Where would you like to spend the next $14.6 million of transportation funds in Charlottesville?

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49 comments

Rip up the brick and restore the pavement to Main Street. The mall is nothing but a crime infested park for the homeless, alcoholics and wannabe gangstas now.

Easy Gassy, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or what?

Or he doesn't remember the downtown mall in the 1980s and 1990s.

waiting for the first comment of the day from bill marshall. I'm going to compile a book.

I would like to see some of the higher traffic secondary roads receive improvement. Rt. 729/Milton Road is more crooked than a dog's hind leg and has a high volume of traffic. It should be straightened and widen. Same with Rt. 53 between Michie Tavern and Monticello. The buses and tractor trailers that go through there are just dangerous. Its nuts...

@ Just Sayin'...like to see Rt. 53 widened all the way to Palmyra...that's a crazy drive. You could pretty much throw a dart at a map and hit a spot that needs widening or improvement, the whole infrastructure is sooo far behind.

So, I'd rather that Fluvanna taxypayers cover the costs of road improvements for all the development they've done in Fluvanna - I'm a c'ville tax payer and I don't want to pay for Lake Monticello and the similar junk-box "affordable" developments that have sprung up all around it and Zion's Crossroads.

I think our local dollars should fund improvements in our local arterials to bump up traffic flow in c'ville and adjacent Albemarle - reconnect Sunset Ave - new bridge and build a limited access (ie, no access parkway) between 5th Extended and Avon Extended.

Frankly, the Fluvanna improvements should better connect their developments to I64 - move the traffic onto the interstate, not the back roads.

Oh, I'm with you on that point, just saying that Rt. 53, along with just about every other road within 20 miles of Charlottesville needs attention. Anyone see David Toscano offering up the bypass money to finish road projects elsewhere yesterday? As far behind as we are, I wouldn't give up a cent, these projects won't get easier.

@omgitspaul & non-resident taxpayer, y'all are hitting the nail on the head. Specifically the southern part of the county has been fully ignored as far as transportation dollars. Any of the roads mentioned need quite a bit of upgrading.

I'd personally like to use the money to build a 100 story casino and go-cart track in Scottsville on the James River. I'd also like to see a bridge and tunnel built from Belmont to Dyke. Also, I'd like to tear down U-Hall and replace that nasty building with a 500 foot statue of George Allen. The if we have any monies left, perhaps a 37,000 car garage right in from of Mr. Huja's house?

Hahaha! Money well spent, Elroy! You should run for city council.

Things that I would rather do than be on City Council. Being on city council would be up there as one of the worst ways I could possibly spend my days on this earth:

1) Rather drive to Sarah Palin's house in Alaska with George Allen and George W, Huja, and Gasbag in a U-Haul.
2) Move to Afghanistan
3) Wash cars at Express Car Wash on 29.
4) Clean the toilets at Scott Stadium after a particularly awful UVA home football game at night.
5) Be Frank Beamer's psychiatrist.
6) Work at the Kroger on Hydraulic Road.
7) Monitor and enforce traffic in and around Barracks Road at Christmas time while wearing a furry rabbit costume.

@Just sayin' - I used to travel 20s very regularly (like, in the 70s) before a lot of the 'improvements' were done. I agree that the southern part of the county has remained unimproved, but I'm not sure it should get "improved" any more. There is no reason to encourage low density development out there. I don't think 20 is really "better" for having been "improved" (I still miss 5-mile curves).

US-250 between BelAir and Crozet would be a good target, as would widening and straightening 240 - that helps better connect a high-density growth area to the city.

casual reader, I remember every year of the mall, from 1965 to 2012. It has gotten progressively worse with each passing year. Every citizen and taxpayer I know in the city would love to see the old West Main street given back to them.

I will never understand what happened down there. If you watch this video, you will see that the sidewalks were plenty wide on both sides, and yet they still had two lanes of vehicle traffic with parking on both sides of the street. Look at the image of Officer Duff walking down the mall, notice how wide the sidewalks are. Notice the image of the old Paramount Theatre, how wide the sidewalks and roadway were. What happened to all that space? The mall seems half as wide now and cluttered with tables and chairs from one end to th other. And cluttered with drunks and wannabe gangstas and their foul mouths.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgDtRvrJ1IE&feature=fvsr

I traveled US-250 between BelAir and Crozet yesterday. The road is just plain aggravating with the speed limit changing so often. 35, 45, 55, 45, 35, 45, 55,45, 35, etc... The next time I travel that road I am setting my cruise control on 40 mph the entire way.

@GSOE, the mall wasn't there in 1965. It didn't open until 1976. I was there the day they had the opening celebration.

Oh, and GSOE - count me as one citizen/taxpayer in c'ville who is quite happy we have the mall and thinks returning that one stretch of road - West Main - to auto traffic would be a disaster.

Gasbag is just pissed he actually has to walk instead of drive downtown. The mall is the best it has been in 30 years....

I have a 1991 318is that needs a restoration. It would only cost about ten grand, and I'd be eternally grateful.

non-resident taxpayer, yes, I know. In 1965 there were 2 lanes of traffic and parking on both sides of the street. And they still had 12 foot sidewalks on both sides. I meant I am familiar with the history of when it was the "mall", and when it was traffic friendly.

Jimi Hendrix, yes, it is frustrating to spend 30 to 45 minutes getting to a bank or business on the mall. First you have to seek out a parking spot, usually on the top floor of a parking garage thanks to all the downtown employees keeping all the 2 hour parking zones occupied all day long with their musical 2 hour car shuffles. Then you have to walk out of the parking garage and walk to your bank or business. Then you have to go through the same routine to get back to your car, plus pay an arm and a leg for parking. In the old days all you had to do was circle the block a few times until you found a parking spot right on Main Street. And the old time cops like Duff didn't look the other way and let the drunks and wannabe gangstas rule Main Street either. It ws an era when people didn't talk back to or laugh in the faces of cops. They knew they would get a boot up their rear in short order. Ohh, how times have changed.

I think most people who comment on the mall don't even realize how convenient it was at one time when there was through traffic and plenty of parking. I'm one of few old dudes who do remember.

Other than all of the above, the mall is a great place to look classy as I pay $8.00 for a small glass of wine and sit at an outdoor table. All dressed up and no place to go, other than the downtown mall to buy overpriced wine. It's hialrious. It's also a great place to attend a "drinking in public" gathering every Friday afternoon. Drink in public anywhere else and get a free summons to court. :)

About 7 to 10 days ago, a call was dispatched that a woman had just been robbed at an ATM on the downtown mall. Grabbed her money and took off running. Great place that mall is, right???

Is anyone else surprised that Gasbag uses a bank? I always pegged him for a stuff the mattress kind of guy.

Count me as a taxpayer who would rather use the mall as a place to drink over-priced alcohol than a place to be stuck in traffic. You can be robbed at many locations throughout this beautiful city, the mall has no monopoly on that.

Gasbag must live in some sort of alternative universe. I go downtown all the time and rarely pay for parking at all. When I do, it's usually a few quarters in a meter. His fear of downtown and his ignorance of what it's like do make some sense when considered together though.

-- "It ws an era when people didn't talk back to or laugh in the faces of cops. They knew they would get a boot up their rear in short order. Ohh, how times have changed."

That is an ironic bit of nostalgia since Gasbag's stock in trade when not fear mongering about the Mall is either whining about his treatment at the hands of the police or posting some internet find about police behaving badly.

Boring. Can any of you make up any legitimate excuses for being all dressed up with no place to go? There never was a "stuck in traffic" on Main Street. Traffic moved pretty smoothly because, believe it or not, the lights were actually timed correctly.

saywha?, we're talking about the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. The one in Charlottesville. I haven't noticed parking meters that accept shiny little quarters for a long time. Are there still any left? Where are they located?

I have no fear of the mall. As I said once before, a wannabe gangsta threatened me one night while I was crossing the mall in my car. He said he was gonna break all the windows out of my car later. I stopped right on the brick, got out, and asked him "why wait, do it right now punk!" All of his fellow wannabe gangstas starting laughing at him and telling him to do it. He turned around and walked towards the Omni Hotel. the walk of shame! If more people developed a backbone and challenged these punks, they wouldn't be ruling the downtown mall.

You're also somewhat confused about my current view on law enforcement. The old school cops would put a boot up your rear for misbehaving. The difference was they didn't circle the wagon and all lie about doing it.

" I haven't noticed parking meters that accept shiny little quarters for a long time. Are there still any left?"

And you claim to be knowledgeable about downtown? Hilarious! If you spent as much time actually getting to know what's going on as you do spouting ignorance, you wouldn't need me to tell you where those meters are. One hint though, they are hiding in plain sight right where they have been for many, many, years.

The only parking lot I know of that still has shiny quarter parking meters is the where City Market is held. And the lot stays full from sunrise to midnight. So it pretty much doesn't even exist in my mind.

"Can any of you make up any legitimate excuses for being all dressed up with no place to go?" -- Translation: "If people were only saw the world like I do, they'd know that they can't possibly be having a good time!"

omgitspaul, I realize you can get mugged and robbed anywhere around the city or county. The difference with the downtown mall now is the fact that police have to almost run over pedestrians in crosswalks to get to the mall to assist people in need quickly. And if the pedestrians voice a concern about almost being run over, they are arrested and jailed on bogus charges. If one of the pedestrians happens to be pregnant, they are of course thrown to the ground first for good measure. :)

Go Figure, I must confess. The "all dressed up and no place to go" phrase is not mine. My daughter and niece authored this one night after a visit to the theatre on the mall one night. While walking to the location where I was going to pick them up, my daughter mentioned seeing so many people sitting around drinking small glasses of red wine on the mall. My niece then spoke up and said, "All dressed up and no place to go!"

I also recall Jennifer Anniston using the phrase on her "Friends" show one evening. I'm sure the phrase has been used elsewhere too before.

Why in the world would anyone waste her money going to the movie theater? And risk getting mugged on the Mall to boot?

Crazy times we live in. Crazy times...

Mr/Mrs/Miss Go figure, I agree with you. Ain't that amazing?

But they wanted to go see Cody Purvis perform. I can't protect them from society 24 hours a day. And I kinda suspect they both had knives and stun guns with them. I will feel much better in a year when my daughter can get her concealed weapons permit. It's much better to have a firearm in hand than to have 911 on the phone. ARemember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. :)

Wait. Your daughter is not also a crackpot? Did she get her mother's genes?

No. She is a decent kid pursuing her career right now. No drugs, no alcohol, really turned out good (Thank god!). She is a crackshot though, personally taught by me. I held Top Shot for many years in the department I worked for.

Gasbag, the incident on Water St. that you alluded to happened in September of 2007. That is hardly "now" as you suggest. The officer was responding to a domestic dispute in an apartment. Those happen in neighborhoods that former mayors live in as well as those where former county police live. Also, according the theory you advanced earlier in this thread, every thing would have been fine if the officer involved simply responded to the couple in the crosswalk by putting a boot up their rear and moved on. That's how it was done back when downtown was safe enough for you to go there without wetting yourself wasn't it?

http://www.readthehook.com/81507/news-trial-begins-police-accusers-find-...

Regarding the parking lot you suddenly regained memory of: "The only parking lot I know of ... So it pretty much doesn't even exist in my mind." My point was exactly the same as the one you made, that your mind and reality do not generally connect with one another. You demonstrate that frequently. At least now you've begun to admit the problem, which is a step in the right direction.

2007? Was it that long ago? I sure hope the baby was born healthy with no ill effects of the momma being tossed around. What difference does it make where the cop was responding to on the mall? Your perception of right and wrong is once again distorted. When the couple yelled at the cop for almost running over them, the cop should have stopped the Jeep, got out and apoligized to them.... instead of tossing them around and arresting them on bogus charges (also known as "contempt of cop"). Run the scenario by every police chief in this country, and I am willing to bet 98% of them would agree with me.

quote: "After two months of legal wrangling and two trials today that took a combined five hours (and even delayed a capital murder hearing), the two young adults who alleged that a police officer nearly ran over them in a crosswalk were found not guilty of the misdemeanors of which the allegedly overreacting officer had accused them."

http://www.readthehook.com/76605/police-brutality-accusers-acquitted

Perception of crime is always greater than crime. I lived in southern California for 15 years, L.A., San Diego and points between. Never once was I shot by a gang member in a drive-by. People from all over the country believe that the bullets fly like you're walking in Beruit. They aren't.

While Charlottesville may not be the safest place in the lower 48, I'm fairly certain it's safer than most of the country. I refuse to live in fear of a couple of punks or homeless who try to call the mall their own. Perception is always greater than reality...try getting out every now and then and you'd see that. Just sayin'...

My bad...how did we get here from highway spending?

:snort: All comment threads here end up with Gasbag talking about guns.

We got here from the discussion of transportation funds because my fans took objection to my wanting to tear the bricks up. It's not so much that people do or don't share my opinions, they simply want to debate the Gasbag. It's a sport here on The Hook. Let's see, we went from my suggestion on how to spend the transportation funds, to "all dressed up and nowhere to go", to mall safety or lack thereof, and then to 2 citizens being assaulted because they committed contempt of cop. Sounds pretty logical to me how we ended up where we are.

Mr/Mrs/Miss G, you obviously have me confused with another Gasbag. I don't talk about guns all the time. Maybe I should though. If everybody in the city and county bought a gun on Saturday, crime would go down 75% overnight. The home invasion the other night for example, do you think the wannabe thugs would have walked in and robbed the UVA students if they knew every student had a firearm close at hand? Heck no, they wouldn't have. The criminal element picks on those who can't defend themselves.

And on the topic of personal safety, looks like Yogi Bear picked the wrong people to attack while searching for a pic-a-nic basket according to the Channel 29 news web site. One of the occupants had a firearm and shot Yogi. The story would have ended quite differently for the gun control finactics out here, a/k/a the ones who aren't able to protect their families and friends from vicious attacks by man or beast because they think firearms are evil. With rabid Yogi Bears running around here now I think I shall start carrying my S&W .500 with me from now on.

C'mon Gassy! You're just stirring the pot at this point. There's not enough violent crime in this area to justify this fear-mongering. There is a criminal element in every town and history has shown that you can't simply arm the citizenry to stop it. There will always be "haves" and "have-nots", and the less user friendly "have-nots" will always do what they do. Arming everyone just has neighbor shooting neighbor.

Do a little research and you'll see that here is the U.S., we have much more violent crime than any country with gun control. I'm not in favor of gun control at all (got to protect ourselves from the government), but the statistics speak for themselves. Just sayin'...

Now back to the road improvement conversation.

There's not enough violent crime in this area to justify this fear-mongering? Interesting observation on your behalf. How much is enough?

And sorry, I think I trust Harvard a little more than your simply saying that gun control works..... The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy confirms that reducing gun ownership by law-abiding citizens does nothing to reduce violence worldwide

http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/current/in_our_opinion/Gun-Owners...

I'm not simply saying anything. We're having two different arguments...you're saying arming everyone is safer and I'm saying armed people kill each other. If you think that our gun-toting mentality is serving us well, that's your call. I see it differently...

Folks have a hard time shooting each other unless they're armed. I think there's a perfectly sane argument in saying that guns make gun violence possible, and to arm everyone only allows for more gun violence.

There are a lot of people on the "lock them up and throw away the key" program in this country as well. We have the one of the largest prison populations in the world and one of the highest violent crime rates among the industrialized nations of the world, so the argument can be made that putting everyone in prison doesn't make us safer either.

As I said, I am not advocating gun control, just stating the obvious. Personally I think you'd do more to curb violent crime by putting people to work.

We can kick statistics around all day, proving and disproving each other's arguments. I'm not really all that interested in doing that. It's tiresome, and we're supposed to be discussing road building.

OK, let's discuss road building and where to spend the funds again. My first choice being the destruction of the $17 million dollar bricks, my second choice would be to use the money and send the city crews to some type of training in getting manhole covers flush with pavement. This town is absolutely full of manhole covers that sit 1" to 2" below the pavement level. It causes ball joints and suspension parts on motor vehicles to wear out three times faster than normal. Especially on high dollar 6,000 pound to 8,000 pound SUVs and pickup trucks. It's also common to blow out low profile tires and destroy alloy wheels found on many of today's newer automobiles.

yeah Jeff, Belmont Bridge for sure

perhaps they shouldn't feel compeled to spend it at all.................