In my weekly appearance yesterday on Coy Barefoot’s


radio show


,

Charlottesville Right Now

(WINA AM 1070), I discussed with guest host Adam Gottschalk the

proposed redevelopment around Crozet Pizza

and the challenge the new state budget presents local transportation projects. [Podcast link coming soon]

On transportation funding, I want to share two additional items of interest.  The first is a recent letter from the

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors

(text below) to our local General Assembly delegation that

asks for a long-term and sustainable transportation funding solution

.  The second item is an article from yesterday’s

Washington Post

in which Loudoun County staff recommended rejection of a major rezoning request (”

Planners Oppose Loudoun Project

“) “because it would overwhelm already inadequate local roads with tens of thousands of additional cars each day.”

Land use decisions and transportation infrastructure must be considered together.  In the absence of  a state funding plan for transportation, our local government must give even more careful consideration to our transportation needs.  This statewide funding crisis will delay local road projects we have long identified as essential to quality growth.  Our citizens continue to ask why development projects receive approval without first addressing the need for new roads, interchanges, and sidewalks to support the development (e.g. Crozet residents on Jarmans Gap Road; Hydraulic Road residents on Albemarle Place and the intersection with Route 29).  VDOT says plainly that the system does not work that way.  Transportation improvements come when the funding and need

both

present themselves.  VDOT, however, does not have the discretion to decide the appropriate timing of a rezoning.  Local government has that responsibility to determine when and where growth should occur and if the timing is right to provide a clear benefit for the community.

Brian Wheeler


June 14, 2006

Delegate R. Steven Landes

Senator R. Creigh Deeds

Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

Delegate Watkins M. Abbitt, Jr.

Delegate Robert B. Bell, III

Delegate David Toscano

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors urges the General Assembly to adopt a biennial budget for FY 2007-2008 as soon as possible. Local governments require a state budget to maintain the uninterrupted delivery of core government services, including education, public safety, health and human services and environmental protection. Everyday, the citizens of Virginia directly interact with and rely on these services to meet a variety of needs.

Furthermore, upon approving the new biennial budget for FY 2007-2008, the General Assembly must agree to the enactment of a long-term and sustainable transportation funding package. We recognize the challenges in developing funding strategies for transportation. However, we implore the legislature to form a compromise that supports sustainable increases in transportation funding and grants local governments more flexibility in how such funding is expended. Identifying a renewable source of funding as soon as possible will allow current projects to proceed as planned.

Thank you for your consideration of the County’s concerns regarding the state budget and the funding of the Commonwealth’s transportation needs.

Sincerely,

Dennis S. Rooker, Chairman

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