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CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL CHAMBER URGES US29 TASK FORCE TO FIND �COMMON GROUND� ON �DO-ABLE� PROJECTS; RAISES GRAVE CONCERNS; OPPOSES �EXPRESSWAY� ON �MAIN STREET�

For more than a century � �dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business
and enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities.�

cvillechamber.com � 209 5th Street � Charlottesville, Virginia� 22902

(Charlottesville, Virginia � April 21) The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce today released an April 18th Chamber memorandum to members of the Commonwealth of Virginia United States Route 29 Task Force noting that the 10-member Task Force�s �efforts to address this complicated yet critical matter over an equally ambitious expedited schedule � to find common ground � are greatly appreciated.� The Chamber memorandum stated that the Chamber, �has strongly supported and continues to strongly support � �the do-able projects� that can ease congestion, promote mobility, improve safety and enhance the economic vitality and job opportunities within our Commonwealth and region.� Those Do-ables � include:

  • Installation and management of a modern, flexible integrated traffic signal synchronization and traffic management system from the US29/US250 Crosstown Bypass north and south beyond Ruckersville;
  • Construction of an additional lane on US29 South and entrance ramp to US29/US250 Bypass south and an additional entrance ramp lane and relocation of the US29/US250 South Barracks Road exit to improve flow and safety to the existing traffic �weave;�
  • Construction of Hillsdale Drive Extension from Rio Road to Hydraulic Road / US250;
  • Construction of additional travelling lanes along US29 North and South from the Rivanna River to Airport Road, connecting with privately committed expanded lanes along US29 in both directions north of Airport Road;
  • Construction of Berkmar Drive Extended from its current northern terminus, over a new Rivanna River bridge north connecting with the Hollymead Town Center road network, and beyond to Airport Road; and,
  • Increased public transit options where reasonable and appropriate. �

The Chamber memorandum (copy attached) noted the Chamber�s, �grave concern and disagreement centers on the inclusion � of construction of grade-separated interchanges, elimination of left-turn access and construction of designated �throughway� lanes along our community�s and region�s main commercial roadway.� �Our Chamber and our allies, will continue to strongly oppose, with all of the means at our disposal, any and all proposals that have the potential to create an expressway in a canyon along our �Main Street.� The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in our greater Charlottesville communities.� The Chamber�s more than 1,100 member and affiliate member enterprises employ more than 45,000 people in our community, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.75 billion a year. �

For more than a century � �dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business
and enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities.�

cvillechamber.com � 209 Fifth Street, NE � Charlottesville, Virginia� 22902

April 18, 2014

� TO������� :���������� Honorable Members of the United States Route 29 Task Force

cc: �The Honorable Aubrey L. Layne, Jr.
Secretary of Transportation of the Commonwealth of Virginia
The Board of Directors, Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce

� FROM�� :���������� Timothy Hulbert, IOM, President,
Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce � RE������� :���������� UNITED STATES ROUTE 29 � APPRECIATION, COMMON GROUND,
SUPPORT FOR �DO-ABLES�, GRAVE CONCERNS & OPPOSITION

*������������������� *������������������� *

� Our Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce appreciates and commends your continuing service and dedication to our Commonwealth of Virginia in your efforts as members of Governor Terry McAuliffe�s and Secretary Aubrey Layne�s United States Route 29 Task Force. You all know very well the import to our Commonwealth, of United States Route 29. US29 is an essential artery of citizen and commercial mobility for our nation, Virginia and numerous communities along its 219-mile segment within Virginia. Unfortunately inaction within our own Greater Charlottesville communities and in several successive administrations in Richmond and Washington, has caused, and continues to exacerbate mobility, safety and commerce concerns.� Your efforts to address this complicated yet critical matter over an equally ambitious expedited schedule � to find common ground � are greatly appreciated. In our review of your preliminary work to date we are heartened by the comity and courtesy of the Task Force members, who clearly have widely different perspectives and approaches on the matter.� And while you have yet to complete your work, our Chamber � which, throughout our region, represents more than 1,100 member and affiliate member enterprises employing more than 45,000 people annually earning more than $1.75 billion � is compelled to tell you very clearly, those component projects upon which there is common ground and which we fully support, and those proposals which raise very grave concerns and thus our opposition. First, our Chamber has strongly supported and continues to strongly what we refer to as �the do-able projects� that can ease congestion, promote mobility, improve safety and enhance the economic vitality and job opportunities within our Commonwealth and region. Those Do-ables � which should and can achieve broad consensus � include:

  • Installation and management of a modern, flexible integrated traffic signal synchronization and traffic management system from the US29/US250 Crosstown Bypass north and south beyond Ruckersville;
  • Construction of an additional lane on US29 South and entrance ramp to US29/US250 Bypass south and an additional entrance ramp lane and relocation of the US29/US250 South Barracks Road exit to improve flow and safety to the existing traffic �weave;�
  • Construction of Hillsdale Drive Extension from Rio Road to Hydraulic Road / US250;
  • Construction of additional travelling lanes along US29 North and South from the Rivanna River to Airport Road, connecting with privately committed expanded lanes along US29 in both directions north of Airport Road;
  • Construction of Berkmar Drive Extended from its current northern terminus, over a new Rivanna River bridge north connecting with the Hollymead Town Center road network, and beyond to Airport Road; and,
  • Increased public transit options where reasonable and appropriate.

� Among public policy debates and decision-making matters, transportation issues far too often seem to lag in limbo for years.� The Virginia US29 Task Force, Commonwealth Transportation Board and the McAuliffe and Obama Administrations can address many issues over the next four years by agreeing now � to advance and build these projects.� There are areas of disagreement, but on these �do-able� projects we can and must find common ground, agree and progress. Our Chamber�s area of grave concern and disagreement centers on the US29 Task Force inclusion in its working proposals, for the advancement and construction of grade-separated interchanges, elimination of left-turn access and construction of designated �throughway� lanes along our community�s and region�s main commercial roadway. Our Chamber and our allies, will continue to strongly oppose, with all of the means at our disposal, any and all proposals that have the potential to create an expressway in a canyon along our �Main Street.�� For decades, there has been millions, perhaps billions of dollars in investment, private and public, along the Emmet Street / Seminole Trail corridor which has resulted in hundreds of enterprises employing more than 20,000 people earning annually more than $800 million and which generate approximately 45% of Albemarle County�s local tax revenues. Despite our long-held affection for our neighbors in Lynchburg and Danville and their surrounding communities, our Chamber cannot support proposals that would visit economic, employment and tax revenue-generating destruction upon our region.� This is a major reason for our support of the now-shelved, US29 Western Bypass Safety & Access Project.� At the outset of your effort in March in Richmond, Transportation Secretary Layne stated that �the Bypass, a bypass, not any bypass will be an option.� The Secretary further noted that any such consideration would be for �a future Governor.�� If that remains the case, some modest amount of funds should be allocated to explore a bypass route around our region that can engender widespread public support. As for the �$200+ million� available, our Chamber believes that public funds should be invested where appropriate on meaningful, effective projects.� The Task Force should agree on common ground where consensus can be achieved.� And where not, the CTB should re-allocate funds to other effective projects wherever in our Commonwealth that they happen to be. We are available to meet, discuss and achieve common ground with you at whatever agreeable and appropriate time you might consider. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business, and enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities.