Meadowcreek Parkway and Hillsdale Connector Approved

silkyzephyr writes: The Daily Progress reports that at Monday night’s meeting City Council approved the Hillsdale Drive connector. Buried at the end of that story is the news that City Council also agreed to build the Meadowcreek Parkway.

From watching the meeting, it is clear councilors now differ only on whether the city should mandate, or merely suggest, building a grade-separated interchange at the same time.

The problem is money: there isn’t any. Councilors Schilling and Caravatti do not want the bulldozers kept waiting while the City saves up for an interchange. The majority, Councilors Hamilton, Lynch and Mayor Brown, insist that without one the Parkway would dump ruinous traffic at a stoplight, paralyzing Route 250. Delaying the Parkway is better than building it wrong, they say.

The two factions have agreed to work out compromise language by the next meeting.

Both road approvals are only at the first step, the design. But City Council has essentially started a process which once begun, grinds on to its inevitable conclusion. In sum, nearly forty years after it was first proposed, City Council is now united on putting a road through Mcintire Park.

I will note kudos to Councilor Lynch, who held out for a Christmas list of goodies like replacement parkland. He has been promised virtually everything he wanted. If we must pave a park, adding fifty acres of green space does soften the blow.

4 Responses to “Meadowcreek Parkway and Hillsdale Connector Approved”

  • Sorry, but I’m not sure how you get to “City Council also agreed to build the Meadowcreek Parkway” from the referenced passage in the article, which is

    The council approved the creation of a steering committee to guide the design of an interchange at the southern terminus of the proposed Meadowcreek Parkway and approved sending out a bidding request for an interchange design study.

    The council delayed action on appropriating $1.5 million in state funding for that study and delayed action on an agreement that would put the city manager in charge of the design phase.

    Seems like the only thing the Council approved was a request for bids for another in a very long line of studies.

    It would be refreshing to have a City Council up-or-down vote on this. Let’s see a little political courage, one way or the other. Constantly avoiding the heat that any decision is sure to generate seems rather cowardly, in a political sense.

    Since I no longer live in the north part of the county, I couldn’t care less either way (though I do feel that residents in northern Albemarle might have a solid case for grievance against the City, since apparently the Rescue Squad was located where it is precisely in anticipation of the road being built. Not having that road adds precious minutes to rescue squad trips north), but it seems ridiculous for City Council to continually delay action on this. Not exactly what one expects from “leaders.” If the majority doesn’t want the road, kill it! Quit spending taxpayer money on “studies.”

  • we need more studies to study on why we need more studies.

    I still want to see the study on why Chalbemarle is the only major city not to have a bypass.

  • Previously City Council only had sent a letter to VDOT (four years ago) expressing what they’d like to see. An opinion, a posture, a negotiating stance, of no direct consequence.

    Now for the first time, all five Councilors voted to create the bureaucratic machinery actually to engineer and build a road–and set it in motion. Not just another study, but engineering drawings that bulldozers can follow. Unlike the letter, this vote has direct consequences, which will inevitably follow unless they reverse themselves.

    A future City Council could conceivably go with "no build." they do have that choice. But facing a financial forfeiture if they do, and given the current unanimity in favor of building something, an about-face halting the project is very unlikely.

    That is not in the Daily Progress article: you had to watch the meeting.

  • "I still want to see the study on why Chalbemarle is the only major city not to have a bypass."

    I used to wonder why the by-pass wasn’t built as well and even secretly applauded the delegate from Lynchburg who tried to force the county and city to build it. After actually looking into the facts I realized that the proposed bypass is way too short and would do little to help traffic on 29 . It starts at the Forest Lakes South which makes no sense. Most of the traffic on 29 is local (Northern Albemarle, Greene, Madison commuters) so building a bypass starting there wont do anything to ease the heavy congestion. In order to really have some impact on traffic you would probably have to widen it north of Wal Mart and build interchanges at the busiest intersections (Rio, Greenbrier, Hydraulic, [Airport/Profit?]) and most importantly BUILD ALTERNATE NORTH-SOUTH ROUTES aka Meadowcreek and Berkmar extended.

    As far as the main subject goes, one look at my screen name will tell you where I stand (Ryo_Road). I live in a subdivision off Rio and its hell getting out of my neighborhood anytime before 9 PM. The city has been playing around with this for too long. They even suggested that the county buid an eastern connector that would connect 250 on Pantops to none other than Rio Road. Yes they want to add more traffic to a street that has backups from Pen Park to Downtown. Its obvious that road projects do not get done in this town so I say the county get the city back and hold their precious Hillsdale extension project hostage until they agree to move forward on the construction of the parkway with or without an interchange ;) Could you imagine the sweet irony.

    Ha. But seriously I think "Chalbemarle" should consider a SINGLE board that decides on all projects for the city and the urban ring in the county.

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