an e-mail complaint to Mr. Boyd, he offered this non-response: "Your personal opinion and logic doesn't even warrant a reply."


Posted by: Dave Frey | July 12, 2011 at 09:31 AM

This is the 2011 Road To Nowhere. This plan was authored in 1997. Instead of a proper blueprint there's a highlighted Google Map. Why can't urban planning and transport professionals can bring a bypass into this Century before $300 million is cut from other currently approved funding? Like most roads, and the current 29, this "plan" is totally hostile to every mode of transport that doesn't require an engine, especially pedestrian. There are no crosswalks, no pedestrian walk lights, no bike lane(s), no rail in the median, no underpass for wildlife; nothing that modern urban planners have been incorporating for the past 25 years. Must we continue to spend every penny possible to condemn our community to the Socialist agenda of a single source transportation infrastructure agenda?


Posted by: M. Lengowski | July 12, 2011 at 02:48 PM

These 3D visualizations demonstrate to me what a terrible waste it would be to proceed on this project. The three parts that really stand out to me are the two interchanges (esp. the south interchange that looks a lot like I-64 near Short Pump) and the cut-through at Stillhouse Mountain that resembles 29S near Liberty University in Lynchburg.

The fact is that if VDOT / citizens of VA wanted 29 to be a primary North-South thoroughfare along the lines of I-81 and I-95 there should have been some restrictions on further development along 29N from the Rivanna all the way to I-66. For example, developers could have been required to pay for parallel access roads to their strip malls while socializing the cost of exit ramps, etc. to reflect the benefits of economic development.

I'm tired of seeing massive public subsidies for car travel, strip malls and other forms of sprawl. What's coming next, a Ruckersville Bypass? At what point will it end? Let's promote personal choice by considering equally valid alternatives to building a gargantuan access road to Hollymead Town Center.


Posted by: Lisa Goehler | August 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM

More than 40 MILLION a mile. WOW!!!
Is this really the best use of 40 MILLION dollars? PER MILE.

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