Lynchburg Wants Bypass, Puppies, Rainbows

The Lynchburg Chamber is again pushing for Charlottesville to build a bypass around the bypass around 29. Uh, yeah, we’ll get right on that. Construction crews take Monopoly money, don’t they?  #

20 Responses to “Lynchburg Wants Bypass, Puppies, Rainbows”

  • The one thing that’s worrisome (to me) is the last line in this article — basically, they’re asking Cuccinelli to “determine” if the Charlottesville MPO removed the bypass from its six-year plan.

    This made me think that Cuccinelli might be an invaluable ally for some people — if they don’t like something or want something, why not have Cuccinelli and the AG office investigate it, subpoena it, etc. Even if “nothing” happens, it gives the illusion that Charlottesville has done something wrong (hot bed of liberal/conservationists and/or pointy-headed intellectuals, etc.) and build more allies for Cuccinelli.

    Cuccinelli doesn’t seem to care how much money his office spends or how much money he makes other institutions, governmental agencies, etc. spend to justify their own decisions. (And yes, so much for local governments, state institutions, etc. having Big Government off their backs.) I definitely don’t see him (or Lynchburg) really caring if the state has any money for this; if they’re right, we can pay for it ourselves or some other means. (They’re a bit fuzzy on that part, I’m sure.)

  • My, Redhead, you certainly seem upset. I wonder, why did you immediately paint Cuccinelli as some type of enemy of Cville? Do you possess some magical ball that tells you things … like what someone will do in the future. You must, or otherwise your comments might lose credibility. Cuccinelli hasn’t done anything yet, but you seem convinced you know exactly what is going to happen. Wow, what magical powers you possess.

    By the way, the 50 million already “invested” in this project might be a good starting place for financing the project … of less of course it was spent on something else. You might consult your magical ball to determine where the 50 million went.

  • Hi, Lynchburg people! There may be a little misunderstanding here. In fact, we DO have a bypass. Please try it sometime.

  • Word to Lynchburg: Your jobs went to Mexico and China. Not 29 North. Barking up the wrong tree here. People avoid coming to Lynchburg because of the reputation for weird religious extremism that many are uncomfortable with. It has nothing to do with a traffic light at Hydraulic road. Your enemy is NAFTA. Not Charlottesville.

  • Wow, what a bunch of bigoted remarks. I bet none of you have actually been to Lynchburg. Its a nice town, it even has a skating rink that isn’t closing.

    Hawkins, wake up… we don’t have a real 29 bypass. It would’ve been fine if Albermarle had directed commercial growth along 250 east and west parallel to the interstate instead of 29. However, that would offend the people with lots of money in Farmington and Glenmore.

  • Charlottesville has a bypass. The developed portion of 29 in Albemarle and Greene don’t.

    The existing bypass alignment Lynchburg wants was obsolete before the right-of-way purchases were completed.

    Let’s give Lynchburg a bypass around Charlottesville/Albemarle – just double number the path US 33,I 81,I 64 as “US 29 Bypass”. VDOT could probably get enough money to pay for the new signage by selling back the right-of-way they already own in the wrong place.

    Seriously, I don’t see the funding for a meaningful bypass of Charlottesville/Albemarle business areas appearing in my lifetime. Starting with the currently purchased alignment is a waste of money if the goal is to meet the of Lynchburg.

  • Blaming Lynchburg is the wrong path here. They did recently build a bypass that works well. They also lost their interstate access to Cville in the dim reaches of time.

    Char/Albemarle however have stonewalled on a bypass for decades, wasted millions on it, and then allowed rampant development to clog the roads. Greene is now getting in on the action as well.

    Rather than the flip 33/81/64 idea, bring back the Ruckersville connector and make it 4 lanes – starting just north of the greene line and then west of Cville to the highway.

    Or drop a road from between Madison and Culpepper down past Orange and then pass to the east of Cville using Rt 20.

  • It would probably just be better to give Lynchburg it’s own interstate from Richmond to I-81. Put the “right of way” and “destroying the natural landscape” issues in their backyards and let them deal with it.

    I’ve been to Lynchburg and it is very heavy on the religious conservative intolerant Christians. Perhaps if they’d toss creationism and get with real academia then maybe they could turn their economy around.

    Cuccinelli is a dangerous person. He’s an extremest willing to push a radical ideology because he thinks it will further his political career (and it just might). Might as well go ahead and call him a Dominionist.

  • I wonder, why did you immediately paint Cuccinelli as some type of enemy of Cville?

    I can guess why. Cuccinelli is intensely partisan. Charlottesville is the second-most liberal municipality in Virginia (Petersburg is #1, by voter performance). Cuccinelli is way on the right. I guarantee you that he sees Charlottesville as a group of people who need to be punished.

    By the way, the 50 million already “invested” in this project might be a good starting place for financing the project … of less of course it was spent on something else. You might consult your magical ball to determine where the 50 million went.

    It was spent on buying the land for the bypass.

    On the larger issue, I’ll return to the same point that I use every time this comes up. We can either prohibit growth north and south of a 29 bypass bypass—one big enough to bypass all of the growth around Charlottesville—or we can’t have a bypass bypass. We cannot have both. We’ve got a bypass now, but growth wasn’t prohibited, and it’s not a particularly effective bypass as a result. There’s no point whatsoever in building a bypass from, say, UVA to Walmart. Because growth is just going to continue on either side of that, especially from Walmart up to Culpeper. And in 15 years, Lynchburg will be agitating for a bypass bypass bypass. So, we can pick: prohibit growth, or no bypass bypass.

  • Just Bob, its your comments that are intolerent. I travel to Lynchburg often and everyone I’ve met has been friendly and helpful.

    The idea of a direct interstate from Richmond is what they wanted to begin with. It was the original path for I-64 and some of the right-of-way was already acquired when Cville and UVa were able to move it up to Charlottesville. Look at a map and you’ll see that it weaves north to us, and then back south to Lexington which makes little sense. It still makes sense to do now.

  • I know lots of friendly and helpful people who turn intolerant as soon as their favorite pro dominionist cause comes up.

    Fact of the matter is they will not get a bypass around cville. So they’re better off trying to get something else.

  • FDR,

    Who says that religious extremists can’t be friendly and helpful?

    The fact is that Liberty University does not allow their adult students to kiss or do anything beyond holding hands. Nor are they permitted to watch R rated movies. Lynchburg public schools have religious Bible study as part of the basic elementary school curriculum. For a long time, movie theaters in Lynchburg were forced by Jerry Falwell to not show any R rated films at all.

    This is the cultural atmosphere of Lynchburg. They can still be good, nice people. If that is how they choose to live then good for them and I do not begrudge them their personal beliefs and chosen way of life. But most of America does not want any part of that. As part owner of a business that could really be located anywhere, I can not even imagine moving a business to Lynchburg. Neither I nor my family would want to live in the middle of that cultural environment. Any business owner considering a new location is going to weigh his or her own quality of life into that decision.

  • Jack,

    I grew up in Lynchburg, moving there in 1980 as a wee lad. While it is correct that Liberty students are not permitted to see R-rated movies, I am fairly certain the comment “movie theaters were forced by Jerry Falwell to not show any R-rated films at all” is an urban legend.

    Also, peruse the News and Advance from time to time and you’ll see the city and it surrounding counties is not a monolithic entity, no more than Charlottesville is 100% liberal. Communities are much more complex than we give them credit for.

  • Lynchburg is an interesting city with a great downtown urban fabric (much better than C-ville) but a pretty horid post-highway suburbanization (worse than C-ville). I enjoy visiting and exploring the older parts of the city, but I do find quality dining and retail options limited once I get there. From my limited observations, there seems to be a fairly strong “if you build it, they [presumably businesses, not just more traffic] will come” mentality. Between the first 29 bypass, the recently completed second 29 bypass, the 501 bypass, and the 460 bypass, one might expect to reach the conclusion that bypasses aren’t a panacea for Lynchburg’s economic troubles, and are more than likely a major cause of them.

    IMHO, their downtown offers the city’s greatest potential and the Chamber’s efforts would be best directed towards developing small and medium sized businesses to revitalize downtown Lynchburg, as opposed to supporting large manafacturing/logistics businesses.

    I wouldn’t want to see Charlottesville/Albemarle continue to make the same mistakes as Lynchburg when it comes to highway obsession. Although, as said before, even if it was the #1 priority, there would still be no funds with which to build it.

    And if supporting large manafacturing is the only option, what about Lynchburg’s great railroad connectivity. The rails aren’t all clogged up with cul-de-sac subdivisions, Wal-Marts, and Sheetz.

  • It’s a shame that the “intellectuals” of Charlottesville can not get beyond stereotypes.
    @rehead, “Third, Hammond ASKS that Cuccinelli determine whether the Charlottesville MPO has in fact removed the bypass from its six-year plan.” I suspect that an aide of the AG will direct Hammond to the MPO’s documents at the TJPDC’s website and in five minutes he will know the answer to that question. He can also find information there about the area’s TIP that’s necessary to draw down federal highway funds. Or Hammond can contact VDOT’s representative on the local MPO and ask him all of his questions directly. Or he can contact the staff at the state’s CTB. There’s nothing that the AG can do about either plan and I doubt if he’s interested in getting involved in areas over which he has no dominion and possibly alienating the Governor who has already said he will look into the matter.
    Waldo, do you know the AG well enough to know what he hates?

  • Waldo, do you know the AG well enough to know what he hates?

    Well, no. I never claimed to. In fact, nobody here said a word about anything like that.

  • As a Lynchburg resident, I think this bypass argument brings out the ignorance of which both sides seem to have an abundance. Obviously, the old plan is not suited to today’s Cville, and a simple bypass won’t relieve the traffic pressure caused by multiple areas on 29; Gainsville is the worst section of the road, by far.

    If a limited access highway is in the future, it would most likely need to be on totally new alignments east of Cville, Ruckersville, and Madison. I don’t see that as a realistic option unless somehow the road was elevated to Interstate standards, which would most likely need to be a multi-state proposition. If you think it can’t happen, just do a little search on I-73; that happened relatively quickly.

    Jack’s comments are an indication of how ignorance gets thrown into the argument. Lynchburg’s economy, contrary to Jack’s and Andrew’s suggestion, seems to be doing decently. Yes, Cville’s government sponsored economy has always been a bright spot outside of the state’s Golden Crescent, but Lynchburg has done fine, even without the stimulus of government investment. Actually, Cville has seen more jobs head to Mexico than Lynchburg. Maybe, you guys should do a little research before you post on a topic that you aren’t very well versed on.

    By the way Jack, all the BS about religious extremism- particularly religion being taught in Lynchburg City Schools was pretty funny.

  • I knew you’d come along here soon enough, tomr. :)

  • I try to just read, but sometimes I’ve got to do a little educating!

    I, at one time, really was on the bypass bandwagon, but I really believe that the economy of the future will be less concerned with asphalt connectivity and more concerned with efficient transportation alternatives. A large bulk of my business relies on highway transportation, and the issues with traffic in Cville pale in comparison to the traffic volumes on the northern sections of the highway. While Rex Hammond might give the impression that Lynchburg needs improved connections to survive, some of the large industries here are the type that seem to value less visibility, while others have grown despite the current highway connections.

    I think that Hammond would have much greater success if he were to push for an extension of the proposed I-785 from Greensboro. One of the consistent arguments is that Lynchburg has missed out on federal highway monies that are proportionately greater for localities with interstate highways than those without, he could kill two birds with one stone. First, an increase in highway funding, and second, a little bit better access to markets in NC and points south. Also, the investment would be substantially less and there would be much less of an environmental impact. Heck- if I want to go to DC, I’ll just take the train.

  • better, they could run I-785 from Greensboro to Lynchburg and then to Richmond or over to I-81. Then there would n-s access as well.

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