Ask VDOT for public hearing on bypass design

From CATCO:

OUR FIGHT AGAINST THE ROUTE 29 BYPASS CONTINUES….

After a year of rushing the Route 29 Bypass toward construction with minimal public involvement and outdated information, VDOT recently announced that it would hold an informal citizen information meeting instead of a public hearing on the proposed Bypass. This is directly the opposite of what VDOT spokesperson Lou Hatter stated in September 2011 when he said, “A public hearing will be held before the re-evaluation is completed in accordance with [National Environmental Protection Act] requirements.”

The difference between the 2 meetings is important. An informal citizen information meeting has no requirements on amount of notice, new information to be made available, ollection of public input, or amount of time during which the public can submit written comments after the meeting. Holding this type of meeting would allow VDOT and Bypass proponents to continue to push this awful project with no meaningful citizen review or input.

A public hearing ensures:

  • Proper notice – at least 30 days in advance of the hearing
  • Availability of project information and the draft environmental assessment 30 days before the hearing
  • A clear opportunity to submit oral as well as written comments at the hearing
  • A clear opportunity to submit written comments after the hearing

WE NEED YOU TO HELP US ENSURE THAT A TRUE PUBLIC HEARING IS HELD!! There are 2 ways to help:

  • Email the Board of Supervisors at bos@albemarle.org and ask them to request VDOT to hold a public hearing on the draft environmental assessment of the Route 29 Bypass.
  • Attend the next Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, May 2, 9:00 AM, at the Albemarle County Office Building and make the same request in person during the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting. Plan to stay to hear the BOS discuss and vote on this issue to show the Supervisors that we are paying attention to their actions.

Without a public hearing, it will be much easier for VDOT to rush this project forward without doing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that would update the decade old studies of the past. Complete, updated information and true public involvement are what we need to ensure that we don’t invest more than $250 million of scarce transportation funds into what a Senator from Norfolk called it last week: “Virginia’s bridge to nowhere.”

→from Charlottesville Tomorrow:

Group pushes for public hearing on bypass By Sean Tubbs

A task force convened to advise the Virginia Department of Transportation on the design of theWestern Bypass of U.S. 29 has requested that the agency conduct a full public hearing on the roadway as part of an ongoing environmental assessment.

 “Public input on new impacts and changed circumstances are crucial to mitigating the impacts of the project,” said Albemarle Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker, chairman of the Jack Jouett Bypass Advisory Committee.
In a letter dated April 24 to bypass project manager Harold Jones, Rooker said the 6.2-mile, four-lane highway will be the largest transportation project in Albemarle County since Interstate 64 was built 40 years ago.
“We believe it is imperative that the public should be given an opportunity for real and significant input on this project,” Rooker said. READ MORE
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