BoS Speakers Oppose Bypass Overwhelmingly

In response to the Board of Supervisors’ unannounced midnight vote to approve the long-dormant Western Bypass last month, a packed house objected to the new road at last night’s meeting, Aaron Richardson writes in the Progress. Over 100 people signed up to speak, overwhelmingly in opposition to either the road or the process by which it was approved. But it’s not clear that there’s any purpose to such objections—the BoS has already cast their votes.

8 Responses to “BoS Speakers Oppose Bypass Overwhelmingly”

  • We once got the BOS to rescind a decision regarding
    our neighborhood this way, so it is possible.

    I’ve only attended a few BOS meetings, but one thing I’ve noticed is that it seems that folks are more likely to attend (and speak) when they are opposed to the issue on the table.

    It’s going to be difficult to say “no” to the proposed bypass as long as the state is willing to put up the money.

  • There were about 100 people who spoke and it was 2-1 against but if you took out the persons who are personally effected (those who are losing their house) it seems much less overwhelming. If the amount of people who spoke about this is how democracy worked that would be fine but it’s not. There would be no 250 bypass today if the same metrics were used.

    There were people who argue about the process and the late night vote. Which is interesting until your realize that this late night vote was the changing of just one vote. The matter had been vote a 3-3 tie the meeting before and then Mr. Dorrier got a call that told him that the state was willing to actually fund the bypass if he would change his vote and allow this measure to be considered. Remember this vote only allowed further discussion to occur. There are many people who believe that the BOS has voted to approve the bypass, that is incorrect. What happen is that they simplify removed language that said they DISAPPOVED the building of the bypass. Could this lead to the approval of the bypass, sure. But that can now only happen after at least 3 public meeting were anyone can have their say.

    If one examines the history of how the bypass got it’s disapproved status one will find that Charlotte Humphries brought the matter up unannounced and allowed no public comment and then voted to give the road it’s non grata status. The public meeting the other night was the first on approving or DISAPPROVING the bypass where the public could comment on the road. Humphries husband’s (she has passed away) attack of the Supervisors at the last meeting was perhaps the most vicious and personal of them all. This is the outburst from a subdivision that will feel some real pain if the road is built. Anyone who want any type of bypass has to understand that some people will be displaced and compensated. Seemingly everyone who lives in Colthurst, Montvue, Squirrel Ridge or Dennis Rooker’s subdivision was in attendance, making their case to the BOS. I really don’t think they speak more for the county then they speak for their personal interest. The question should be is this best for the whole county not how many people spoke against it.

    Dennis Rooker, who announced his “possible conflict of interest” at the beginning of the meeting, has always made killing this road his 1# priority. His house and street will bear a direct and significant effect from the building of the bypass. To just say he is strongly opposed to the road is still a gross understatement. I’m not saying he can’t comment or vote on it just that one needs to understand where he is coming from.

    There are many who argue that after the bypass the service level of the road will be “F”. This is based on information from a 1992 report BEFORE 29 was widened from just 4 lanes. There has been no VDOT traffic rating of the road since then and the MPO did not ask for one the entire time Dennis Rooker sat on the committee ( he no longer does). It’s bad data for today and repeating it doesn’t make it any fresher.

    If the supervisor can get the deal they say has been offered it is foolish not to take it. It’s not just the bypass but the moving up of the Belmont Bridge’s start date by 2 years and Hillsdale connector as well. It’s fixing 29 from Rivanna Bridge to the Hollymead Town Center. It’s also bus service to the Town Center as well. It assures money for the Best Buy ramp.

    Does anyone here really think we will ever be offered such a package again, especially if we turn down this one today?

  • I see no reason to discount the significance of people who would be personally harmed by the construction of a by-pass, countie mountie. If an action were to help me by a small bit (for example, I might save a few minutes driving), but I realized that it would have a major negative effect on others (for example, they could lose their homes and/or face significant disruption in their lives), I think I might be inclined to put aside my minor gain to mitigate the major loss of others.

    Oh, and if we’re to minimize the testimony of those who would be personally harmed by the building of a by-pass, shouldn’t we, similarly, discount what was said by those speaking in favor, who would financially profit if the by-pass were to be built? And you know there were plenty of folks in that category.

  • Harry- I do think we could respectfully discount the out of town speakers. I wonder if the folks from Lynchburg, etc would like to have Albemarle County citizens start speaking on their local issues at their local government hearings?

  • I think County Mountie has it right – if this is such a major issue, why has there never been a county-wide voter referendum on the question? – I suspect that those opposing the bypass know what the results would be and thus would try to prevent the question from even being asked. Rooker have been systematically blocking any possibility of the bypass for years. Unfortunately with the clock running out, time is of the essence and the need to move NOW gives the appearance of “rushing” – but for now, there are 4 votes in favor at the BoS, 3 votes at the MPO, and the Sec’y of Transportation offering to pay. I hope the players don’t get greedy and ask for too much – this is a once-in-our-lifetime chance. Build the Bypass NOW!

  • I believe the “F” study was from 2000 (but perhaps I am thinking of the study about 90% of traffic being local.

    I feel bad about destruction of homes, but I think its also important to consider the effect of losing 15 acres from local schools and the property tax revenue that will be lost (estimated at $500,000 every year).

    I don’t care that much about the bypass because I never travel that area, but I am concerned about it taking away other funds from current and future local projects and the lack of information that is being provided. It seems like the funding information is going to be held back until the very last minute, right before the vote. Not enough time to inform the public.

  • It’s amazing to me that anybody is buying the BS that the $250 million dollars for this boondoggle won’t delay or eliminate other road projects. Almost by definition, road construction money is a zero-sum game.

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