Belle writes: Last night, residents of the Lewis Mtn. neighborhood let City and University officials know that they are as angry as ever about the proposed Ivy Road parking garage. Eric Swensen reports in today’s Progress that residents described UVa officials as “evasive” and that they directed a “flash of fury” at Mayor Caravati.
Leonard Sandridge continued with his stock response: UVa isn’t willing to change a thing.
14 thoughts on “Tempers Flare at Meeting about New UVa Garage”
Here’s the same story from WINA (with a few text items I’ve linked):
U-V-A & its Lewis Mountain neighbors have a testy meeting
The University of Virginia is going ahead with plans for a new parking garage on Ivy Road, but some neighbors are growing more determined in their opposition. U-V-A representatives and residents of the Lewis Mountain neighborhood had a testy meeting Thursday night at the Vinegar Hill Theatre. Vice-Mayor Maurice Cox believes there must be alternatives to a 12 hundred car parking garage. Cox has suggested having a 600-car facility on Ivy Road, and another one on University property south of Arlington Boulevard. The University wants a new garage for the proposed Arts precinct and the future basketball arena that will replace “U-Hall.”
belle, thanks for posting even MORE frequently in the past few days! you rock, you post good news stories, and you write insightful intelligent comments. don’t go away.
Thanks. I’ll appreciate what Waldo is doing here, and so I try to do my part and contribute.
And I’m not going anywhere, of course.
Warning: This post was made anonymously from an ISP that is under threat of a ban.
By ERIC SWENSEN
Daily Progress staff writer
A meeting with University of Virginia officials Thursday did little to soothe Lewis Mountain neighborhood residents angry with the university’s plan to build a 1,180-vehicle Ivy Road parking garage.
“They were evasive,” said a visibly angry David Wyatt, a neighborhood resident who moderated the meeting at Vinegar Hill Theatre, referring to UVa officials. “They never addressed the fact … that the process had excluded the neighborhood.”
Charlottesville’s mayor, who wrote a letter last week to UVa officials calling on them to make significant changes to the project, also felt the wrath of the roughly 75 people in attendance at Thursday’s meeting.
Blake Caravati, who is up for re-election Tuesday to his City Council seat, was booed when he said the university had pledged to involve the neighborhood during construction if the garage is built.
An unidentified audience member shouted at Caravati, who has made his willingness to negotiate with UVa and Albemarle County a major theme of his campaign: “Who are you representing, the university or the town?”
Besides the momentary flash of fury directed at Caravati, Thursday’s debate charted the same course it has since March, when neighborhood residents first expressed outrage about the garage.
Speakers from the neighborhood asked UVa to rethink the planned garage, contending that its size and location would overwhelm traffic-clogged roads in the area. They also questioned why they were not consulted sooner and why the university is not planning to build the parking spaces at other locations that residents deem preferable.
But Leonard W. Sandridge Jr., UVa’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, reiterated that the university has no plans to change either the garage’s size or location. He also attempted to explain the university’s rationale for building the garage in its planned location, and he added that city officials knew about the planned garage well before March.
Residents said they were concerned about even longer backups at the intersection of Ivy Road and Emmet Street and more cars cutting through their neighborhood if the garage is constructed.
“We are concerned that the addition of a traffic attractor to one of the busiest intersections [in the city] is probably not a good thing for anybody,” Ben Bates said.
Sandridge replied that UVa needs a place to put vehicles that currently park on the site of the planned basketball arena before construction begins, which may happen as soon as the beginning of next year.
A letter sent by Sandridge to Caravati this week indicates that the university and its consultants believe the garage will have little effect on traffic in the area.
“Until 2006 [when the new arena is expected to open], the new garage will serve the same number of students and employees who now park on the arena building site,” Sandridge said. “Because these cars already travel on streets in the area when they are not in storage (and a high percentage are not daily commuters), we agree with our traffic consultants that the impact of moving their parking location several blocks up Emmet Street will be minimal.”
He added at the meeting that he believes “there are ways to move traffic that will not increase the intrusion on the neighborhood,” such as limited-access roads leading to and from the garage.
Sandridge also believes the North Grounds Connector planned as part of the arena project will help improve traffic flow. The connector would stretch south from the U.S. 29-250 bypass halfway between the Ivy Road and Barracks Road exits and wind between University Village apartments and the Darden School to Massie Road.
In two weeks, Sandridge said in his letter, UVa should have the results of an expanded traffic study done at the city’s request. The state Department of Environmental Quality has suspended its review of the project pending additional information on the garage’s impact on traffic and wetlands.
Along with the traffic, speakers also questioned the garage’s location, which Sandridge said was the best location to serve the arena, parking needs on campus and the planned arts complex on Carr’s Hill.
But Judith Shatin, chairwoman of UVa’s music department, said the leaders of UVa’s arts departments had not been consulted about the Ivy Road garage. She also questioned whether the garage “is too far [from Carr’s Hill] to be as useful as it should be.”
Residents, led by a city councilor, also said they were not given enough advance notice about the planned garage or given the chance to offer alternatives, such as adding more parking spaces to the garage planned for Massie Road next to the arena.
“We’ve never been offered the opportunity to indulge in that debate,” Councilor Maurice Cox said.
While accepting some blame for the communication breakdown, Sandridge said during the meeting and in his letter to Caravati that city officials had known about plans to put parking on the Ivy Road site since February 2001. He added that UVa had begun attempting to set up a meeting about the garage with the Lewis Mountain Neighborhood Association in October.
While city residents seem to have little power to stop the garage — UVa is exempt as a state agency from city zoning laws — they seem determined to try. At the meeting, anti-garage activists handed out sheets with mailing and e-mail addresses for UVa’s Board of Visitors along with a prewritten letter to Gov. Mark R. Warner that residents could sign and then fax to his office.
Wyatt said neighborhood residents have raised about $1,500 to fight the garage, which will be spent on signs and advertising. Residents also are “speaking with legal counsel,” Wyatt added.
“You think [the opposition] is a squall,” Wyatt said to UVa officials at the end of Thursday’s meeting. “You’ve got the perfect storm.”
I’d like to point out that it’s rather unfair to post the whole text of another site’s story, as it takes away the incentive to visit their site. Why not just post your comments and links next time?
There are ways of taking quotes from articles without entirely misrepresenting the tone or content of an article, and I think Belle’s post, unfortunately, did just that. By taking quotes wholely out of context, it shows a bias of sorts in either her view on either UVA, Caravati, or the parking garage (or all three). Which is not to say that is good or bad, it just doesn’t belong on the “front page”… I understand this is not a site that adheres to strictly journalistic standards, given that its comment-driven, however, I think perhaps Waldo could have acknowledged her submission by just summarizing the story himself–without the provocative connotations that come with out-of-context words such as “flash of fury” and “evasive”. Just thoughts.
I understand this is not a site that adheres to strictly journalistic standards
Well, that’s true, but don’t let me use that as an excuse to intentionally misrepresent facts. :)
given that its comment-driven, however, I think perhaps Waldo could have acknowledged her submission by just summarizing the story himself–without the provocative connotations that come with out-of-context words such as “flash of fury” and “evasive”. Just thoughts.
I’ve done that in the past, but I didn’t think it was necessary in this case. I think that Belle’s submission reflects the tone of Eric Swensen’s article (and, presumably, the meeting as well), which starts off by describing the residents as “angry,” quotes somebody as saying that they were “evasive,” and said that Mayor Caravati “felt the wrath of the roughly 75 people in attendance.”
I agree with you that some submissions represent too strong of an opinion, or may even misrepresent the facts. I usually choose not to run those, consequently. But I think that, in this case, Belle pretty well emulated the real deal. (Though I’m certainly open to a discussion on the topic. :)
You suggest that Belle has misrepresented the tone or content of Swenson’s article (when you write that “There are ways of taking quotes from articles without entirely misrepresenting the tone or content of an article, and I think Belle’s post, unfortunately, did just that.”)
If you start going through Swenson’s article, in practically every sentence you encounter him representing the meeting as quite angry:
“A meeting with University of Virginia officials Thursday did little to soothe Lewis Mountain neighborhood residents angry…”
““They were evasive,” said a visibly angry David Wyatt”
the mayor “also felt the wrath of the roughly 75 people…”
“Blake Caravati, who is up for re-election Tuesday to his City Council seat, was booed…”
“Besides the momentary flash of fury directed at Caravati..”
and so on. I’m sorry, I just don’t see where Belle misrepresented the tone of the article that he/she linked to. The bias that you think you detect is not his/her bias–instead, it’s how Swenson wrote the story.
… instead, it’s how Swenson wrote the story.
While we’re taking spelling/grammar-related shots at people and ignoring their content: “Swenson” didn’t write anything.
hey, i pride myself on both taking spelling-grammar-related shots at people AND attacking their content. balancing both of these activities is just one of those things that they teach you in English ph.d. school.
I think he prefers to be referred to as “Swen-Hova.”
I read Belle’s note and the Daily Progress directly. No difference in writing; these people were angry!
That said, I have to laugh a bit. UVa is the giant that walks among us and does anything it damn well pleases. It’s just this time it is going to be the well to do landowners in the Lewis Mountain Road area for a change.
UVa Employees are already at the mercy of UVa Policies and not necessarily statewide ones as a result of the autonomy policy. UVa doesn’t have to comply with DEQ rules. UVa doesn’t have to comply with transportation rules for the buses that they operate for employees. (I found that out 12 years ago when one of the buses/drivers were unsafe. No rules were required for UVa.) Oh, and let’s not forget the stadium lights.
Frankly, as someone who has to ride UVA buses, I don’t want to have another 15 minutes added for a bus trip. I hope that the garage gets built. Sorry, but I’m tired of the NIMBYism in both the city and county. (BTW, I live in the city near downtown. I’m aware of noises, interruptions and traffic. I knew that BEFORE I bought the house. Someone should tell that to people living in areas.)
I have to laugh that Carvati is getting slammed. I got in the mail today the top 10 reasons why I should vote for the Democratic tix:
Art in Place: Vandalism galore. Question: Would people on the City Council be more angrier at the art being destroyed or UVa Students being assaulted by teenaged gangs?
Free Bike Program: Do you see them anymore?
Quality Control Council: What is that? Is that the same as the man who works for public utilities who was surprised to find out that the sewage system smells over at Woolen Mills?
I have to give them points for the free trolley but the City Flower Gardens are the work of both the city and the garden clubs.
“It’s just this time it is going to be the well to do landowners in the Lewis Mountain Road area for a change.”
Well-to-do without a doubt–I looked up the assessments on some of the houses in that area, and they are _expensive_!
You like that album?
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