The CCAC is fun, Nextdoor is whatever Nextdoor is, and talking amongst ourselves is often enlightening and a fun use of time.
It’s more productive to be for something than against.
The Board Agenda is here; the meeting starts at 1pm, and Transportation items begin around 3:15.
Two PDFs of note:
Joe Fore, Chair of the CCAC emailed this out to the CCAC, and with permission, I’m posting here.*
I’m writing as a follow-up to my previous email about the discussion of the draft list of County’s transportation priorities for the year at the October 4 BOS meeting. Again, you can go here to provide written comments or to sign up to speak at the meeting. I’m hoping that some folks will be able to do so.
To me, the County’s priority list is a terrible reflection of Crozet’s transportation needs and priorities. Crozet (once again) is given short shrift compared to other parts of the County. But even more, the projects that do make it onto the list aren’t the ones that the Crozet Master Plan prioritizes–nor are they the ones that make the most logistical or financial sense. Below are my specific thoughts and concerns with the list.
As a reminder, due to open meeting requirements, we need to avoid “reply all” responses over email. But I wanted to share a few specific thoughts in the hope that some might be able to make it to the BOS meeting and pass them–or your own thoughts–along.
1. Crucial projects didn’t even make the cut.
There are 56 projects in the “First Tier” of prioritized topics that have detailed numerical rankings to help prioritize them in order. First, here’s a sample of projects that didn’t even make it to the “First Tier” list:
- Eastern Avenue Extension
- The #1 catalyst project in the Crozet Master Plan. Beyond frustrating not to see it on the list at all. No words.
- Sidewalks on Park Road from Crozet Park to the Westlake area
- This was the #1 highest priority sidewalk project in the Crozet Master Plan–and for good reason. This is a critical safety project and one of the key sources of complaint we heard from nearby residents about Oak Bluff and other developments, which will increase traffic along Park Road.
- Moreover, as part of the expansion of the Mobile Home Park, the developer agreed to make pedestrian improvements, so the developer will be laying the groundwork (literally) for a full-fledged sidewalk or path along Park Road. So a significant amount of work (about 1/3 of the length of this sidewalk) to prep this site will already be done by the developer.
- Three Notch’d Road Shared Use Path from Park Ridge to the Highlands neighborhood
- This project is critical for connecting the hundreds of homes in Crozet’s eastern neighborhoods–the Highlands and Wickham Pond–to the rest of the sidewalks and trails throughout Crozet. This was the #5 catalyst project in the Crozet Master Plan. While the Master Plan revisions a shared use path going along 240 all the way from Highlands to Starr Hill, this portion of the project was specifically referred to as “Phase 1” because it was deemed important that it go first–before the western phase.
- Moreover, it makes sense for this phase of the Route 240 shared-use path to go first–mostly for logistical and funding reasons. A significant portion of the shared-use path already runs along 240 in front of Wickham Pond. And the Montclair development proposal–which seems likely to be approved in some form–extends that shared-use path from Wickham Pond to Park Ridge. So a significant portion of the path has already been built–or will be built by developers in the coming years. All that remains is a small segment from Wickham to the Highlands.
- Crozet Ave/Tabor/Jarmans Gap/Library Ave traffic solution
- This is a critical, long-term solution to the traffic issues in downtown Crozet.
2. Other key projects aren’t given a high enough priority.
Only 9 Crozet-area projects made the “First Tier” cut. Some of these are good and worthy projects, but they aren’t given nearly the priority they deserve:
- Tabor/High Street sidewalks(#56; tied for last place, County-wide)
- This was the #2 prioritized sidewalk area in the Crozet Master Plan–and for good reason: the expansion of Crozet Park and the development of downtown will greatly increase car traffic in these areas, making it more dangerous for pedestrians on these streets. And it will be important to give residents in this area a way to get to the Park and downtown without driving.
- Crozet Ave/250 intersection (tied for #45)
- This is a critical intersection that is already experiencing significant congestion issues.
- Route 240 pedestrian improvements from Crozet Ave to Starr Hill (tied for #45)
- These are sorely needed, especially with the development of downtown, further development along Route 240 (Montclair and Old Dominion) and in Downtown Crozet, which will bring more cars along Route 240 toward Downtown. It’s also critical for residents’ ability to access key businesses, like the Crozet Market grocery store, Crozet Pizza, Praha Bakery, and Dollar General.
3. Some projects that are prioritized just don’t make sense or are squarely at odds with the Crozet Master Plan’s prioritization:
- US250 Shared-Use Path: Old Trail Drive to Crozet Ave (tied for #12)
- US250 Shared-Use Path: Crozet Ave to Cory Farm (tied for #9)
- The goal for these closely-ranked projects seems to be to connect the newly-built shared-use path at Cory Farm/Clover Lawn all the way to Old Trail. While it would be nice to have a shared-use path along Route 250, it’s nowhere near the top of Crozet’s list of transportation priorities. So putting these two projects at #9 and #12–ahead of so many other crucial projects–is inexplicable.
- The County’s priority list says that both of these projects come from the Crozet Master Plan. And, true, a shared-use path along 250 from Cory Farm to Crozet Ave is listed as a “Future Project.” But I’ve looked over the implementation projects section, and I can’t see anywhere that lists a shared-use path from Old Trail to Crozet Ave. So to say that this is the highest-priority Crozet-area pedestrian improvement is wildly out of step with the Master Plan.
- Crozet Avenue Shared-Use Path (tied for #12)
- The Crozet Master Plan lists a feasibility study for a Crozet Ave. shared-use path as a catalyst project. But this seems like a much lower priority to the Crozet community than so many other road and pedestrian improvements. Who would use such a path? Compared to other parts of Crozet, there aren’t very many homes right along Crozet Ave. that would rely on a path to get downtown. And anyone coming fromdowntown wouldn’t really be able to get anywhere–at least until all of the other segments of the shared-use path were built along 250
- Three-Notch’d Road Shared Use Path from Starr Hill to Park Ridge (tied for #45)
- This would be a great project. But, as discussed above, the Crozet Master Plan is clear that this phase of the shared-use path should be built after the eastern part of the shared-use path along Route 240.
4. Several projects seem fine and properly ranked.
- US250/Old Trail Roundabout (#3)
- This is a critical project due to the increased work- and school-related traffic.
- Crozet Ave/Route 240 intersection improvements (tied for #39)
- These would certainly be nice–and a comparatively cheap thing to do.
*I know that the CCAC communications are public and I can post without permission, but I always think it nice to ask.
**Anybody get this reference?