Be Nice to your Neighbors, Please

A friend wrote this at my request after he told me this story. (bolding mine)

I have ridden the roads of Albemarle County on and off for more than 30 years since I was in school here. I have been fortunate enough to ride them again after moving back to the area 2 1/2 years ago. It is clearly one of the most beautiful and enjoyable cycling areas on the east coast and a joy to ride in every day.

So it was last Sunday afternoon despite the ominous weather looming. My family, my wife, my teen age son and I went for a ride hoping to enjoy some of the gravel roads in the White Hall area. Gravel riding has become much more popular in the US in the last 5 years or so and has led to special types of bikes and efforts by cyclists to get off the busy more traveled roads, stay clear of traffic and see areas less traveled enjoying the countryside even more.

It was to my great chagrin then that, after we came off 810 and survived the rolling storm that came through the area as we went up the first hill on Slam Gate, we hit a lot of traffic surprisingly on Slam Gate Road.

Whereas only one vehicle passed us the miles we were on 810, suddenly we had 8 vehicles pass us in the short few miles we were on the gravel section of Slam Gate. But most disarming was the last vehicle.

A (car with distinctive) logo license plates whose owner somehow thought that, despite their distinctive vehicle and plates, they would be anonymous as they incessantly honked their horn from a quarter mile back and continued to honk repeatedly as they passed my wife, my teenager and I all riding in single file, properly spaced out on plenty wide gravel road. Not only was it disappointing to hear the angry honking of the driver but, all the more so to see the shocking anger of their elementary school age child screaming out the front window at these cyclists that somehow were ruining their day by riding on the same road that they were on.

These cyclists pay the same taxes that they do. And yet for some reason, even though the vehicle didn’t have to slow at all, we see all this anger and frustration pouring out of the horn of the vehicle and again out of their younger child.

You are not anonymous when you drive in a vehicle. People can trace license plates. People remember who goes by, who’s polite and especially who’s not. Crozet is still a small enough area that we know vehicles and are all the more shocked and disappointed when we find that they have children that go to our children’s school, that they live close by.

Cyclists need to do what we try to do all the time in Crozet. That is ride single file when a vehicle’s behind, follow traffic laws, wear lights and helmets. Pull off the road if we’re slowing an excessive amount of traffic on a long climb. But people who drive cars also need to remember that people who ride bicycles are their neighbors. Cyclists could be a brother, a sister, a spouse, a son or a daughter, a friend. They are other people in their community trying to enjoy the beauty of Western Albemarle County just like everyone else.




Jim’s note: The vehicle he described had a distinctive license plate that resonated with me. A couple days later when driving my daughter to school, I saw what looked to be the referenced vehicle, we took pictures, sent to my friend, he confirmed, and I figured out who the person is. This isn’t a post to publicly shame someone, but to remind us all that we share the same spaces.

Notably, this person was born in Albemarle –  long enough to know that “sharing the road” isn’t a foreign concept.

We are a small community. We are neighbors, whether that’s next door, next road, or next neighborhood. Many of us shop at the same grocery stores and get coffee at the same places. 

I said last year

“This area’s hard to beat. It’s gorgeous. We stop to take pictures,” said Duncan. “We take time to appreciate where we are. Morning commuters know us because of our headlight power. We stick together as a group. We’re extremely conscientious about safety and sharing the road. We live here and we don’t want to piss off our neighbors.

Also: There is a Close Call Database for cyclists to report dangerous people who drive cars.

Neighborhood Improvement Funding Initiative

Update 9 March 2017:  Please see this Google Form —  Crozet-area Community Neighborhood Project Brainstorm. Sorry for the late notice; this is the first I’ve seen this as I missed the email on 3 March from the County.

via press release:

Crozet’s meetings are:

March 15 & April 19 | 7PM
Crozet Elementary cafeteria

Is there a small-scale improvement, like walking trails or playground equipment, that would benefit your community? Or the need for a planning or design study for a future improvement? The Neighborhood Improvement Funding Initiative is a new, one-time program approved by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to drive investment in quality-of-life projects in the County’s development areas.

County residents are invited to participate in a series of community meetings happening in the development areas to identify and then
prioritize projects for your area. Read on to learn more about this initiative.

Development areas are the urbanized portions of the County and include the urban ring around the City of Charlottesville, the 29 North corridor, Pantops, Crozet, and the Village of Rivanna. Each area has a master plan and a Board-appointed Community Advisory Committee to help implement the plan. View a map of the development areas and find the Community Advisory Committee nearest you!

During March and April, the seven Community Advisory Committees will hold community meetings to identify quality-of-life projects (March) and then prioritize them (April). We invite anyone in the community to participate in these meetings in-person (or before the meeting, online).

Delivery Agent (neé MusicToday) Closing?

via Alison Wrabel at The Daily Progress:

Delivery Agent Holdings Corporation, the company that acquired Musictoday, has filed a notice that it is closing its Crozet location on Feb. 22 and will lay off 134 employees, according to the Virginia Workforce Network’s Rapid Response program.

The director of human resources at Delivery Agent in Crozet said she was not aware of the layoffs and closure notice, and requests for comment from Delivery Agent were not returned.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as WARN, requires employers who are planning a plant closing or a mass layoff to give affected employees at least 60 days notice of such an employment action.

But just because company files a WARN notice does not mean the layoffs must occur, officials said. Companies that are reorganizing or selling may file the notice but may retain employees and continue operation after reorganization or sale.

 September 2016 – Delivery Agent (used to be Music Today) Files for Bankruptcy


h/t Crozet Today.

CCAC Meeting Recap – Transportation, Transportation, Transportation

Lots discussed in last night’s CCAC meeting.

Rather than pull highlights, please read all the tweets, after the jump. This meeting highlighted more than many the value of being present, having a voice, and choosing to make the time to attend.

Continue reading “CCAC Meeting Recap – Transportation, Transportation, Transportation”

CCAC Meeting – 15 February 2017

Local government, folks.

I suspect this will be a lot of conversation about how to make transportation in Crozet better. I’ll start:

  • Better infrastructure that supports current and future traffic
  • Sidewalks and bike lanes to make walking/riding less intimidating
  • Parking plan for downtown Crozet
  • Trails interconnecting neighborhoods should be a requirement. Even retro-actively. (interconnectivity is part of Albemarle’s plan)
  • Bring in companies/jobs to encourage business development in downtown Crozet
  • Stop referring to Crozet as a “town.” Words matter. We aren’t a town.  We could be.


The Crozet Library
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Continue reading “CCAC Meeting – 15 February 2017”