February 23, 2011
The Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park (CPMP) held a press conference to explain why it has filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent construction of the proposed Meadow Creek Parkway interchange at the Route 250 Bypass.
The Parkway currently dead ends at the City/County line just north of Melbourne Road near Charlottesville High School. The portion that's being contested by the CPMP is the 775-foot stretch that runs through McIntire Park.
CPMP believes the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) broke the law in approving and providing federal funding for this interchange. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, claims federal money cannot be used to build a road through a park unless there are no other options.
Both former and current mayors of Charlottesville were present at Wednesday's announcement, one of whom has been fighting the Parkway since 1976.
"Putting a road through a park is a very difficult and horrible things to do," said former mayor Nancy O'Brien.
The CPCM contends that construction of the proposed Rt. 250 Bypass Interchange would destroy beautiful natural parkland, a section of the historic Rock Hill Garden, the Skateboard Park on McIntire Rd., and also increase the number of cars on McIntire Rd. and nearby streets.
However, supporters of the Parkway say CPCM has no chance.
"I'm sure the judge will look at the fact that they've filed multiple lawsuit before and they reasons why they're petitioning," said Spencer Pushard, of SupportTheParkway.org.
The Coalition says legal action is its last resort, after making many efforts to convince the FHWA and elected officials to abandon plans to build the interchange.