WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

WaPo Columnist: Western Bypass Is 'Wasteful, Ill-Conceived'

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

June 16, 2013

The controversial Route 29 western bypass is getting lots of criticism by a columnist for the Washington Post, and it's spurring some more debate over the road now decades in the making.

The six-mile highway has fueled heated debates locally and statewide -- most recently from Robert McCartney of the Washington Post.

McCartney calls the project wasteful and ill-conceived.

Neil Williamson of Free Enterprise Forum is a strong supporter of the bypass and is disappointed by the one-sided piece.

"I was disappointed because it seems he only read one side of the argument," Williamson said.

The column cites a study by Smart Mobility that shows the proposed bypass does very little to improve traffic operations.

Former planning commission member Lloyd Snook brought up similar data to Coy Barefoot on Sunday's Inside Charlottesville.

"The data shows it would save a trucker going from Gainesville to Danville about 30 seconds," he said.

But Albemarle County supervisor Rodney Thomas, who ran his campaign on getting the bypass built, says it's not about speeding up traffic.

"It's about congestion. Route 29 is getting worse and worse, and this will help. I would say 34 to 36 percent of the traffic that's on 29 now will hit that bypass," Thomas said.

Williamson fears the safety aspect is getting lost in the debate.

"Forty-nine percent of the accidents that happen from the North Carolina border all the way up to Gainesville occur within Charlottesville or Albemarle County," he said. "That's unacceptable."

The piece also criticizes Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration for pushing big highway projects using money that can go elsewhere.

"The idea that the McDonnell administration is interested in building roads is a good thing," Williamson said. "Americans love mobility and our roads are our ticket to mobility. We need to have a good, solid, infrastructure and that includes a US 29 bypass."

You can read the full Washington Post column here.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 211760321