240/250 Roundabout – Construction Winter 2024?

Fingers crossed …

“We anticipate the project will be awarded next month. There will be a period of final design required and some Right of Way to be acquired, but I expect construction will begin this coming winter.”

From VDOT – 5/2/24

From VDOT’s project page for 240/250

Preliminary engineering is underway on five intersection projects in Albemarle County, which have been combined into a single design-build bundle. The projects will be funded by a combination of SMART SCALE, Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and Albemarle County funds. With this project bundle, the following will be constructed:

  1. Roundabout at Routes 240/250/680 VDOT will reconstruct the existing intersection of Route 240 (Three Notched Road), Route 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) and Route 680 (Browns Gap Turnpike) as a four-leg, single-lane roundabout. Using HSIP funds, the proposed roundabout will improve traffic safety and more efficiently move traffic through the busy Albemarle County intersection. During construction, VDOT proposes to close Route 680 to through traffic between Route 250 and Route 802 (Old Three Notched Road) with a posted detour. Traffic would be detoured via Route 240 to Route 802 for about two months. The existing Route 680 single lane bridge over Lickinghole Creek, adjacent to this project, is being planned for replacement immediately after the roundabout is constructed.

We will see more of this until they’re finished, and when they’re finished with the project, it will be glorious, right?


I see no bike lanes there. Sigh.


Things could be worse. We could be the City of Charlottesville, which VDOT has now classified as “deficient.

Transportation and Crozet’s Infrastructure – BoS 2-7-2024

These are the meetings where you (and we) learn what’s happening in our community, and where consistent attendance matters.*

Who’s going to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting on 7 February at 1pm at Lane Auditorium? And who’s going only to the meeting that directly affects you and your backyard?

There are a lot of things on the agenda (you can find the agenda here).

A few of the many items on the agenda that have some specific-to-Crozet relevance:

There’s a lot happening in this sign

  • Eastern Avenue and Park Ridge, which really should be a roundabout, in my opinion. (further down, Hill Top will soon be renamed Park Ridge),
  • Mountains with morning light in the distance
  • Wide road with sidewalks and unprotected bike lanes
  • Curb cut (this 99% Invisible podcast is fascinating) — “If you live in an American city and you don’t personally use a wheelchair, it’s easy to overlook the small ramp at most intersections, between the sidewalk and the street. Today, these curb cuts are everywhere, but fifty years ago — when an activist named Ed Roberts was young — most urban corners featured a sharp drop-off, making it difficult for him and other wheelchair users to get between blocks without assistance.”
  • The developer’s sign
  • Car that actually has its headlights on
  • Call to attend a meeting

While not Crozet-specific, the North Fork rezoning will absolutely affect Crozet in many ways.

Part of the applicant’s narrative:

Therefore, the Foundation proposes to rezone a portion of North Fork from PDIP to
Neighborhood Model District (NMD) to allow residential uses (the “Project,
” or this “Amendment”) and additional commercial and retail uses (See detailed chart below). The existing PDIP uses will remain on the entirety of North Fork, including those approved by Special Use Permit with conditions, however a Code of Development and Application Plan will establish regulations regarding the residential uses including density, form, residential uses, and greenspace. The types of potential residential uses would include single-family detached, single-family attached, townhomes, and multi-family dwelling units.

The project proposes a maximum of 1,400 residential units consisting of single family detached, single family attached, townhomes, and multi-family apartments at a density of approximately 17 DUA. (bolding mine)



*I rarely go to the meetings, but I do make an effort to read as much about them as I can, on their agendas, and via Charlottesville Community Engagement.

Crozet Proposed Park & Ride Public Hearing – 24 January 2024

Nice.

The Afton Express – Afton – Charlottesville bus service

Crozet Connect – routes around Crozet to and from Charlottesville

Three Notch’d Trail – proposed trail from Afton to Charlottesville

Bike racks – sigh. Racks: great. Access to said racks: terrible.

Piece meal approaches to not having to get in a car to get places are better than no pieces at all. Teeny tiny baby steps forward is progress.

Press release from VDOT follows

Location is convenient to regional transit services, lot will feature bus stop and bicycle racks

CULPEPER — Residents in Crozet and surrounding areas will have an opportunity to get information and make comments on the proposed Park and Ride commuter parking lot at U.S. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) and Interstate 64 exit 107 west of Crozet.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a design public hearing from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the Crozet Library, 2020 Library Avenue, Crozet, VA 22932. The meeting will be held in an open forum format where project team members will present information about the proposed project and answer questions. Attendees may also provide written or verbal comments about the project.

The project will construct a lot with 25 parking spaces, a bus pull-through, bus shelter and bike racks. It will also extend the westbound left-turn lane on U.S. 250 and requires a change in the limited access control on I-64 and U.S. 250.

Project information and the National Environmental Policy Act documentation in the form of a Programmatic Categorical Exclusion may be reviewed at VDOT’s Culpeper District Office located at 1601 Orange Road in Culpeper, VA, 540-829-7500; or at VDOT’s Charlottesville Residency, located at 701 VDOT Way, Charlottesville, VA 22911, 434-293-0011, or 1-800-367-7623, TTY/TDD 711. Please call ahead to ensure the availability of appropriate personnel to answer your questions.

In compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 and 36 CFR Part 800, information concerning the potential effects of the proposed project on properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places is provided in the environmental documentation.

Property impact information and tentative construction schedules are available for review at the above addresses and will be available at the public hearing.

The $5 million project was funded in the fourth round of SMART SCALE project development in fiscal year 2022. Advertisement for construction is scheduled in October 2024. More information about the project, including a location map, may be found on the project web page: www.vdot.virginia.gov/projects/culpeper-district/interstate-64-at-exit-107-park-and-ride-lot-albemarle-county/ on the VDOT web site.

Questions about the project should be directed to Mr. David Cubbage, VDOT Location and Design, Culpeper District, (540) 727-7129, [email protected]. Comments may be made during the meeting or by mail to Mr. David Cubbage, VDOT Location and Design, 1601 Orange Road, Culpeper, VA 22701. Comments can also be emailed to [email protected]. All comments must be postmarked or emailed by February 5, 2024.

VDOT Traffic Information – 18-22 December 2023

I get these emails every week and usually just dismiss them; this week there are a lot of Crozet-specific alerts.

I’ve bolded the Crozet items, which include pothole patching on Crozet Avenue, the closing of Browns Gap Turnpike, road widening of Route 240.

Albemarle County 

(NEW) Other construction – Expect lane and shoulder closures in the following areas:

  • Interstate 64, left lane closed between mile marker 104 and mile marker 105 in the eastbound lanes, Monday through Thursday, 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
  • Interstate 64, right shoulder closed between mile marker 105 and mile marker 107 in the eastbound lanes, Monday through Thursday, 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
  • Interstate 64, right shoulder closed between mile marker 104 and mile marker 107 in the westbound lanes, Monday through Thursday, 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

(NEW) Pothole patching – Expect mobile, alternating lane closures in the following areas:

  • Interstate 64, between mile marker 100 and mile marker 131 in the eastbound and westbound lanes, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Route 240 (Crozet Avenue), between U.S. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) and Route 1230 (Meadows Drive) in the northbound and southbound lanes, Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(UPDATE) Pipe repairs/installation – Expect lane and shoulder closures in the following areas:

  • Interstate 64, left lane and left should closed between mile marker 110 and mile marker 111 in the westbound lanes, daily through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Route 750 (Old Turnpike Road), road closed between Route 803 (Goodloe Lane) and U.S. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) with a signed detour. Drivers should follow message board detour route, Monday and Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

(UPDATE) Bridge repairs – Expect lane closures in the following areas:

  • Route 676 (Woodlands Road), alternating lane closures with flaggers between Route 743 (Earlysville Road) and Cedar Bluff Road in the northbound and southbound lanes, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Route 680 (Browns Gap Turnpike), road closed between Route 240 (Three Notch’d Road) and Route 802 (Old Three Notch’d Road). Drivers heading north on Route 680 should continue west on Route 240 to Route 802 and turn right to rejoin Route 680 north of the work zone, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

(NEW) Tree trimming – Expect lane closures in the following areas.

  • Route 6, (Irish Road), mobile, alternating lane closures between the Nelson County line and Route 20 (Valley Street) in the eastbound and westbound lanes, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Route 53, (Thomas Jefferson Highway), alternating lane closures with flaggers between Route 1102 (Michie Tavern Lane) and the Fluvanna County line in the eastbound and westbound lanes, daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

U.S. 29 (Monacan Trail) – Tree removal. Expect alternating lane closures between the Nelson County line and Route 745 (Arrowhead Valley Road) in the northbound and southbound lanes, daily, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

(NEW) U.S. 250 (Richmond Road) – Roadway improvements. Expect alternating lane closures between Route 179 (Hansens Mountain Road) and Route 1107 (North Hill) in the eastbound and westbound lanes, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(UPDATE) U.S. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) – Road widening project. Expect lane closures between Birdsall Lane and Route 750 (Old Turnpike Road). The westbound lanes will remain reduced from two lanes to one and the eastbound lane shift will remain in place. This is a long-term closure for the duration of the project. Expected completion date, April, 2024.

Route 20 (Scottsville Road) – Bridge superstructure repairs/replacement. Expect temporary traffic signal with new traffic pattern at Route 708 (Red Hill Road). Route 708 will narrow to one lane for construction on the bridge over the North Fork Hardware River in the southbound lanes, beginning Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Project completion date, Dec. 2024.


Can’t wait for them to fix all of these uniformly badly paved roads.

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Meeting – 15 November 2023

When I see the agenda come through my email, I try to make a few minutes to open it and scan for Crozet-related items.

Here’s the agenda for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting that starts at 1pm on Wednesday, 15 November.

The items on the agenda that jumped out to me as being meaningful and relevant to Crozet:

Live Where you Can Walk or Ride to School (and other things)

For a period of time, she rode the bus.

Then we walked to school, and I walked back. That took too long for my work life.

So we walked, and I walked my bike and I rode home.

Then she’d ride on the downtube, and that made more time to hang out together at Crozet Mudhouse.

Then we rode to school, and rode home. Stopping at the Mudhouse at least one direction.

Those mornings and afternoons are some of our best memories together. Sure, when I drove her to school later, that was great, but we still talk about riding to school together.


Riding back from my morning ride this week, I was happily surprised to see so many kids and families riding bikes and walking to Crozet Elementary. (turns out it was national walk to school day — without little kids, I’m out of that loop)

The kids I saw were smiling, and laughing. I’d argue that the ones on bikes were demonstrably happier than those walking, and that might be my particular bias. As I rode through the Square, the slew of bikes caught my eye, so I rode around and took a picture, and wondered, “You’d think you’d see more businesses advocating for bike/ped infrastructure, providing bike racks, and encouraging such things.” (bike infrastructure can increase sales by 49% & “one parking space costs businesses $15,000 – $25,000; a bike rack costs about $150 – $500”)

For those who walked or rode to school for the second or third time — I’d ask that you make that a habit, one that allows for more time, more conversation, more being together, in a way that is better for the community, the earth, fitness, and all the things.

(please?)

If nothing else, convince your kids to start the movement. Block traffic. Do what it takes. 🙂

Walking the dog on our usual route at our usual time today in the midst of all the walk to school hub bub on St. George Ave., I overheard a young boy riding by on a bike say to his mom who was ahead of him and may not have heard “This is the best moment of my life so far.”

From the FB post

I was reminded of a story I wrote on RealCentralVA in 2015

Why do you live (or want to live) where you do?

That’s a question I ask my seller clients – to help me better describe and market their homes – and one I ask my buyer clients – to help them define and understand their triangles.

A friend commented a few weeks ago that he was a bit surprised that we have chosen to stay in the same place for so long. My reasoning is simple – living where we live allows for walk- and bike- ability to almost everywhere in Crozet that we need or want to go.

More importantly, living in a walkable/bikeable location allows for this, which is important (to me):

We rode to elementary school many days out of the school year – quiet time together, teaching her independence, confidence, and that cars aren’t always the answer.

As I noted in 2011:

I ride my bike with my younger daughter frequently. In two days, she will be a second grader.

This morning we recommenced our morning ritual of riding our bikes to the Crozet Mudhouse, a pit stop on the path to Crozet Elementary.

Upon our return home, we stopped for a bit of exploration and she seized the opportunity to cut me to the quick:

“I wish I could stay 7 forever, and you could stay 35. Because today is just perfect.”

With that, she got on her bike and started by herself, a skill she mastered two days ago. And she said,

Come on Daddy!

And I followed.

Lesson of the day:

Live life every day. You don’t stay young forever. And these moments must be appreciated.


Albemarle BoS Meeting – 4 October 2023

Dick Woods Road - 2 October

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.

Voicing your opinion in person at the Board of Supervisors, and emailing our representative — and copying the entire Board (because they *all* vote! — is the best way to voice our opinions. These things take time, and going once is just that – a one-off. Going twice is something, three times is organized, and fifty people going fifty times – now that’s a movement.**

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.

Continue reading “Albemarle BoS Meeting – 4 October 2023”

Albemarle Board of Supervisors Meeting – 6 September 2023

For these posts, I don’t provide much insight other than reading the agenda — you can too; the agenda is here — and pulling out items that seem specifically relevant to Crozet.

What interests you in this Board meeting?


CCAC – 9 August 2023 – Long Range Transportation

Long-range transportation. We are so good at long range planning, it seems that often we neglect to actually execute and build. This is a long post, but worthwhile.

CCAC – 9 August 2023 at 7PM at Crozet Library.

From Joe Fore, CCAC Chair

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee will meet next Wednesday, August 9, at 7 pm in the large meeting room at the Crozet Library. (If you can arrive a few minutes early to help set up the room, it will help ensure that we can start promptly at 7.) I’ve attached the agenda. 

Our main agenda item will be a presentation from the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is updating the region’s long-range transportation plan, Moving Toward 2050. After the presentation, we’ll discuss transportation needs in the Crozet area. The project’s website includes a survey where you can share your opinions about necessary improvements to our roads, transit system, and bike/pedestrian infrastructure. I strongly encourage everyone to take the survey before our meeting.

We’ll also hear updates from our Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors liaisons and debrief July’s All-CAC Town Hall meeting. Time permitting, we’ll also discuss the proposed update to the County’s stream buffer regulations–a topic that came up last year in our discussions about the Montclair project. The County is seeking feedback on the current draft, which you can read here. Please read through the draft before the meeting, if you can.


From the Week Ahead:

If you’re not a paid subscriber to Sean’s work, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. Dollar for dollar, it’s one of the best investments you can make in ensuring that you and your neighbors are well informed about local growth, development, transportation in Albemarle and Charlottesville.

Crozet CAC to review plans for long-range transportation plan 

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee will hold their monthly meeting at the Crozet Library beginning at 7 p.m. with a scheduled ending time of 8:30 p.m. That’s to give enough time for attendees to help break down the room before the library closes. (meeting info)

There are three items on the agenda.  The first is a presentation from the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission on the long-range transportation plan that is currently in development. 

“The purpose of this plan is to identify priority transportation needs for the City of Charlottesville and urbanized portions of Albemarle County,” reads the agenda.

Participation in transportation decisions is fairly low. This stuff is all very confusing. Another purpose of Charlottesville Community Engagement is to try to change that from a third-party, non-government perspective.  I believe democracy needs information and context to survive and thrive. Here are some stories about the Long Range Transportation Plan process:

The CAC will also have a discussion of the proposed Riparian Buffer Overlay District that is under review.  This is an outcome of Albemarle’s stream health initiative. 

“Albemarle County is developing a Riparian Buffer Overlay District to protect and improve vegetation along rivers and streams, strengthen buffer requirements that were narrowed in 2014, and be more consistent with Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act,” reads the description on the Engage Albemarle site

Input is being taken on the Engage Albemarle site through August 13. There are 39 responses so far. 

Finally, the CAC will discuss the recent virtual meeting on the AC44 process. I have a summary of that here

  • The James River Water Authority’s Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. in the Fluvanna County Administration Building in the Morris Room. That’s at 132 Main Street in Palmyra. There will be a discussion of the status of the project to build a waterline between the James River and Zion Crossroads. A draft permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will soon be ready for public review. Property acquisition for right of way is underway. (agenda packet)

Changing Ivy Road / 250 Corridor Survey

This survey (Virginia and Albemarle are great at surveys and studies!) is not specific to Crozet, but most of us use 250 and Ivy Road on a near-daily basis.

Takeway, if you read nothing else:

The survey, which has a translation tool for other languages, is available (here) Comments can also be sent by email to [email protected] or by postal mail to Michael Barnes, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1601 Orange Road, Culpeper, VA, 22701.

Background from Charlottesville Community Engagement:


Via email: (boldings beyond the first two lines are mine)

PROVIDE INPUT ON U.S. 250 IN ALBEMARLE, CHARLOTTESVILLE

Study is first step to identify possible transportation improvements on Ivy Road corridor

CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on a transportation study assessing potential safety and multimodal improvements for the U.S. 250 (Ivy Road) corridor, including the interchange with U.S. 29, between Ednam Drive within Albemarle County and Alderman Road within the City of Charlottesville.

The purpose of this study is to identify project recommendations for the U.S. 250 corridor. This study will focus on improving roadway safety, reducing traffic congestion, improving access, and enhancing multimodal accessibility and connectivity for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, including how these needs might be satisfied by facilities within the Route 601 (Old Ivy Road) corridor.

The study will build off previous study efforts for the study area led by VDOT and the localities and provide multiple opportunities for public input. The project recommendations that come from this study will be developed into funding applications for SMART SCALE Round 6 and other transportation funding programs.

VDOT invites residents and travelers to learn more and take an online survey through Aug. 18. Community input received through this survey will help the study team identify existing issues along the study corridor and develop recommendations for potential improvements that will be evaluated and presented during the next phase of the study, which will include another opportunity for public comment.

The survey, which has a translation tool for other languages, is available at https://vaprojectpipeline.org/studies/culpeper/cu-23-09.asp. Comments can also be sent by email to [email protected] or by postal mail to Michael Barnes, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1601 Orange Road, Culpeper, VA, 22701.

This study is being conducted as part of the Project Pipeline program, which was created by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Project Pipeline is a performance-based planning program to identify cost-effective solutions to multimodal transportation needs in Virginia. Project Pipeline is led by Virginia’s Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, in collaboration with VDOT and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

Continue reading “Changing Ivy Road / 250 Corridor Survey”