Huja: A sidewalk on every street

Standing in front of the Transit Center with supporters, City Councilor Satyendra Huja details his vision of improved transportation, which includies completion of the Meadowcreek Parkway, one of the most contentious issues of the upcoming August 20 Democratic firehouse primary. Huja favors putting $250K into a bike network, sidewalks in every neighborhood, and he says the most important factor would be more frequent buses at 15-minute intervals. "Who wants to wait an hour for a bus?" he asks.


The issue is not whether the Meadowcreek Parkway will be built but how. None of the candidates have said once the city portion is being built that they will try to stop it, but I do want to elect officials that will not walk away from the project or refuse to talk about it . I want officials who will make sure they see the plan before construction begins, and that they provide oversight and protection for the neighborhoods that will be flooded with cut through traffic.

I have never understood why any city resident supported this. It bisects the city, makes the 250 bypass dysfunctional ( which it already is at times ) and does not solve the problem of traffic from 29 getting to Pantops or 64. It's a road for county growth that sacrifices a city park and city neighborhoods.

I heard Mr. Caravati trying to scare the voters this morning on WINA saying; if the road doesn't get built we will have to pay the state. I've heard this before, just desperate politicians trying to swing the election to their candidates. They're doing this with the water plan and now they're using the same old political trick - say anything whether it's true or not to win - with the Parkway.

How dumb do they think we are ?

And this is the man that voted with Mr. Brown and Ms. Szakos to spend $15,000 on a fence to close the sidewalk on the Belmont Bridge for pedestrians ?

Politicians are the darnedest bunch --they'll say anything to get elected. And bet we here some whoppers in the next 3 days before the election.

Sidewalks in every neighborhood? If a fence is $15,000, how many billion dollars would that cost?

Sidewalks in every neighborhood. Now that is a novel idea, NOT. That should have been done when the streets were repaired in most cases. Some sidewalks on some streets would detract from the neighborhood. I agree with needing more over sight on the Meadowcreek boon doggle. Now its being changed and nobody knows anything about it. I am tired of over paid cronies who think they are the only ones who know best. Remember they need us in order to lead but we don't need them to lead us.

Can someone sum up the candidates' positions on dredging vs. the dam and pump?

The Meadowcreek Pkwy is under construction right now, they are moving earth south of Melbourne Road. Sadly this all goes back to Park Street residents having an outsize influence on city council in th 1970s and 1980s, when almost every councilor lived in North Downtown. With any sense of justice, the existing corridor would have been used, instead of slicing up the wet bottomland of a park. Well, golf course, but it was beautiful on rainy days. In case you are new to town and haven't noticed, all the 4-lane boulevards of that era are in black neighborhoods and become 2-lane in white neighborhoods. The exception was decided in the late 1980s, when 5th Street between Main St. and Cherry/Elliot was designated historic and the RR bridge was rebuilt without expanding it to four lanes. When Maurice Cox was on council in the 1990s, he used to bang on about speed limits in entrance corridors, which was dog whistle code for complaining that 5th St. at I-64 is 45mph and Greenbrier at East Rio is 25mph, both on the city limits.

The highway should have been Park/Rio, or build public transit instead. Of course, I still want CHO airport to pay for a monorail down US 29 to UVa, now that they have their FAA ticket taxes back (thanks U.S. Senate), but I always want that.

Correction, historic Ridge Street, not 5th St., I always forget that, between Main and Cherry/Elliot.

The city could probably have sidewalks everywhere if they didn't waste money fixing what isn't broke. A friend of mine had his perfectly good sidewalk ripped up and replaced. There was nothing wrong with it. And this friend has no idea why it was done, he certainly hadn't asked for it.

I suspect a Locust Grove Neighborhood Association improvement grant (???) had some money left over, so they had to spend it or lose it. Whoever was in charge of this neighborhood grant totally wasted the money fixing something that didn't need fixing.

Huja care to explain why and how this happened at 1017 Peartree Lane? Tell us why money is being wasted in this city like this please.

And how many city workers does it take to build a sidewalk ?
Mr. Huja has been on council how many years and where are the sidewalks ?

I am amazed at the manpower and trucks I see when they are building one. Most of the workers are not working but standing around. I want new councilors that will challenge the status quo, ask questions, and get to the bottom of what appears to be a bloated inefficient department of city government.

Take a look at the out of town company building the Meadow Creek Interceptor. At the height of the recent heat wave I watched those guys run --yes run --from task to task . I've never seen that in the City.

sidewalks on every road? Where will the money come from with the down economy and slashed budgets?
Not to mention where does the land to build those sidewalks come from? in many cases it would require taking it from peoples front yards. I'm sure most people would object to the city condemning a 10-foot wide strip from their front yard to build a sidewalk. (which would cost a huge chunk of cash just to buy the right of way from private landowners.)

While there are some sidewalk-less roads in the city that definately could use one, most of the residential roads do not need them. I'm always amazed at the beaurocracy that requires sidewalks on sleepy little cul-de-sac's--on both sides no less!

The city already owns that strip of land in almost every case. Historically in Cville, sidewalks were offered as an option with any major building permit on the property. You paid for it either way, but you were allowed to let the money go into a sidewalk fund for other places instead of your own place if you really did not want the sidewalk. I recall something about that may have changed. The most controversial one I can think of was long sidewalk in the few blocks before the last block of Chesapeake Street, going down to architecture land in front of Riverview Park. The street seemed too narrow to wedge in a sidewalk, but they did it. People on one side of the street lost a big strip, and *parking*, but the other, flatter side was left alone. I don't know who owned it, but normally the city does.

My beef is with concrete vs. asphalt. Concrete is much harder on your knees, but it is more durable as a road surface. So why are the streets asphalt and the sidewalks concrete? The beautiful asphalt sidewalk on Georgetown Road in the county was called an eyesore and now is being replaced at great expense. At least we still have the meandering, zeriscaped asphalt walk down McIntire Road, near the recycling center.

Come to think of it, it was a rare tree on one side of Chesapeake that had to be saved, so they did the other side.

Meadowcreek parkway? The arguments against it are all self-serving and fatuous. Yes, the suburban car dependent sprawl is a bad thing in many ways, but it's real and it's here. The Meadowcreek Parkway fits in with new urbanist ideas of providing multiple routes for people to get around in communities, as opposed to everyone living on cul-de-sacs with traffic all flowing into congested arteries. McIntire Rd. is the natural route into downtown and the new Rd. will speed things up and reduce congestion. It's completion is now aligned with destiny; get over it..
As for sidewalks, I'm all for it. Pedestrian access via the safety of sidewalks is a must and I agree with our turbaned mumbler on that.
More frequent buses? Forget that. As it is those diesel belching monstrosities clog the streets (especially 29 north where their major purpose is transporting immigrant workers up and down that corridor) and they are already almost always mostly empty. So Mr. Huja thinks we should waste resources running 4 empty buses per hour instead of one or two? Maybe with his background he'd like to consider jitneys or pedicabs instead of more empty buses. I know more than most about empty buses because I walk and run all over the city and I see them stopping to pick up the lone rider at a bus stop and mostly I see only 1 or 2 other passengers.

It is not just Mr. Huja, it is every politician. They NEVER do anything for anyone except for themselves. Look at the records. Show me one thing that was ever done for anyone by a politician without any caveats attached- votes, back-end payback, a name it- they are all politikwhores...................

1) maybe a property owner of a vacant building on the downtown mall should sue to have the road completed since he pays taxes but cannot rent because traffic congestion deters renters. (makes as much sense as people suing because they want to put a pipe in the creek for 50 feet)

2) In order to build sidewalks the city would have to do an envrionmental impact study for stormwater runoff.

3) It is a ridiculous idea from the word go.

The trouble with sidewalks is that you have to shovel them during snow times or risk a fine. I'd rather not have one. Besides, That's not what I heard Mr. Huja say. To me, it sounded like he said "Every neighbor should carry a sidearm to the mall"

Riddle me this:
1. Who is in charge of neighborhood development?
2. What neighborhood has gotten new sidewalks left and right over the past few years?
3. Where does the guy in charge of neighborhood development live?

well but some of the infrequent nobody dependable, boss secretary Lately on youtube Mr. Huja said that. to promote national almond and physical moment.... are steaming sleepy approved them abt clean? now like to see at least sidewalk on every on every side three street we'll settle. especially to the schools. electricity by killings. Partly on the student body of the trails, so they'll save inconvenient to write... the president of prayer, next indias... we also need to establish the next day committee.... and so it goes. and that's not all of it! Ms. Napolean is right!

How exactly is the Meadocreek Parkway supposed to "flood neighborhoods with cut though traffic?" What neighborhoods are on the parkway? I would see this as reducing the flood of cut though traffic in the neighborhoods on park street. And most construction workers cannot tell the difference between an original and a revised engineering plan, let alone a bunch of politicians on a board.

"still living"- Does it have a sidewalk..............

"richard"- are you sure that is what you heard? There is some controversy as to whether he speaks clearly enough at council meetings

Richard, that's funny!! You could put Huja right into an old Firesign Theater album as himself.
No the Parkway will not flood neighborhoods with cut through traffic, but while talking about traffic problems let's talk about the absurd boondoggle called Stonefield. Imagine how bad the intersection of Hydraulic&29 will be with that in place; more ammo for the pro-bypass crowd in Lynchburg, etal.

fix the damn bridge!

"I`m gonna give you candy" ---"Come ona my house" /Rosemary Clooney.Eons ago.

Rod! In one. Totally excellent & succinct.

Sidewalk have long been planned for most if not all streets. Look at the comprehensive plan. The budget to do it is small, so there is a severe limit on what can be done. Huja is simply not telling the truth.

If the Meadowcreek Parkway does get built, 5th/Ridge/McIntire, Main, and Preston and Water will reach unworkable level of clog even on moderately busy days. There are far better ways to spend that money that might reduce rather than increase congestion. Additional busses are an ok idea and might work with some smaller sized busses, but again there is no money in the budget for it, so just another pipe dream to buy last minute undecided votes.

Huja has had a whole term on City Council. What has he actually made happen in that time?Not much really. Time to move on.

Huja is after smaller busses at more frequent intervals. Seems like that is pro environment and pro-equity. Napolean, a supporter of Smith's was just using the opportunity to make a dirty political move to try and influence the election. It =backfired, the whole Council gave him a vote of confidence and this resonates with the Community.

Huja has a record of excellent service and these policy proposals are just more in a clear line of consistent efforts to improve our City.

Vote for Huja on Saturday. At least with him we know we are getting quality. His detractor's candidates will ruin the culture of the city and bring problems. "When people turn on their faucets they expect water not hot air" best humorous line of the entire campaign and we need Huja's sense of humor after all this negative election garbage from the dredgers.

Citizen Party- I do hope that if someone is in a political position that it is not the "vote of confidence" of others in the same position that gets a person elected. If so, then why should there be an election.

Please list what anyone on the current or past council has ever done for anyone except themselves- to get re-elected.........

"Politicians are like diapers, they need regular changing and usually for the same reason"

Charlottesville won an award recently saying it was "walkable". In the 50s you could walk downtown and buy anything you want. Quess what you can't anymore. Yes you can walk downtown and to to a nice food/book court. But when Target comes to town it goes all the way out to the airport. Who would have believed that in 1955 that a department store goes to the airport and no major store is downtown. When Lowe's competitor thinks about coming to the area, Developer Wood wants it across from Lowe's on the other side of the St. The Vinegar hill area was torn up then wasted with no plans. Perhaps a Wal Mart could go into the Frank IX area. If the parkway is built I will use it (not that I'm a big supporter of it) because a lousy job has been done keeping/getting stores within the City limits.

No basic stores downtown: Charlottesville doesn't WANT those stores. If they did, they would still be on the mall. But, no one wanted to shop in them down there and eventually, they all went out of business or moved. I don't shop downtown -- haven't in years. It used to be, downtown was all there was, and everyone had to shop there, then Barracks Road took a lot of the business away, now those big departments stores are gone from Barracks Road as well. I have always lived in the county all my life. I live near Target. It makes my day to travel 10 minutes to shop somewhere pleasant and not to have to travel into Charlottesville, much less encounter the bums, the thieves and the UVA students who think they are the reason for Charlottesville to exist. Buy local? Give us a safe convenient alternative to downtown Charlottesville having most of the local shops and I would.

Wait until all the decent stores at Fashion Square Mall move down to Stonefield. Then Fashion Square will be just like the Circuit City shopping center.

Fashion Square seems to survive. It has survived since the 1970's, with all the building north of town and east of town and I think it is periodically "reinvented" with new trendy stores to come in and take the place of those that leave. It's easy to get stores to come to a large, enclosed mall. It also has the money to keep it going.

My question is - Why hasn't Mr. Huja done anything while on City Council for the last four years???? What was he waiting for???

Trixie P

Where have you been? He just voted against the Western By-pass. Give credit where credit is due!!!

Vote Huja and Halvin today!!!!

@Karl Ackerman, everyone on Council is against the bypass! You're praising him for one single vote? Huja's not a bad guy, by any stretch of the imagination, but many people who have worked closely with him for many years will tell you that he says one thing and votes another way, always playing it safe. His final litmus test on an issue is how much political harm voting one way will do to him. If it's safe, he'll support an issue, if not, then he runs. He can't be relied on to stick his neck out like Norris and Edwards routinely do.

I don't call shopping at the New Shortpump at Hollymead a pleasant shopping experience. All it did was create more traffic for everyone to drive through. If you wanted backyard convenience you shouldn't have lived in the County.