|Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), addresses supporters Oct. 5 at a rally in Gainesville against the proposed Bi-County Parkway. Times Community Staff Photo/Dan Roem|
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) stopped by a farm along Pageland Lane Oct. 5 to rally with opponents of the proposed Bi-County Parkway one month before he faces Terry McAuliffe (D) and Robert Sarvis (L) in the general election for governor.
Cuccinelli made the stop as the second part of a day-long tour for his gubernatorial campaign.
While he is opposed to the Virginia Department of Transportation's current proposed pathway, he repeated that he does favor a new north-south connector road as an alternative to Route 28.
"I wouldn't accept the current proposal," he told reporters after a speech to the crowd that included several local GOP activists and others.
During his address, he declared, "This is an outer beltway," echoing a talking point of opponents to the North-South corridor that would connect Interstate 95 in southern Prince William County to Route 7 in Loudoun County.
"If this is just a developer's project, then it shouldn't happen," he said to applause, later adding, "I believe we need a check on the road."
As for what alternative to the Bi-County Parkway he would accept, Cuccinelli punted twice and made one suggestion.
"I'm not going to draw maps," he said at one point.
Cuccinelli also offered a noncommittal answer when asked about state House Majority Whip Jackson Miller's (R-50th) support for reviving the original Tri-County Parkway, which would extend Godwin Drive in Manassas through Yorkshire, into eastern Fairfax County and then connect to Loudoun.
"You're going to have a different park issue over there," said Cuccinelli, referring to Bull Run Park in Centreville.
Wetlands and open space preservation are key issues in that area when it comes to developing roadways and the costs of mitigating those hurdles led to VDOT focusing on the western bi-county route instead.
However, Cuccinelli is likely more familiar with the original Tri-County Parkway than perhaps most opponents of the Bi-County Parkway because part of it used to be in the state Senate district he represented from 2003 to 2009.
The one suggestion he made was looking at allowing a road to cut through a state park west of Dulles International Airport since it would not require the consent of the National Park Service.
Cuccinelli spoke after property owner Page Snyder, who said she usually votes Democratic, and state Del. Tim Hugo (R-40th) addressed the audience.
Several local elected officials flanked Cuccinelli on stage: state Sen. Dick Black (R-13th); state delegates Hugo, Bob Marshall (R-13th) and Rich Anderson (R-51st); Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland (R); and School Board members Milt Johns (chairman), Gil Trenum and Allyson Satterwhite.
Under a tree to Cuccinelli's left as he spoke sat two Civil War re-enactors dressed as Union soldiers sitting on horseback, along with an infantryman.
They represented the historical natural of Pageland Lane as Snyder claimed multiple mass burial sites from the Civil War are along the front portion of her property.
Maps provided by the Say No to the Tri-County Parkway group, which is made up at its core by Pageland Lane residents, show that area would be in the right-of-way for a road if VDOT's current proposal goes through.
Earlier last week, VDOT representatives held meetings in Loudoun and Prince William counties, including one Oct. 3 at Stonewall Jackson High School, to discuss the Bi-County Parkway.
Cuccinelli questioned why VDOT's leadership is pushing the project at its current rate when, "I can tell you as their lawyer, VDOT doesn't do anything fast."