Don't pine for Parkway

Poorly researched, "They said it­ it must be true," propaganda marred your [December 23] "Year in Review" article. You irresponsibly claimed that the majority of citizens favor the Meadowcreek Parkway and implied that we have been anxiously waiting for it for 26 years.

I assume that you based this claim on the poll paid for by Free Enterprise Forum, a.k.a. the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association, and the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.

Trusting this poll is like trusting research on global warming paid for by oil companies. The reason this road hasn't been built is that citizens don't want it. The last official count, at a VDOT hearing on March 16, 2004, found that more than two-thirds of citizens responding expressed complete opposition to the road.

More relevant than "Why hasn't the Parkway been built?" is "What's keeping this project alive?"

The answer is that local sprawl developers want their welfare and have been fighting for it– with Local Action for the Meadowcreek Parkway's campaign of misinformation, with the so-called "Opportunity for All" PAC in the 2000 city council race, and with this latest push poll. Business groups are expected to promote their interests.

How nice it would be to see the local media promoting the public's interest. Do most people realize that Charlottesville's own study found that the Parkway would increase traffic in 7 out of 13 street sections?

I 'd love to read an investigative report on the Parkway, complete with political intrigue, the money trail, and some hard-hitting questions.

Because, really, how is it that a road plan that will increase traffic in sections of the city, make Charlottesville into a shortcut, intersect our central park, facilitate sprawl in rural areas and ultimately increase traffic congestion for all, has survived for so long?

Joanna Salidis