—Probing Pedestrian, Esquire
A: Well, good Pedestrian, thou shalt probe no further. Ace appreciates any and all queries whose answering involves throwing on a hardhat and getting his hands dirty in the line of investigative duty. David “Scar” Hodo was, after all, Ace’s favorite member of the Village People. No construction man has ever danced with such rhythm while wearing a tool belt.
Where was Ace again? Oh, yes, onthe case of the various communities in Albemarle County currently besieged by bulldozers. The project in question has been appropriately dubbed the Avon Street Trail Project and is just one of the 11 public works projects constituting Albemarle County’s Community Improvement Initiative Project, otherwise known by its mathematically clever moniker, “CI2.“ CI2 is headed by Paul Muhlberger, Albemarle County’s chief of public works, and has been allotted more than $3 million for construction projects and maintenance in the more densely populated communities in the county. Think Crozet, Commonwealth Drive and Pantops. Out of the 11 projects, seven involve laying new sidewalk (curious community-dwellers can find more information at www.albemarle.org by looking under the “Services” and then “Public Works” tabs).
Construction on the Avon Street Trail Project began in October and entails laying 4,000 feet of 5′-wide sidewalk and asphalt trail on Avon Street Extended. The trail will run along the west side of the street between Mill Creek Drive and Stony Creek Drive, fronting the Mill Creek, Lake Reynovia and Mill Creek South subdivisions. So by “trail” they mean “sidewalk.”
According to Muhlberger’s estimate, residents will be able to walk/bike/run along the beefy byway by springtime, all for the not-so-meager price of $555,000.
The County already has funds for phase two of the project, which will run sidewalk all the way back to the Charlottesville city limits. Detainees and prisoners housed at nearby detention centers will then also be able to walk, bike or run their way into the city at their leisure. When not, you know, locked up.
Reason leads Ace to question just from where the County has drawn its inspiration for such an elephantine and wayward undertaking. One such gargantuan stone structure comes to mind, winding over approximately 4,000 miles of Asian countryside. Its effectiveness at keeping war enemies out of the country was bollixed when weapon-wielding Mongolians paid off a few guards and simply climbed on over. Foiled again.