City Council race: Huja calls for new transit district, east-west bike connector

Days before the Democratic firehouse primary, City Council candidate and incumbent Satyendra Huja highlighted his plan to improve Charlottesville’s transportation in a press conference in front of the Downtown Transit Center. Huja proposed the creation of a transit district encompassing both the city and Albemarle County "to facilitate regional transit cooperation and coordination."

“Who wants to wait for a bus for an hour?” he asked, and added that, in Charlottesville, you can walk anywhere in an hour.

Huja reiterated a transportation platform that calls for better and more numerous bike lanes around the city, safer and more effective pedestrian infrastructure, a more frequent passenger rail service, construction of the Meadow Creek Parkway and other projects as a means to abate traffic and congestion. Finally, he said that a customer friendly transit program with expanded service is his top priority.

The incumbent councilor, one of seven vying for Democratic nominations during this weekend’s primary, said the city should construct an east-west connector that links Ivy Road, Water Street and East Market Street. He remarked that Council should begin allocating $250,000 annually for bike-related improvements.

Asked about the construction of the controversial Meadow Creek Parkway, he said that the project has been talked about “for 45 years and it’s time to do something.”
Huja will join the other candidates for a debate at Random Row Books tonight at 7pm.

The Democratic firehouse primary will be held on Saturday and voters will decide whose will win the nomination for the three open seats on Council. In November, the Democratic nominees will square off against five independents: Andrew Williams, Scott Bandy, Brandon Collins, Paul Long and Bob Fenwick. 

Incumbent Satyendra Huja was joined by supporters including former City Councilor and rail advocate Meredith Richards. Chiara Canzi photo. 

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