Letters to the Editor: Week of March 21, 2013
Those who use mass transit aren’t a special interest group
This letter is in response to Hannah Kaminsky’s Letter to the Editor in the March 7 edition of the Herald-Progress.
Ms. Kaminsky believes that the recent transportation plan is a “Christmas present” to many regions throughout the Commonwealth; especially the Dulles rail project (AKA The Silver Line). She also stated she is against all forms of mass transit funding as it is for “special interest groups.”
Mass transit is necessary for the Northern Virginia area to expand business opportunities. The most recent Urban Mobility Report from Texas A&M shows that commuters in the area spend more time and have more stress commuting than any other urban area in the country.
The Governor and the Secretary of Transportation realize that this data translates into the unwillingness of business to move or expand within the area. I recommend that Ms. Kaminsky read the Super Nova Transportation report that has the full support of the Governor. This report outlines a number of different transportation options to reduce traffic congestion in Northern Virginia. She will notice that it does not include building new roads, because, in some parts of the area with the greatest congestion, there is no more room to build new roads. Almost as important, the citizens of the area (who are also citizens of the Commonwealth) are interested in alternatives that reduce the amount of time they spend in a car, not more roads. If she hasn’t driven in the area recently, I recommend that she does so. The traffic in the area is in no way comparable to driving Mechanicsville Turnpike during “rush hour.” Maybe, she may change her opinion after spending an hour in a car trying to drive a few miles.
Citizens of the Commonwealth who take public transportation are not a “special interest group.” Every day, over 17,000 citizens take the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) from Manassas and Fredericksburg. Hundreds of thousands of citizens take the Metro rail and regional bus transportation. The needs of all citizens of the Commonwealth must be met; not just those who believe that car transport is the only way.
Pleased to see Buddy Fowler putting his hat in the ring
I am glad to see Buddy Fowler throw his hat in the ring for the open 55th district seat.
I first met Buddy Fowler at the 2001 Republican convention when he chaired the Hanover County Republican Committee.
The first time I worked closely with him was the 2005 Republican primary when Frank Hargrove was challenged from the middle.
As a hunter and fisherman, Buddy Fowler will stand up for the Second Amendment. Buddy Fowler understands the money we send to Richmond is our money and will hold the line against more taxes.
Most important of all, having worked for both Frank Hargrove and John Cox, Buddy Fowler will need no on-the-job training. He will be ready on day one to give the district the quality representation it has grown accustomed to over the years.
Supervisors should protect integrity of our community
I am a concerned resident of the Old Telegraph Road neighborhood. I grew up here and have lived here for over 40 years.
Over time, we have seen our neighborhood become overwhelmed with an increasingly congested area off of Route 1. We are surrounded by commercial industry. And within a three-mile radius of us, there are 2,000 apartments.
While most of these apartments are in Henrico County, that is right next door to us. The impact of such a high concentration of apartments does not respect county borders. Because of this, the area should be looked at as a whole. When you do that, it’s plain to see that the number of rental units is way out of proportion to Hanover County’s Housing Plan. This top-heavy number of rental units downgrades our neighborhood. Now we are threatened by an additional 160 apartments being built on Lakeridge Parkway.
Our case comes before the Board of Supervisors on March 27. I’d like to invite the Supervisors to visit us and realize the importance of preserving old neighborhoods such as ours. Encroaching on our neighborhood with apartments smaller than 1,200 square feet doesn’t help the county develop properly; it downgrades us all. If the Planning Commission and the developer have their way, our neighborhood will be surrounded by apartments. This is not the way to improve Hanover County.
Hopefully, the Supervisors will realize it is more important to help residents who want to protect the integrity of their community than it is to defeat community spirit by catering to developers.
Joseph K. Hopkins