Paving the Road to Crow’s Nest
On December 7, 2005, FAMPO
(Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization)—the regional board
that coordinates the area’s transportation planning—took a significant step
towards literally paving the road to Crow’s Nest.
They approved the redirection of funds originally earmarked for projects
that reduce automobile emissions to pay for a
Scarce Transportation Dollars
FAMPO tried to use these funds to build the
There was little attempt at the hearing to justify the move on the grounds that it would promote commuter rail ridership. Instead, the plan was touted as one that would straighten a difficult curve and make the road safer. Several citizens expressed support for this phase of the project, citing the dangers of fast-moving cars on
While there was little challenge to the point that a straightened curve and wider shoulders could help with safety issues, numerous speakers raised the question of whether this project, on a relatively little-used road (see VDOT traffic count), was really a major transportation priority for the region. Speakers noted that a number of the area’s other roads have much heavier traffic congestion, have more accidents, and are not receiving these funds. Why, speakers asked, was this road such a priority?
One answer to that question may be seen in the project’s later phases. Phase III will replace a small bridge on Courthouse Road, allowing heavy trucks, including concrete trucks and other construction equipment, to travel to the area. Phase IV would create an entirely new road that dead-ends precisely at
Both the Aquia District’s outgoing Supervisor, Kandy Hilliard, and Supervisor-elect, Paul Milde, spoke in favor of the road expansion project. However, most residents speaking at the public hearing opposed the idea, citing more pressing transportation needs in the region, the inappropriate use of funds, and the increased threat to Crow’s Nest.
The FAMPO board is made up of a combination of elected officials and staff. Bob Hagan and Randy Wheeler from
You can read the local newspaper coverage of this event in a story that appeared before the hearing and in a follow-up story after the hearing.