If Traffic at Old Trail & WAHS is Bad Now …

What’s it going to look like when there are 2200 homes rather than 250?

Traffic on Old Trail Drive at 8:50 am

This is the traffic nearly every morning during school drop-off time.

I wonder if any kids from Old Trail will ever walk to school.


From an offline commenter:

Why do you assume the problem is Old Trail KIDS??   Tell ALL of the WAHS parents to use the buses we tax payers pay for and quit using Old Trail Drive as a short cut to drop their kids off. Take a look at the bus stops in Old Trail and count the number of students going to all three schools by bus.

The students living in Old Trail will walk to all of the schools after the county gets off of it’s arses and puts in the promised walkways up to 250 and and down 250 for access to all schools as promised.

Update #2: The offline commenter raised a very valid point; I called and asked if I could use the comment in the post and we had a good conversation about the post, traffic, bureaucracy and other such matters. The point I wanted to convey is that this is not an Old Trail (which is a great place to live) issue, it’s a Crozet issue. I’d bet that at least 60% of the traffic in that photo aren’t from Old Trail but are from Crozet.

We’re in this – this traffic and lack of infrastructure and lack of common sense culture – together.

(did you notice the mountains in the background of the photo?)

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49 Replies to “If Traffic at Old Trail & WAHS is Bad Now …”

  1. My daughter would love to walk, actually has begged me to talk to her school and help her make it happen. Two things in her way 1) Henley doesn’t allow students to walk to school, and 2) Her backpack weights 23 pounds! So my question is, do I fight the fight only to have her working with a chiropractor??

  2. I was wide eyed when one of the builders showed us the ultimate plan for Old Trail. I can’t imagine what it is going to be like in a few years.nnDon’t get me started on the walking to school stuff. I’m stunned that a school is able to dictate how a kid gets to school.

  3. and let me tell you, as a resident who resides in a townhome right on OTdrive with a bedroom right up against the road … you hear each and every car that drives by … sigh …. it’s not going to get any better.

  4. In a town like Crozet, kids should definately be walking and biking to school (maybe with a roller-cart for those with heavy backpacks). The Crozet Trails Crew and other groups around town are working on making this a reality. Parents and school officials need to feel comfortable with the walking/biking routes available. Safety is the biggest concern. We hape to be able to address that soon. If you are a student or a perent of a student who would like to be able to walk to school, please let the school officils know!

  5. I apologize for all the spelling mistakes at the end of that post, but my comment window had a white-out area and so I was typing blind. Ha!

  6. Here is my update from Henley; not only is my daughter (who lives in OT) not allowed to walk to school, neither are the kids who live in the homes directly across the street from Henley. I was told that these rules are in place because of safely concerns.

  7. Apparently Henley does have an explicit policy preventing kids from walking or biking to school. nnnSummarized from phone conversation Dec. 8 (not with me) … more to come on this soon. nnnThere are no bike racks. Lockers would most likely fit a bike helmet due to the large size of some backpacks that fit into lockers. No one to his knowledge (students, faculty/staff) walks or bikes to school. Their school policy doesnu2019t allow walking/biking to school due to lack of infrastructure (no sidewalks/paths and man power to insure safety of the 800+ students at Henley) within Crozet to make it safe and viable for Crozet residents u2013 not even to Old Trail. Dr. McLaughlin would welcome/encourage students to walk/bike to school if the infrastructure was in place to ensure their safety. n

  8. Didn’t this come up in Forest Lakes a couple years ago, too?nnWe walked to school in the densely populated NYC suburbs, which have much more traffic and streets without sidewalks than this area. There were two crossing guards for the busy intersections and “Helping Hands” (a network of stay at home moms who put signs in a front window to signal a house where you could help) along the walking routes. From K-8, I walked or rode my bike to school with my brothers. I used one crossing guard on my one mile walk and I stopped at a Helping Hand house once, for a band-aid. nnI think that being taught to be a pedestrian early has made me prefer walking to driving throughout my life. What’s more, walking and biking to school all those years made me more considerate people on foot and bikes when I learned to drive.n

  9. I’m not sure how a school can enforce a policy that tells you how you get your kid your school – and here is the key emphasis ‘BEFORE’ and ‘AFTER’ school. nWhat happens on the school, i can understand, but before and after is a parent issue. nn

  10. And the real kicker: its now a public road, so who foots the bill when it comes time to widen the road.nnI check on the happenings at Old Trail about once in a blue moon, but every time I do I’m shocked that anyone would have approved a development of that size with such poor infrastructure. How can you possibly plan to have over 2000 homes with a 2 lane entrance road? And how could you ever make improvements with the buildings going up right along the road?

  11. Evan: This is Virginia. I hate to say it but having live in other parts (far out west), I noticed a glaring lack of planning, foresight or simply care to do things THE RIGHT WAY here. This backwards approach is so entrenched in this culture here ( I dare say there is at least 30-40 years of lag in mentality here compared to the western third of the nation. It is mind-boggling.

    1. And the water issue out west? Have you been to LA? Are you talking the NW, maybe Portland or Seattle?nnI don’t think you can claim that “out west” things are better, we’ll maybe the weather.

  12. nThere is no law against walking to school. How can it be enforced? And, once nan area is taken over by developers this is the result. They had to build this road to get this place started. Your tax dollars will build the next one. Just think, You all thought that Restore N Station was bad. This will dwarf anythingnyou feared about that. Time to move on…nnnnn

  13. What do you expect… A growth area (approved by OUR elected officials) and yourcomplaing about growth? You have to all stop being NIMBY folks…. If you didn’t want growth – you should have moved someplace else…. I love the comment about living in OT and complaining about the road noise when she moved into a place right next to the road… Kind of like moving next to the RR tracks and then pushing to get the trains to stop running during the night and blowingtheir horns… You can;t make this stuff up.

    1. Luckily i am renting in OT, right on the main drive, so it’s not my long term problem. It’s a nice community, but the sheer number of people and cars is going to substantially change the feel. nnI posted not to whine, but to document that the traffic has gone up substantially in my 2.5 years thus far, and it’s going to get insane. nnI pity the owner of the townhome, as she overpaid by about $50,000-75,000 for this unit (don’t get me started on the quality not living up the price point it should have been at). nnWhen cars SPEED through right after the traffic circle, it’s especially noisy. So, dense as I may seem, I was merely sharing the experience. nnI really feel sorry for the people buying all these homes and townhomes right up against the road … I’d be really sorry if I couldn’t move out in 9.75 months. nn

      1. hence – never, ever petition for speed bumps or stop signs/lights. You think its noisy as cars roll through – try acceleration from 0.

  14. Living in a rural area means you have space, it also means that you don’t live close to the places you can walk to . In the suburbs I grew up in, the school was only a 15 minute walk/bike ride (without a 25 lb. backpack or a helmet) and then another school was built so that other kids could do the same. Did you know that it only costs $25 to buy a parking pass at the high school but $75 per child per sport in order to be on a team?

    1. some high school kids actually drive themselves to a job or volunteer position after school while their parents are still at the office …

  15. Living in a rural area means you have space, it also means that you don’t live close to the places you can walk to . In the suburbs I grew up in, the school was only a 15 minute walk/bike ride (without a 25 lb. backpack or a helmet) and then another school was built so that other kids could do the same. Did you know that it only costs $25 to buy a parking pass at the high school but $75 per child per sport in order to be on a team?

      1. Yeah, but if the light from Old Trail stayed green longer, traffic will just get even more backed up along 250, Crozet Ave, etc. In the mornings traffic is sometimes backed up on Crozet Ave all the way from 250 to the Meadows. And I’ve seen it backed up on 250 all the way past Cory Farm. This is not just an Old Trail issue, and yeah, it’s going to get worse.

        1. And it will only get worse when Jarman’s Gap Rd is closed for a few months because many more will use Old Trail Drive to get to 250 or Jarman’s Gap depending on what parts of the road are closed.

  16. If Old Trail drive wasn’t there, they would all be on 250…. how about a school trolly for the neighborhood…kidding(sort-of:) We should all support CROZET TRAILS CREW so we can start getting kids to walk to school! ANd btw/ Old Trail isn’t the ONLY development out in crozet…Highlands, Western Ridge etc. Not all evil is located in OT. Actually some nice families live here!

  17. Having two schools near each other, next to an intersection is just crazy traffic. I don’t know of any larger schools that don’t have traffic issues. Most schools are not designed to handle large amounts of drop off, yet apparently kids aren’t ‘allowed’ to walk at this school. This is not an OT or developer issue – its a school design issue (or lack of). nnWhen my kids are ready for school, they will walk when possible (escorted obviously).. Waiting for a developers to throw blacktop over existing dirt path or adding crosswalks on dead end roads does not make walking to school safer.

  18. I live in Old Trail and quite like it. I can’t think of any of my neighbors that are sorry they bought homes in this neighborhood. Our children greatly enjoy it. I was aware of the plan for the neighborhood and purchased a lot that would meet our needs so that we have some open area and can be off to ourselves. I drive my kids to school everyday (we carpool with friends) b/c it is a ridiculously long walk to their bus stop followed by a long wait in the cold. By the time they walk to it and wait for the bus they could already be at school. Last spring I used to let them meet friends at Trailside & walk from there until I found out that they weren’t allowed to. Traffic is a problem near most every school in this county. So yes, I don’t enjoy waiting in that long line that Jim took a picture of, but I will continue to do so because I think my children go to a great school and I think we live in a wonderful place.

  19. We just moved to the area and are shocked that walking to school is not allowed. What if the parent is accompanying the child and its a voluntary decision.. is it still prohibited? nnWhat are the steps community members need to take to work towards convincing school officials to get the policy and physical infrastructure in place to allow voluntary walking/biking? (Assuming that parents would be required to escort younger students). A petition? Phone calls?nnAlthough it wouldn’t solve everything, traffic would certainly be slightly alleviated on those days with nice weather.

  20. Again, I ask, what law forbids children to walk to school? And, what is the penalty if a child does walk to school? Seems that you people want to give more power to local government than they already have. When you move tonOld Trail do you have to agree to give up your right to move about freely??

      1. And, what is the penalty? How would they know how you arrived? Who pays attention to this???

        1. Honestly, I don’t know. I’d love to know, but no parents have told me and no school officials have commented or responded.nnBluntly, I think it’s an easy way to choose a cop-out. But I’m open to being proven wrong.

          1. nnnnnnnI suggest that people just make their own choice concerning this. If you repeat something over and over it does not make it true. You can walk to school. There is nothing that they can do about it.

    1. Last year Crozet Elementart had a “Walk to School” day to try and get students to walk to school. If this is an issue with Brownsville – must be because it’s on Rt. 250 with no sidewalks to walk on. nAlso – Update #1… Old Trail Drive is NOT a short-cut… IT’s a county road to be used by ANYONE – not just Old Trail snobs….. Geesh…..

      1. Crozet can do “Walk to School” because the teachers at the school, and parents of the students have agreed to participate as crossing guards and chaperones. Its not like the kids just walk by themselves.

        1. mom2 – unfortunately, that’s last year. The program no longer is in existence and there is no official support for the program. I tried to start it back up this year but ran into immediate bureaucratic roadblocks. I will be writing a post about this later this week (hopefully)

      1. It’s tract housing, attracts people who think that you cannot walk to school and, who now appear unhappy with what they have created.

        1. Old Trail attracts lots of kinds of people. Sure, some don’t want their kids to walk to school. Some moved there hoping that their kids could/would walk to school. We all get that you hate new development. Fine. But, don’t assume that you begin to know or understand what everyone who has chosen to live in Old Trail or any other new development want, like, or prefer. Because, in reality there are all kinds of people who live in these developments.

          1. nnnnnnnYou are correct but, who asks permission for their children to walk to school? Who would even go along with this? You can blame anyonenyou want for the problems that are complainednabout but, there is one thing I know, they can benfixed. Zoning and density can be fixed. I am starting to know about the people who need tract housing. By reading the complaints here…

        2. you know…the people you complain about who are already in the developments could help your effort for slowing the growth – instead you tick them off. Sounds to me you’re the one who is dissatisfied with the the status quo, not them. nnBy the way, if you were here before track housing peeps – then technically you created what is already here.

          1. That’s right, Geo. Crozet was identified as a growth area back in the 1970’s. So anyone who arrived after the 70’s can’t be blamed. The building is happening now, but the die was cast long before many (most?) current Crozetians arrived. So to anyone who was in Albemarle in the 70’s, this happened on your watch and you hold more accountability for Crozet’s designation as a growth area than anyone moving into these new homes.

          2. And if you were here before the 1970’snwho do you want to blame then?? Strange, no answers about the penalty for walking to school…

Something to say?