Archives - Stratton Salidis Comments on the State of the City and the Upcoming Council Race
September 2001
Charlottesville City Council Race 2002: Stratton Salidis Comments on the State of the City and the Upcoming Council Race
Search for:


Dear George,

I think i will be running for city council, and if i do it will be as an independent. If there is a candidate who i think has a better chance of winning, and is for pedestrian oriented development (thus against the Meadowcreek parkway) I may drop out and support that person.

The major issues during this race will be how we shape development in the area - particularly with our land use and transportation choices, and also how we help young people prepare themselves for being a positive force in society.

These are the decisions we can most directly influence at the local level which have the greatest effect on the way we live. These institutions are currently geared toward maintaining privilege. To move toward a just and sustainable future we must fundamentally redirect policy in both realms.

Government, though restrictive zoning practices and road and parking subsidies, is actively inducing auto-dependant growth (sprawl). This pattern of development causes air and water pollution, restricts lower income, young, older and disabled people, is dangerous to health, devours greenspace, raises infrastructure costs, promotes an isolated and sedentary lifestyle, furthers racial segregation and inequity, and undermines local business.

The 29 bypass and Meadowcreek parkway would be steps in this direction and should not be built. Instead of endlessly continuing this cycle of roads -> auto-dependant growth -> more roads, we can work with other local governments in the area to encourage pedestrian oriented development where people can easily get around by walking, biking and using community transportation.

This can be accomplished by offering incentives and selectively relaxing zoning laws to place goods and services near were people live thus reducing the need for travel. Also we must reverse the transportation funding equation by which we spend many times more on pavement than we do on alternatives to driving. We should prioritize - through investment and assigning right of way - community transportation (ridesharing, busses, light rail etc.) until it becomes the rational individual choice. Using community transportation should not be a sacrifice, but the better option.

With regards to education, instead of telling young people what they need to know and how they must learn it, our education system should ask "What do you need to learn in order to live well with others, and how can we help you get there?" Instead of schools we should provide a network of resources for young people to use.

More on this later.

Stratton Salidis (electronic mail, August 29, 2001).

Editor's Note: Please read the other pieces about Stratton Salidis on my web site.

Then send your thoughts about Stratton Salidis and the 2002 race for the Charlottesville City Council to where the most representative comments will be placed on my web site with full attribution.

Comments? Questions? Write me at