Does Crozet Have All the Pieces for Walkability?

As Crozet continues to grow, it’s important to keep the end result in mind. What do we want Crozet to be in 10 years? In 20 years?

This story at CNBC is a great in-depth read that has quite a few parallels to Crozet as well as and lessons we can learn from.

“Walkability plays a big part in an area’s economic vibrancy,” said Scott Bricker, executive director of America Walks, a national nonprofit that fosters walkable communities. “The most valuable real estate around the world is in walkable places, places where people are living and working in closer proximity.”

Researchers have found that areas with high Walk Scores fare better environmentally (less use of cars), socially (better chances of connecting with someone face to face) and economically. A recent study published in Real Estate Economics found that in neighborhoods with greater walkability, the resale value of both residential and commercial properties is higher. And according to a 2009 report commissioned by CEOs for Cities, “a one-point increase in Walk Score was associated with an increase in value ranging from $700 to $3,000 depending on the market.”

“There’s a strong preference for being in a neighborhood where people can walk to shops, restaurants, parks,” said Joe Molinaro, managing director of community and public affairs at the National Association of Realtors, which found that two-thirds of respondents in its 2011 Consumer Preference Survey said that walkability was an important factor when deciding where to live. “We asked people for tradeoffs—comparing different things they might have to give up to get that—and more and more are willing to make a sacrifice to be in a walkable neighborhood.”

For example:

– Homes for sale in Old Trail have relatively low Walk Scores (for now) – there’s Trailside Coffee, ACAC gym, Anna’s Pizza, Dentist, Augusta Medical, park, playgrounds and more (and much more to come as the Village Center gets built out.
– Homes around Downtown Crozet have higher Walk Scores – Mudhouse and Greenhouse coffee shops, hardware, Fardowners pub, Great Valu, Crozet Park, YMCA gym and lots more.
– Homes around the third business center – 250 West – don’t have the same connectivity, despite the proximity to Harris Teeter and all of the businesses in Clover Lawn – Eye Care, restaurants, UVA Credit Union …

With the lumberyard having been purchased recently, the future of downtown Crozet has the potential to shape up in the next couple years. What will it look like?

Let’s not forget (or forget to volunteer!) the value of the growing Crozet Trails system and network; I feel that these will be integral to the future of connectivity in Crozet, in addition to sidewalks and bike lanes everywhere possible.



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17 Replies to “Does Crozet Have All the Pieces for Walkability?”

  1. And what about the Eastern side of Crozet?? You literally take your life in your hands walking along 240. There is no walkability now, nor is there any planned. Perhaps that needs to change?

    1. That’s a great point. When I ride my bike down 240 I always note the lack of shoulders. Walking is doable, but not in any way that would encourage it as a real alternative to driving.

  2. Why should county taxpayers have to pay for a sidewalk that the developers didn’t put in along 240?? Sounds like to me maybe the people who developed these areas should have done it…..Another case of lack of leadership and local govt………one more thing, when did we start allowing churches to hold service in our schools??? What happened to the separation of church and govt???

    1. I think the county taxpayers all benefit by having an efficient and healthy way to get around and by having auto-dependent residents. But I do agree that sidewalks and infrastructure should be built as growth happens.

      As far as churches and schools, that’s been happening for as long as I can remember.

      Stepping out of my depth here but I’m not sure the Constitution speaks to allowing or disallowing schools to make revenue by leasing space to churches.

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

      1. Schools can make money however they please. Bake sales, car washes, candy bars, etc. If the Church has money to spend why not take it? Sidewalks are another issue. Why move to a rural area and expect sidewalks?
        It’s like if you move next to an interstate highway and expect an exit close to your house or a crosswalk so you
        can get across it.

        1. “Why move to a rural area and expect sidewalks?”

          Because the Crozet area is a County-designated growth area. With growth of homes and population comes the need for accompanying infrastructure. But you know this.

          1. Ok, but what are you selling when you sell Crozet?
            Urban or rural? Urban features now or years off?
            At this rate how long before they demand the RR
            tracks be moved? Which will not happen.

          2. Well spoken. I expect there is a large part of the
            community you do not know and are not in a position to meet. These people helped to sustain what was going on for generations and caused the
            current wave of changers to arrive here. There seems to be a great desire from the “community”
            you know to create something they are more familiar with.

          3. You’re right sidewalks should be part and parcel of a growth area. For the most part those sidewalks are put in by the developer as part of their infrastructure commitment, but the county also has a role to play. All too often the BOS has no problem in raising their collective hands to vote for a new development, but seem to develop a sudden case of arthritis which prevents them from raising their hands to vote for the needed infrastructure.

    2. I believe the practice of the school system is to rent out space in the school to outside groups. To be honest I don’t know if a church gets a pass on paying to rent the space, but if they do pay I assume it would be religious discrimination if the school didn’t rent to them.

  3. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of fixing up the 240 entrance into Crozet. The whole entrance from western ridge up to the Bp could use some work and polishing…yet I do stick to my point of developers should have envisioned this. Vito Cetta put sidewalks down Hilltop, Jay Jessup/Beights put them along state roads in Old Trail. As far as the religion services in schools, I must say I was surprised to receive a flyer in the mail. By doing a little research I have come to realize that this has been going on for a while in the U.S…..I guess my question is how long has it been going on in Western Albemarle Schools?? Has to be public record of it at the county building. This practice is still being questioned in many court cases throughout the country, so please don’t act like I am the only one questioning this. Could easily be perceived as govt sponsored religion. Why should my tax dollars help a start up church survive?? Thanks for the forum and have a great day!

  4. And to Ed Strauss: “change is the only constant in life”. The sooner you understand this quote, the easier your life and concerns will be….But I’m sure a wise old timer like you completely understands this. Get off your high horse and contribute positive energy to your community or guess what? The community will move on without you, which it already has!! Joke is on you pal!!

    1. Define your “community”. I am not your pal and the only joke is that you cannot understand any opinions other than your own. Would
      you pay more taxes to help pay for your fix up plan? If not, why not?

      1. My definition of community would be a group of people who SHARE the same local resources…..schools, water, fire/ambulance, roads, parks, libraries, churches, food, business’s. I have lived in Crozet for 35 years, and I like the progress we have made in becoming a better community to live in. Is it perfect? No, nothing in life is. But change happens all the time, and the majority of people around here are thinking of the whole community when envisioning these changes. As far as taxes go, they have increased over the time I have lived here.. So the answer to your question is: yes, I would pay a little more, and already have!!

        1. Not everyone in a community shares the same thoughts. And, not even I feel that I know a majority
          of or even share in a majority view of anything.
          Crozet needs to stop getting by as an unincorporated “growth area” and the poorly defined area that different people claim. Once this
          gets settled the area can set the tax rate to cover
          what you say the majority wants. I say you will see
          a different attitude taken to what people actually
          need and be willing to pay for and what they want.
          For example, some people keep on about sidewalks. Start taking away parking spots and
          all of a sudden sidewalks just aren’t news anymore.

          1. I’m not one to often say “never” but I can’t see Crozet becoming an incorporated town in the next 25 years. Better to focus on things that are attainable.

            People don’t want to pay for anything. Never have, never will.

            And if you had better bi-modal infrastructure, parking spots would likely be in less demand.

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