Editorial: Getting to the point
Gloucester Point district supervisor Bobby Crewe has faced a huge conundrum during his first term in office—and we are not talking about the political issues that have rocked the county and the board of supervisors during that time.
During his first 3½ years, Crewe has been the board member whose constituents are most directly affected by the necessary, expensive, and utterly disruptive improvements being wrought by the Virginia Department of Transportation upon the county’s southern gateway of Route 17.
How to respond? At one end, the state is making this extremely busy arterial highway safer and, everyone hopes, more efficient.
But at the other extreme, the old-time Route 17 businesses—those closest to the Coleman Bridge, where the community first took life and from which it expanded—have taken huge hits on their trade during all the lane shutdowns, re-routings and excavations.
Supervisor Crewe has responded with a series of public meetings, occasions at which the merchants can vent their frustrations and possibly work toward a solution. We commend him for attempting to hold his district together.
The newest idea, a localized concept, would lay sidewalks and make other customer-friendly improvements to the public infrastructure in this district.
We recall a mega-concept for the "Gloucester Point Gateway" floated some years ago—another effort to personalize the area which receives barely a glance from a majority of motorists just trying to get home.
The "walkable community" now proposed is worth exploring. It could create a network that ties together places that serve the public. If the customers stay, the businesses will stay, and Gloucester Point can thrive. And that’s the point of spending money: to help the residents and businesses who are paying for the new look of Route 17.