In other news, the Federal Highway Administration has awarded a $100,000 grant to the MPO to study I-64 from exit 87 in Staunton to exit 124 at Pantops. The organization will work with its equivalents in Staunton and Waynesboro, as well as VDOT.
The goal is to find ways to improve traffic, relieve congestion and prevent crashes in a 40-mile stretch that crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“This project will be a two-fold mission,” said Chip Boyles, executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. “The biggest mission is to develop and promote a planning tool that FHWA uses and they’re trying to get MPOs to use to coordinate planning between multiple jurisdictions.”
Boyles said the second mission is to come up with high-level concepts of what can be built to help address the issues.
“It’s not just looking at I-64 but maybe looking at transit opportunities and possible changes to 250 so that it can handle a larger capacity when people have to detour onto it,” he said.
The Charlottesville MPO will hold a joint meeting with the Staunton-Waynesboro MPO in the fall to discuss the issue further.
VDOT’s final report in January 2000 recommended the widening of 250 west to four lanes between the US 29/250 Bypass near the Bellair neighborhood all the way to the railroad trestle crossing the Mechums River.
Scenic 250 vigorously opposed the road’s widening, a recommendation that VDOT made over the objections of the citizen committee participating in the study. The public argued that it made no sense to widen 250 when it ran parallel to the existing I-64.
With the strong support of Supervisor Sally H. Thomas , the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in May 2000 that committed the county to protecting the road as a two-lane scenic corridor all the way west to the county line. VDOT conceded that 250 was used largely for local traffic, and if residents wanted to deal with the congestion, that could be a local choice.
And for kicks and giggles and a bit further thought:
So much discussed tonight about the Crozet Master Plan, state of growth, population, infrastructure, accusations against County Staff, lamentations about being blindsided by developers, a few new faces from the public, absence from those whose neighborhoods aren’t *directly* impacted by things on the agenda … I tried Facebook live, but the sound was awful (and it’s hard to hold a phone in one hand and tweet in the other).
Crozet is at an interesting crossroads. People move here – and stay here – in large part because of the community, the mountains, the setting, the amenities, and the small town feel.
I can’t tell you how many times I ask my clients, “Why Crozet?” and one of their first answers is either “community” or “to be part of something.”
What are the things about Crozet that you/we want to protect? To prioritize?
I love Crozet. I love the community. I want Crozet to remain special. It’s going to change; how we change and grow is critical.
The answers below to the question, “Why do you love Crozet?” are tremendous. Click through, spend some time.
Some of the highlights
Small town living
And so. Much. More
To be and remain a community, infrastructure needs to be a critical component of how we grow – bike lanes and sidewalks are crucial to this – (read this!). Connecting humans needs to be at the forefront of how we grow, rather than a casual afterthought.
Think about this: in the Crozet Board of Trade meeting on 18 July, Frank Stoner, who is developing Barnes Lumber, mentioned that the Crozet design guidelines call for 10 foot sidewalks whereas VDOT calls for 5 foot sidewalks … if VDOT won’t maintain the sidewalks, who will? We are in challenging times.
The last Crozet Business Owners meeting was quite good, well attended, and frankly, a bit inspiring to hear Crozet business owners discuss the need to increase business, tourism, and awareness of Crozet. I expect this evening to be interesting and useful as well.
David and I have fun doing these at PRN, but we never have enough time to say all that we need or want to say. As such, we’ve shifted our Crozet conversations from coffee at Mudhouse to beers (or water or soda) at PRN – Thirsty Third Thursdays from 5 to 7.
Questions about the market? Ask Jim (me) or David anytime!
If a significant community engagement process happens and the project still gains approval, does the process have value? What if the project is rejected out of hand, or the density reduced, then does it have value? I anticipate it depends where you sit. Please let me explain.
“Yet wherever infill and walkable, transit-accessible development are proposed, existing residents are either saying no to development or forcing it to be cut back so much that the region isn’t producing the new housing we need.
Some of the most strident opposition comes from our wealthiest and most fortunate neighborhoods. This is the case even though these neighborhoods have benefited as their property values have soared by virtue of convenient access to Metro and all of the jobs, restaurants, grocery stores and services that transit-oriented development brings.
It is a good thing that people are passionate and actively engaged in planning decisions in our communities. We need everyone at the table, and we need to pay serious attention to good design, transportation, public spaces, affordable housing and other community benefits. We need to ensure we balance development, historic preservation, public parks and other community assets. But the intensity and hostility of the opposition are suppressing thoughtful discussion about the benefits of transit-oriented development for the community, transportation and the environment.”
One thing I’ll add: the minutes provided often are not as detailed or as timely as I would like; that’s ones of the big reasons I try to tweet (and often have help thankfully) the meetings. CCAC tweet summaries and agendas are here.