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January 06, 2009

Council considers new name for Meadowcreek Parkway

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Senator_John_Warner_portrait
Former Senator John Warner (R-VA) has previously declined to have the road named after him

The campaign to rename the Meadowcreek Parkway after outgoing Senator John Warner has reached the Charlottesville City Council.
Former Albemarle County Supervisor Forrest Marshall appeared before Council on January 5, 2009 to ask for their support in his quest to honor Senator Warner.

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“No one that I know of in modern times has done as much for this community,” Marshall said. He pointed to Warner’s support in keeping the National Ground Intelligence Center in the region, as well as Warner’s work to secure a $27 million earmark to pay for the grade-separated interchange that will connect the parkway with McIntire Road and the 250 Bypass. 

Marshall’s efforts were supplemented by Tim Hulbert, the President of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. He said at least some component of the Parkway should be named after Warner, if not the entire project.

Councilor David Brown, who visited Warner’s Washington office to lobby for the earmark, said he was hesitant to change the name of a road which has had the same name for 35 years while in the planning stages.

“I’m not keen on changing that name but I am keen on honoring Senator Warner because I think he’s done a tremendous amount for our community,” Brown said. He said Warner’s service should be honored by a “constant reminder” of some kind.  Councilor Julian Taliaferro said the community owes Warner “a debt of gratitude” and agreed that some component of the Parkway be named for him. Councilor Holly Edwards also said she could support some form of appreciation.

Though he did not speak on the matter during Council’s meeting, Parkway opponent and former City Council Candidate Peter Kleeman wrote on his blog that it would be unfair to name the road after Warner.

“If this road is constructed as the John W. Warner Parkway, drivers on this facility will link Senator Warner to the long delays they will surely endure attempting to use this facility as a quick way to get from Northern Albemarle County to Downtown Charlottesville,” Kleeman wrote. He also called for Councilors Brown, Taliaferro and Satyendra Huja to vote against the road. Mayor Dave Norris and Councilor Edwards are on record as voting against the road’s construction.

Sean Tubbs

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