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January 08, 2009

Supervisors pass resolution in support of naming Meadowcreek Parkway after John Warner

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The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution in support of naming its portion of the Meadowcreek Parkway after former Senator John Warner (R-VA). However, the motion offered by Supervisor Dennis Rooker (Jack Jouett) stated that the County will not rename the road the John Warner Parkway unless the City of Charlottesville follows suit for their portion.

Former Albemarle County Supervisor Forrest Marshall appeared before the Board to make his case, continuing his campaign to name the parkway after his old friend. This time he offered more details about Warner’s attempts to keep the National Ground Intelligence Center in the community, and praised Warner for helping to secure funds for Scottsville’s levee system to prevent catastrophic floods. Marshall said the renaming has the support of Butch Davies, the Culpeper District’s representative on the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).

Before voting on the resolution, Rooker asked County Attorney Larry Davis to describe who has the authority to name a road. Davis replied that the City and the County have the ability to name a secondary road, like the Meadowcreek Parkway, without seeking approval from any other agency. However, naming rights for the City’s interchange at the Route 250 Bypass are reserved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board because it is classified as a primary road project. The City can request the CTB to choose a specific of name, but the rules dictate the interchange cannot be named after a living person without approval of the General Assembly.

Rooker called the request appropriate given that Warner’s role in securing the $27 million earmark for the interchange allowed the project to move forward. However, Rooker said that people don’t tend to notice if interchanges are named.

Before the vote, Chairman David Slutzky (Rio) urged caution against unilateral action without communicating to the City that their input is required as well.

“There’s been some sensitivities with the City residents about the construction project in the first place and I wouldn’t want to do anything that is too proactive,” Slutzky said. “We’re in effect suggesting that this name is acceptable to us and that we embrace it but we’re not actually adopting it until such time as the City were to decide that they to thought it was an appropriate name for their portion.”

After the vote, Marshall returned to the podium to thank the Board for their support.

Sean Tubbs


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