Charlottesville Bypass Dealt Heavy Blow
Charlottesville, VA – The damaging Charlottesville bypass proposal was dealt a devastating one-two punch today. First, the Federal Highway Administration informed the state in a letter that the environmental assessment VDOT submitted late last year is inadequate and that alternatives must be evaluated. Further, the letter strongly suggests that the bypass does not meet the needs of today’s Route 29 corridor, and that the state should develop a different and more effective solution that the public and localities can support. These are both arguments that SELC and our partners have been making since the controversial proposal was abruptly revived in 2011.
Then tonight at a special public hearing called by the new Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, the Board passed a resolution by a 5-1 vote reinstating the Board’s opposition to the bypass and its support for the improvements in the Places 29 master plan. Citizens at the hearing overwhelmingly opposed the bypass – over 400 attendees signed a petition opposing the bypass and citizens spoke against it by a 5:1 ratio.
“This is great news for a community that refused to accept that the proposed bypass was a done deal,” SELC Senior Attorney Morgan Butler said. “With the County’s opposition once again made clear, and with the federal government raising serious doubts about whether the proposal makes sense, the only rational decision for the state now is to nix the proposal once and for all and move forward with better solutions.”