Save America's Second Oldest Roadway
  • Petitioned Richmond Region Leaders

This petition was delivered to:

Richmond Region Leaders
Richmond Region Leaders
Richmond Region Leaders
Richmond Region Leaders

Save America's Second Oldest Roadway

    1. Petition by

      New Market Corridor Coalition

      Richmond, VA

New Market Road (aka Route 5) in Eastern Henrico County is America's second oldest roadway and a designated Scenic Byway. Widening this historic asset to a four-lane divided highway - as proposed by both Concept 1 and Concept 2 of the Route 5 Corridor Study - will cost taxpayers upward of $50 million, result in worse traffic, and threaten the jobs and revenue from Virginia's two largest industries:  agriculture and tourism.

 Therefore, I join Envision Henrico, Historic Richmond Foundation, Church Hill Association, Scenic Virginia, Fulton Foundation, Preservation Virginia, Varina Beautification Committee, Partnership for Smarter Growth, Capital Region Land Conservancy, Residents of Marion Hill, Residents of Osborne Turnpike, Virginia Bicycling Federation, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Shockoe Bottom business owners, members of: the Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force, Keep Henrico Beautiful, the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee of Henrico, and more who  oppose widening New Market Road to a four-lane divided highway.  Our reasons include the following:

 ·  Widening historic New Market Road will cost taxpayers >$50 million.[1]

 ·  Adding more lanes will result in worse traffic.[2]

 ·  Widening roads speeds the loss of farmland and with it, our agricultural industry.[3]

 ·  Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry - by far - supporting >500,000 jobs.[4]

 ·  Tourism is Virginia’s second largest industry, generating >$19 billion in annual revenue.[5]

 ·  New Market is the Nation’s second-oldest roadway, and a designated Virginia Scenic Byway.

 ·  The New Market Road Corridor was home to Pocahontas, John Smith, John Rolfe and the site of critical Revolutionary and Civil War battles…places that tourists will come to see.[6]

 ·  The entire region will profit from thoughtful, long-term development of this famous road.[7]



 [1] The Route 5 Study estimate $50-71 million for construction.  These are not final prices and do not include maintenance.

[2] First evidence published in 1942.  Countless studies since, including recent California study of 30 counties over two decades which found that every 10% increase in roadway capacity results in a 9% increase in traffic in 4 years.

[3] This is called Induced Demand.   Before farmland can be rezoned, developers have to prove that the roadways can handle the boost in traffic.  Having taxpayers fund those roads in advance checks that box for all future zoning requests.  Keeping roadways narrow is a powerful tool for protecting our agriculture and tourism industries.

[4] Va Department of Agriculture.  Farming/forestry generates more than $79 billion in annual revenue in Virginia.

[5] Va Tourism Corporation.  Tourism employs more than 200,000 Virginians.  Investing in our historic tourism assets will generate long-term employment opportunities; jobs that can’t be outsourced. 

[6] “It is most doubtful that a comparable area exists elsewhere in the Commonwealth, or indeed, in the nation.”  From the Proposed Design Guidelines and Strategies for the Protection and Enhancement of the Route 5 Byway Corridor and Adjacent Historic Resources, County of Henrico, 1994.  New Market Road was the second Scenic Byway designated by the commonwealth.

[7]Why would the region invest tens of millions toward creating a second Short Pump and all the traffic that will bring  when, for far less, we can earn far more by developing Varina as Richmond’s Tuscany/Napa Valley/Colonial Williamsburg?




Recent signatures


    1. You Did It! New Market Road Will Remain Rural...

      New Market  Corridor Coalition
      Petition Organizer

      ...for now. Citing strong and vocal opposition from the public and elected leaders, the RRPDC has decided not to endorse either of the proposals to widen New Market Road (aka Route 5). But our work continues. The New Market Corridor Coalition continues to educate and advocate for wise use of conservation tools, traffic-calming solutions, and the active promotion of tourism and agriculture-based economic development in this unique and valuable corridor.

      To stay in touch or join our efforts, contact us at

      Happy New Year!

    2. Reached 1,000 signatures
    3. Because you (and 599 like you) value jobs, farms and America's history...

      New Market  Corridor Coalition
      Petition Organizer

      ...We passed 600 signatures in just over a week. Please forward this link to your friends, so our leaders will know, without a doubt, that spending $70 million on an unneeded road-widening project that will harm Virginia's two largest industries - agriculture and tourism - is a bad idea.

    4. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Daniela Wyatt-Shew RICHMOND, VA
      • almost 2 years ago

      When you change this astonishing collection of historic landscape and buildings, you change their context; you change the meaning and understanding of them, not only the beauty. We must not give up our history this rural treasure for the convenience of developers. The cost is far too great, the damage would be irreparable.

    • Cookie Pieczonka GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ
      • almost 2 years ago

      Too many beautiful places have fallen to being paved. Especially in a state as old as Virginia, these places need to be saved.

    • Lance Gardner AYLETT, VA
      • about 2 years ago

      better, not bigger

    • robin wash MECHANICSVILLE, VA
      • about 2 years ago

      we do not need another super highway. we need to preserve the beauty an history our city has to offer to keep it a historical attraction.

    • Patricia Brooking CHANTILLY, VA
      • about 2 years ago

      Many of my ancestors lived in this area!


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