In yesterday’s Daily Progress, Jessica Kitchin looked at a really ridiculous problem that the county has created for itself:
When Albemarle County resident Mary Steppe visits the county’s Department of Social Services, it is literally an uphill effort.
The 42-year-old mother of three estimates that she walks about a mile each time she has to visit social services at the Albemarle County Office Building on Fifth Street Extended. Currently, there is no public transportation to the building, which means many of the county’s neediest residents have to walk, bike or get a ride in order to get food stamps, housing vouchers or other social services resources.
Some will recall that this office was located on the Downtown Mall until a few years ago when, crazily, it was relocated way outside of town off the bus line. When they moved it I told anybody who would listen that it was one of the dumbest things I’d seen Albemarle do, planning-wise, in some years. It’s a big county, and no single location will easily serve a great many people. But a lot more people were served when it was downtown than when it was plopped down Fifth Street. Is there even a sidewalk going out there?