Feds Fund Parkway

Approved or not, it’s long looked like the Meadowcreek Parkway would never happen — state transportation dollars are stretched far too thin to be used to build a big new road not strongly supported by the community. Today, that’s all changed: Bob Gibson reports in today’s Daily Progress that Sen. John Warner has secured $25M in federal funds to fund the new road. (Exactly where this money is coming from and how it has been secured isn’t clear to me.) With only $6M remaining to be secured, there’s little standing in the way of paving two miles of McIntire Park. Sen. Warner, a UVa Law School graduate, describes the funding as “an old student’s expression of gratefulness to the community.”

07/29 Update: Big Al points out that this funding is a part of a $300B highway bill currently under consideration in Congress, with the purpose of the bill being to fund projects like the Meadowcreek Parkway nationwide. The Post writes that it “will send nearly $300 billion to the states to build and fix roads, create thousands of new jobs and — lawmakers hope — save lives and cut hours wasted in traffic.”

21 thoughts on “Feds Fund Parkway”

  1. The only project that makes Bodo’s look like a speed builder. We got the cash, bring on the earth movers.

  2. This is fantastic news and I am sure that it will make many people in the community very happy. Thank you Senator Warner!

    The possibility of a roundabout at the Melbourne intersection is unsettling since that intersection will be too close to the light at Park St. and Melbourne for a roundabout to funnction properly. Even so a roundabout on the Meadowcreek Parkway would be a good place to put a statue of Maurice Cox and Kevin Lynch : )

  3. LOL the statue is a good idea! I am a hard core Democrat but let me tell you as a resident of a subdivision on Rio Road, this is enough to make me vote for John Warner should he run again. This is just excellent. Im sure the city council was shocked. The main reason they demanded an interchange was to kill the parkway, lets see what excuse they make. Now the next step is to get some earth moving and convince the city that the last thing we need is another bottle-neck. Meadowcreek Parkway needs to be 4 lanes. The county will do it but as we have seen with route 29 roads have a tendency to be wide enough in the county before dwindeling to 2 lane roads in the city which has a higher population density….. GREAT JOB WARNER!!!!

  4. I just read this fawning editorial from tomorrow’s (Friday’s) Progress, and I really must say this.

    It’s not John Warner’s money. He didn’t give it to us. He presumably slipped a chunk of pork into a bill. What bill, I don’t know, because it hasn’t been reported. (THOMAS reveals nothing.) The Progress describes the announcement as “sheerly inspirational,” portraying this as a huge gift from a guy who’s just so grateful to Charlottesville that he just had to pay us back. Except, again, it’s not his money.

    Now, maybe Sen. Warner introduced a special bill to fund this, and he went around and lobbied his fellow Congressmen to support this bill, and explained why it’s important, in which case that’s admirable, and we should be grateful. But, more likely, he tacked this onto a big ol’ spending bill, and we’re getting a nice chunk of pork. Kind of like, say, all of the federal money for the east end of the Downtown Mall that has conservatives so upset.

    I like Sen. Warner. I disagree with him about a great deal, but he’s a man of principle and dignity, and I respect him. I don’t mean to slight the man. I’d just like a more realistic portrayal of the source of this funding, which is to say the American taxpayers.

  5. Of course it’s not his money, it is his duty to make sure OUR money goes where he thinks it will do the most good. That is what he was elected to do. It clearly says in the article that he just obtained the money.
    Waldo, if you were on city council you would be doing exactly the same thing, though with less money.
    It’s probably just a rider on an ominbus transportation bill. It is certainly not pork. Pork is some silly Lewis and Clark anniversary money to help tourism. This is a badly need road that has been talked about for over thirty years. The city has used federal money for all sort of pork items.

  6. The city has used federal money for all sort of pork items.

    You got that right. Can you say “transit center?”

    [Warner] presumably slipped a chunk of pork into a bill. What bill, I don’t know, because it hasn’t been reported (THOMAS reveals nothing.)…Now, maybe Sen. Warner introduced a special bill to fund this, and he went around and lobbied his fellow Congressmen to support this bill, and explained why it’s important, in which case that’s admirable, and we should be grateful.

    No sleight of hand involved. Not sure how THOMAS missed this one. Congress has been talking about the $286.4 billion Highway Bill for quite a while, since it’s two years late.

  7. Waldo, if you were on city council you would be doing exactly the same thing, though with less money.

    Whether or not I would is purely academic, but I would hope that the newspaper wouldn’t frame it as “my gift to the city.” Is the transit center Maurice Cox’s gift to the city? Of course not, no more than the Meadowcreek Parkway is Sen. Warner’s gift to the city.

  8. An intersection of any type at Melbourne and the MCP is a terrible idea. Why is it even being proposed? It will give drivers access to a shortcut through neighborhoods and negate the biggest benefit the road would give to the city. Also, access to Agnese St. from Rio should probably be eliminated by closing off the intersection of Agnese St. with Rio Rd. If the MCP transfers all that traffic off of Rio Rd. and Park St. the effect on those neighborhoods would be wonderful. If access is not limited then the road will do very little for the neighborhoods.

  9. I like it and so do lots of other CITY RESIDENTS. You and a few other very vocal people don’t like it but it’s going to get built. You are starting to sound bitter and just a little immature. I hope you get over it and use your influence to make sure it gets built with bike paths, sidewalks and limited access.

    BTW, pork is a vote getting strategy and you have things backwards. Politicians support pork to please their constituents. Pork barrel projects are done for the voters back home but they may not be in the best interests of national priorities, particularly the budget.

  10. I like it and so do lots of other CITY RESIDENTS.

    Erm. OK. I’m SURE YOU DO. I wouldn’t claim OTHERWISE.

    Why are we WRITING IN CAPS?

    You are starting to sound bitter and just a little immature.

    And you are ugly.

    This is the part where we hurl insults at each other, right?

    I hope you get over it and use your influence to make sure it gets built with bike paths, sidewalks and limited access.

    Influence? I don’t have any influence. You must have me confused with somebody else.

  11. Waldo Jaquith has influence. He came very close to getting on the City Council. People like him, they listen to him and they voted for him. He has influence. Did I confuse you with him?

    I put CITY RESIDENTS in caps because you suggested that the MCP is something “we don’t like”. Many city residents would disagree with your use of first person plural.

    You will note that I did not say you are bitter and immature only that you are starting to sound that way. Your reply doesn’t make you sound any less so. Call me ugly if it helps you get over it.

    Now what about those bike paths, sidewalks and limited access?

  12. This was just great news; I for one am quite happy the money is coming back to our locality – it comes out of our federal taxes.

    I was also quite pleased the city held out for a grade-separated-interchange. Another road with a lot of traffic lights is the last thing we need.

    I like the idea of a roundabout at Melbourne – NOT another traffic light. Yes, the intersection is needed there – someplace to dump all the CHS traffic other than the local neighborhood streets. Of course, I expect the accident count will be moderately high as new drivers learn about things like roundabouts.

    I do agree to the limited access requirement – but this does not apply to other public roads, just driveways! 29N wouldn’t be half bad but for the insistence that every stripmall shop get it’s own ‘private’ left-turn light!

    Finally, the four lanes would be nice, and I fantasize about the city actually widening McIntire/Ridge out to 5th. I know widening the stretch from the Lewis & Clark statue out to 5th extended would require tremendous political will, this would open up a smooth flowing artery through downtown. Finally, I wish they’d run the road up the backside of the 29N congestion generators (ie, subdivisions) and connect it to Hollymead Dr./Timberwood(?) Pkwy, ultimately connecting to Proffit Rd. There could be a Polo Grounds Rd. connection too. Again, no driveways, just limited access. What an improvement!

  13. I agree with the “city residents” going in caps. The MCP is one of those projects that was almost destroyed because of a extremely vocal but very small minority(take a look at the poll done by Mason Dixon). The arguments against the parkway make no sense at all…. Here are a few… “The parkway will make traffic worse.” Ummm how does having more routes make traffic worse…. That’s like saying if we got rid of 29 and 81 traffic would get better on I95. “The parkway will destroy park land” excuse my bluntness but the park is used maybe twice a year in large numbers… one of the carnival and one for the 4th. Also the road is supposed to increase access, replace park space, and even ADD some. “the cost is too high” ummm this is the same city that thinks spending millions on a transfer station will make people ride the bus more. When all other issues were addressed they then threw another curve ball to kill the parkway to get in the way of the peoples will… they demanded an interchange…. To the dismay and shock of those trying to use this back door attempt to kill the parkway, Warner got us the money:) What’s the next excuse???
    The fact is that this project was deemed necessary 30 years ago, doesn’t that speak for itself? The population was way lower back then so wouldn’t we need it more today after the population of the Charlottesville metro (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson) area has probably doubled??
    BTW…. what would Warner have to gain from giving pork to a city that is as liberal as the city of Charlottesville??

  14. Just another incentive for me to get busy on my plans to leave Charlottesville and return either to my native Rappahannock or to Highland County. More asphalt, more traffic, more development.Hope I am long gone before the rape of McIntire Park takes place.
    If all the Parkway did was make it easier for folks here to get around, I might not be opposed. But once the chanters of the sacred mantra “Economic Development” proclaimed they wanted it, my opposition hardened. Between that and a city government trying to shove some sort of ‘Urban lifestyle” crapola down our throats, its time to get out.
    The night life I want is the sound of owls and whippoorwills and lowing cattle. This is no longer the relatively, peaceful quite college town I came to in 1966. Never thought I’d say this, but babes I want out.

  15. Hollow Boy, I have been here much longer than you (the 70’s) and this is still a small town. The population of the city has been relatively the same for the past 20 years (around 40k).
    Where is the outrage for Rio road being a road to small for all the traffic it handles. It will make it easier to get around , and it won’t help economic development very much at all.
    If you want quiet and came to the city of charlottesville; it’s been a city for a very long time. If your talking about Albemarle there are many place where you can hear the owls and cattle. The parkway won’t change a thing about that.

    As to the “rape” of the park, that is just a lie. This is the most underused park in the area. If anything the parkway will open up the park to higher use with new bike paths and running paths. I have drive by the park almost every day for twenty years and the land that will be lost won’t be missed by anyone who actually used it. The land will mostly be missed by people who haven’t spent anytime in the small part of the park that will be used.

  16. That all depends on what it meant by use. There are the golfers,a loyal group. And the road will destroy wildlife habitat. The nice thing about that side of the park is in fact that there are not a lot of people using it.One can have a little solitude, the bluebird and tree swallows can nest in peace.
    I’ve long favored leaving the undeveloped area there alone as a natural area, sort of a mini-Ivy Creek. The golfers don’t disturb the wildlife. They are nice people who care about the place. I know that the city has been trying to get rid of the golf course for years. Thank goodness Maurice Cox is no longer on Council, he was big on that.
    In other words, the appeal of that area is that there is not a lot of use.I seldom visit the other side unless to watch softball. Too many cars, too many dogs.Sometimes I think the place should be called McIntire Parkinglot.
    Maybe there is still some green space in Albemarle County, but its going fast.Groups like ASAP mean well, but I can’t help but think they’re closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.
    No, I think I’ll head back to the hills,where there are no malls, big boxes,fastfood strips. My nick is derived from the title of a book about the place where I grew up, Gid Brown Hollow In Rappahannock. To paraphrase John Denver “almost heaven ,Rappahannock.” Charlottesville is starting to resemble The Other Place.
    PS: true Rappahannockers say there “ain’t no almost about it!” lol

  17. So let’s save a bunch of land in the middle of the city that you admit almost no one uses. Why, to feel good about open spaces? And further let’s make thousands of taxpayers waste money, gasoline, and their own time so we can have a park that no one uses. All this so a minority who profess to love open spaces and nature can continue to underuse the parks we now have. Come walk on the Pen Park nature trail and share this very empty trail and let’s build a road that will help thousands of people.
    Let’s talk about golf. The expansion at Meadowcreek was in effort to open up the Pen Park area. The inferior sand greens of the McIntire golf course were being replaced with the new 18 hole (9 holes really) Pen Park. The money for the improvement came with the clear understand that McIntire was going to be replaced. The golf course you lamenting is clearly the worst one in the area. If you love golf courses you must love all the new courses that have come online since your arrival.
    If you love underdeveloped areas you should love the increasing greenbelt that is opening up the city to more not less park land. Since you have arrived there have been more trails opened up not less. If you want to leave the area fine but the reason you state rings hollow, man.

  18. I see the MP debate as having 2 interpretations, and I see the merits in both. I think a person needs to ask themselves this: as an individual, do you believe we need a new option for getting cars into and out of the City from the north? If yes, the MP is for you. (Note: I’m not saying it’s the best way, I’m saying that is the problem the MP is trying to solve.)

    Then ask: do you believe we need a new option for getting around the City (avoiding downtown) from North to South? If so, the MP is not the answer. That’s not its purpose. I think this is the point that sometimes gets lost.

    The mythical “Western Bypass” and the MP are two different things, each trying to solve a different (perceived) problem.

    Do the people who are opposed to the MP oppose it because of where it will go (through the park) or what it will do (allow cars to get downtown easier)? The former wreaks of NIMBY. Is there a better route to put this road? The latter argument is a godo one to debate. Should we encourage more people to drive downtown by adding a new way to do so? Personally, I say yes. I drive downtown from the north, and I would like an easier way to get there. If the MP will provide that, I’m all for it.

    My point is this: do those opposed to the MP have a preferred route for a new road that leads downtown? Or do they oppose any new road into downtown on principle?

  19. Does this mean the million dollars that was “moved” to study Meadowbrook Parkway from Fontaine Ave will be moved back? Perhaps the 70 year old bridge will get some work before the “new” Belmont Bridge does! Perhaps with bike paths the electric trolley can be installed at the same time.
    The statue idea is excellent. Don’t forget to order two of Mr. Cox, one for the Preston Ave/Grady Rd. space in front of the old dairy building!
    Does this mean Meredith really did win?
    Oh politics, you gotta love it!

  20. It seems as though the Meadowcreek Parkway isnt the only long awaited project thats about to occur in Charlottesville… I know what you are thinking and no its not the bypass. VDOT has a 6-year improvement list where it lists all of the projects that are to be undertaken within the next 6 years. One of the main ones is widening a 2 mile stetch of 29 to 8 lanes from Wal Mart to the Hollymead town center. This isnt the only plan on the list they also plan on widening 250 and a portion of 64 for the exit ramp at 5th street and 250.

    Here is the link: http://syip.virginiadot.org/LineItems.asp?s_ShowProjectPool=&county_code=&description=&district_code=&fund=&fund_class=&fund_id=&fund_source=&jurisdiction=2&keyword=&location_code=&location_type=J&majorid=&mpo=&mpojid=&param1=&param2=&param3=&project_type_code=&report_title=Project+Search+Results&residency_code=&road_system_code=&route=&section_code=&syp_scenario_id=56&tab=&town_code=&upc=&value1=&value2=&value3=&zip=&FormDetails_Page=2#Details

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