As the community gets ready for election day on November 6th,
is preparing to mail our non-partisan voter guides featuring the results of interviews with each of the candidates for
Charlottesville City Council
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
Over the next few weeks, this blog will feature some of the questions that did
make the cut for the voter guide, but which still offer important insights into the candidates’ views on local growth and development issues.
Election Watch 2007 website
includes the complete audio and written transcript for each candidate interview.
Subscribe to our e-mails
to get immediate notification of the availability of the
2007 Voter Guides
. The content below are excerpts pulled from the verbatim transcripts.
CITY COUNCIL, SECOND IN A SERIES
Do you support the Meadowcreek Parkway which VDOT plans to advertise for construction in 2008? Why or why not?
David Brown (D)-Incumbent
: Well, I do support the Parkway. Since I’ve been on Council, I’ve been more convinced of the need for this road. I think that [Route] 29 is going to get worse before it gets better with the development of Albemarle Place and we need to make sure that people coming from the north side of Charlottesville can access Downtown. I think the Meadowcreek Parkway will help allow that. I think that it also helps lessen the impact that’s currently being borne by a number of neighborhoods, the Park Street neighborhoods in particular, and I also think that what’s important about supporting the Meadowcreek Parkway is that it be part of a plan, that it not be the only road that we build, that we find ways to build other roads that connect the City and the County and connect one portion of the County to another and that the Meadowcreek Parkway enhance pedestrian and trail access both into the Park and also from the northern side of Charlottesville into Charlottesville.
Holly Edwards (D)-Challenger
: The decision to move forward with the Meadowcreek Parkway will have been decided before the November election but at least it’s called a parkway, indicating that it will remain a scenic pathway. This has the opportunity to be a crown jewel for the City if it’s done well. If the Parkway’s built, the least we can do is spend a small fraction in a parallel effort to improve our public transportation. I believe that the transportation part should include continued promotion of public transportation, employee incentive car pools, community and satellite lots.
Barbara Haskins (I)-Challenger
: …There are pros and cons to it, but I think the pros outweigh it… The downtown business owners and merchants… want the Parkway. They believe it will be important to have some kind of reasonably unfettered way to get downtown. I would like to defer to their preference in this regard because I want to support them…
You know, other people would say it’s not going to be [for traffic] to come downtown, it’s going to go county to county…. But the harder it gets to travel on every other road, that is a disincentive for people who did want to come downtown…
From what I understand VDOT now has guidance that they’re supposed to include bicycle and pedestrian access on these new roads that they’re putting in, and I think that those bicycle and pedestrian pathways running that distance are a wonderful asset to the community. You just have to look at the GW Parkway up in Northern Virginia that goes from D.C. to Mount Vernon. They have a bike path, and on the weekends you practically need stop lights it’s so used…
…I think that from what I saw of the Meadowcreek Parkway plans, it’s a curving road, it has a very low speed limit on it. There’s a lot of opportunity for aesthetic potential as roads go, which is actually a plus. A lot of roads are built with zero aesthetic in mind, and I think we’re going to have a high aesthetic factor…
Satyendra Huja (D)-Challenger
: Yes, I do support the Meadowcreek Parkway, two-lane parkway, with pedestrian and bicycle and transit access to the parkway. Because, I think it provides good access to our downtown, which is an important part of our economy and the heart of our community. We need to be able to get to that. It also provides access to northern parts of the City. I also support the replacement of open space lost due to parkway, so that it’s truly a parkway, and not just a road through the heart.
Peter Kleeman (I)-Challenger
: …The Meadowcreek Parkway is a project I don’t support in its current design and I’m not really sure how much of it I could support if it was redesigned. Certainly, I do not support the portion that runs through McIntire Park and the interchange that would also be added to try to fix some of the problems with the originally designed Meadowcreek Parkway.
…I don’t believe [the Parkway] meets our vision of the community that we would like to be. City Council’s Vision 2025 is looking for us to be a much more pedestrian-oriented, locally-contained community where people do not have to do as much commuting, driving, as they do now, so we’re building infrastructure that we may not need. All the improvements that is claiming to make in the rest of our network I don’t necessarily believe can be realized…
Now, the consultants have never demonstrated, at least to my satisfaction, that this meets our long-term transportation needs without having to make other major investments that would complement this, so my feeling is this is a project that was conceived based on demands in the 1960s to meet the needs of the ’80s, but we’re sitting here in 2007 and…it does not work…. I would recommend and have recommended on many occasions that we revisit the idea of what our transportation needs are…