151/250 Roundabout Construction Begins

This will be fun.

Starting in October 2021, finishing in July 2022. I bet they finish early. (see the bottom of this post for graphic of the schedule)

via email

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON U.S. 250/RT. 151 ROUNDABOUT

Speed limit lowered to 25 mph through work zone at Afton, watch for workers and equipment

CULPEPER — Construction activity will begin next week on a roundabout at the intersection of Route 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) and Route 151 (Critzer Shop Road). The project will improve safety and traffic flow at the busy intersection while managing vehicle speeds and correcting geometric deficiencies that have been identified as contributing factors in crashes at the intersection. 

Traffic flow through the current “T” intersection is controlled by a traffic signal that was installed in 2017 as a temporary measure along with flashers to warn traffic to slow in advance of the intersection. The roundabout will improve safety since all traffic must slow to enter the roundabout. In a roundabout traffic on the approaches must yield to vehicles in the roundabout.

During construction traffic will be maintained through the project although drivers may encounter some lane closures with traffic controlled by flaggers. Work will be limited to Monday through Friday, so weekend traffic will not be affected by construction activities. 

Information about the project is available on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s web site at: Albemarle Co. Design-Build Projects. That page also has a link to a graphic of the construction phases and lane alignments during each phase.

The speed limit on both U.S. 250 and Route 151 has been lowered to 25 miles per hour on the intersection approaches and through the work zone. Motorists should drive with extreme caution as they approach the construction project since workers may be near the travel lanes and slow-moving equipment and vehicles may enter or exit the travel lanes in the work zone.

The U.S. 250 / Route 151 roundabout project is one of six improvement projects in a $28.5 million design-build bundled contract with Curtis Contracting Inc., of West Point, Va. The U.S. 250 / Route 151 roundabout project will cost $4.8 million. The other projects include the interchange improvements at U.S. 29 and Interstate 64, Exit 118, improvements to the Fontaine Avenue exit from U.S. 29 north, and the Rio Mills connector road, all of which are substantially complete. 

The diverging diamond interchange on U.S. 250 at I-64 Exit 124 is under construction, as is a roundabout at Route 20 (Stony Point Road) and Route 649 (Proffit Road) in northern Albemarle County. The contract completion date for all six projects is February 2023.

Current traffic conditions and other real-time travel information can be found on the 511 Virginia website, the free VDOT 511 mobile app or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. VDOT updates are also on Facebook and the district’s Twitter account, @VaDOTCulp.


Continue reading “151/250 Roundabout Construction Begins”

Should Crozet Become a Town? (2021 version)

Alison Wrabel has a fantastic story about whether Crozet could become a town. Please read it the whole thing, and not just this snippet.

Some Crozet residents are still agitated by the final draft of a plan to help guide future growth in the area, and some want to seriously look at what it would take to become a town.

In 2019, the community and Albemarle County began updating the Crozet Master Plan, which helps to guide decisions about land use, transportation and parks in the area, and the draft will be the topic of a county Planning Commission hearing next month.

An online questionnaire is available until Sept. 14 for community members to view and provide feedback on the draft at publicinput.com/M8451. Comments also may be submitted directly to Albemarle Planning Manager Rachel Falkenstein at [email protected].

The Planning Commission will hold its public hearing virtually at 6 p.m. Sept. 14. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold its public hearing virtually at 6 p.m. Oct. 20.

At a recent meeting of the Crozet Community Advisory Committee — a group appointed by the Board of Supervisors to provide assistance, feedback and input to county staff and the board on efforts around the area’s Master Plan — several members and area residents expressed dissatisfaction with the process and the final draft of the updated plan.

When adopted, the Master Plan will be part of Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan, which guides the county’s long-term vision for land use and resource protection. County staff and supervisors look to the Comprehensive Plan as part of the rezoning process.

Some Crozet residents have expressed frustration with the area’s growing population and infrastructure issues around roads, schools and sidewalks.

Related stories


If you can, watch the most recent CCAC meeting where this was discussed.


An interesting and relevant thought on the “Middle Density” discussion:

Density can be better for the climate.

The key to this lower level of emissions is density. Concentrating people, businesses, and services makes public transportation more feasible, apartment buildings (which are generally more energy-efficient than single-family homes) more common, and ultimately preserves more land.

Lots of Crozet Infrastructure Improvements to be Discussed on Wednesday, 7 July

Crozet Park before the fireworks fun

Reading Sean Tubbs’ “Week Ahead” email, which has become one of the very few must-reads for me every week, it looks like there are a lot of things on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors’ agenda this week.

There is so very much that affects Crozet. Please take a few minutes to read what’s coming up, and if you’re inclined, get involved, and if you’re super-inclined, I’d pay you to write a story about the meeting. Contact me.

Sean serves this up, and then I started digging

Next, there will be an update on transportation projects from Albemarle’s transportation planning manager as well as the administrator of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Charlottesville residency. (Albemarle report) (VDOT report)

The evening session begins at 6 p.m. and there are three public hearings. In one, $32.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act assistance is to be appropriated to county government ($21.24 million) and county public schools ($11.475 million). Read the details in the staff report

In the second public hearing, there is a proposal to designate Route 240 and Route 810 as Virginia Byways. 

“A Virginia Byway designation recognizes a road having relatively high aesthetic or cultural value, and leading to or within areas of historical, natural, or recreational significance,” reads the staff report. “This designation may promote local tourism by providing an awareness of local significance and aesthetic opportunities regionally.”

From the above-linked Albemarle County report

Just searching for “Crozet;” if these interest you, please click through to the report and see the context for each or all of these.

ZMA202000005 Old Dominion Village – Review of the proposal and transportation aspects/impacts of this Neighborhood Model rezoning in Crozet.

SP202000016 Claudius Crozet Park – Staff is reviewing the proposed redevelopment of the Crozet Park Recreational facilities to add an expanded exercise facility and improved pool and associated resources.

21. Crozet Ave/US 250 West Intersection Improvements – This intersection was identified in the Crozet Area Transportation Study and ongoing Master Plan update as currently experiencing failing movements and significant failure in the future. However, it should be noted that this priority ranking was set prior to that Study which showed that the more serious issue in this segment of 250 is the Old Trail/WAHS/US 250 intersection. It is staff’s recommendation that it would be more effective to address that intersection prior to the Crozet Ave intersection. A two-lane roundabout at both the WAHS/Old Trail/250 intersection and the Brownsville-Henley entrance are recommended to address the issues in this segment.

82. I-64/Exit 107 Crozet Park and Ride Lot: This project will construct a park and ride lot at the corner of Patterson Mill Lane and US 250 just south of the I-64 interchange. This lot could potentially be served by both the Crozet Connect and the proposed Afton Express transit lines.

-Crozet Square – This project will reconstruct Crozet Square and Oak St to improve traffic flow and parking. Engineering and design phase are underway, and construction is planned to begin late-2021.

– Library Avenue Extension – Staff has been working closely with the private developer designing this project and VDOT through the engineering and design phase. This has involved numerous public and project team meetings to determine design requirements that meet VDOT standards. The 60% design was submitted to VDOT for review last quarter and the team is working to address some of the issues that VDOT has identified. Construction is expected to begin late-2021.

US 250 West Pedestrian Improvements – This project will construct segments of sidewalk along US 250 West in Crozet from Cory Farms Drive to Clover Lawn Lane and include a new pedestrian crosswalk and pedestrian crossing beacon near Clover Lawn Lane. Construction is expected to begin Summer/Fall 2021.

From the Above-Linked VDOT Report

Route 240/250 Roundabout 

Total estimated cost: $3.5 million
Estimated ad date: Fall 2021
Estimated completion date: Late 2022

Route 240 Bridge Rehabilitation over Lickinghole Creek Project Details

Total estimated cost: $2,210,000
Estimated ad date: June 8, 2021
Est. construction start date: Spring 2

Rte.151/250 Roundabout

Anticipated Construction Start – Summer 2021

Petition to Create Bike Lane Through Albemarle County

This would be fantastic.

via email

Many of you know that I’ve been working towards a trail here in Albemarle that is similar to the Virginia Capital Trail. 

We’re calling it the Three Notched Trail and it would be a 25 mile long, car-free path from Charlottesville to the Blue Ridge Tunnel.  


There is currently funding available from VDOT for a feasibility study and we need to convince the Board of Supervisors to accept this offer.  Please consider signing the petition to show your support. 


Petition link and more details are here.

Text of the petition is below.


Continue reading “Petition to Create Bike Lane Through Albemarle County”

240 Bridge Being Replaced Sooner

VDOT’s Twitter person is fantastic.

The bridge work was supposed to have been done in a couple years, and now it looks like next year.

Alternative B: The second alternative involves a phased approach to construction. The bridge would be reduced to one lane and two-way traffic would be controlled by a temporary traffic signal for at least eight months. Drivers would experience delays near the bridge site especially during rush hour with this alternative.”

The aforementioned roundabout project.

From 2019, When Are They Going to Close 240?

And … “at least 8 months” is way better than the previously-heard 12 to 18 months.


Continue reading “240 Bridge Being Replaced Sooner”

Crozet’s Transportation Future – 2021 Edition

And the planning continues.

Lots of comments at the public info site.

All I’ll say is this:


Via email

Review Crozet Master Plan 

Draft Transportation Recommendations

Since September 2019, Albemarle County has been exploring alongside the Crozet community how to best reflect the community’s vision for future development in the latest update to the Crozet Master Plan. This month, we’ve focused on sharing the draft transportation recommendations that have been developed based on feedback gathered over the past 15 months.

The draft guiding principle for the Transportation chapter is to “create a multimodal transportation network that is safe and accessible for all community members, regardless of age, race, income and ability.” 

We invite you to share your feedback with our project team. Community feedback will be shared with the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors as part of the review process. The Board of Supervisors will provide final direction and approval on the Crozet Master Plan.

Click the buttons below to read the draft or share feedback. 

The questionnaire will be open from February 2nd – February 19th, 2021.

You may also submit your comments directly to Rachel Falkenstein, Planning Manager [email protected]
View a Presentation on the RecommendationsShare Your Feedback
Join Us For Our Next Topic: Parks & Trails

Crozet Community Advisory Committee Virtual Meeting – Wednesday, February 10th
Continue reading “Crozet’s Transportation Future – 2021 Edition”

Thoughts on Pending Crozet Neighborhood Traffic Changes

Thanks to Phil Kirby again for sharing this insight and knowledge.


Over the past few months, once my eyes were opened by the approach to development in my own backyard, I have started to watch more closely the planned development for Crozet.

I do not understand the details of how these things get approved but I have attended Crozet community meetings and I have been to a few Planning Commission meetings to watch how the commissioners react to recommendations from their staff and comments from the people who live here.

The Crozet Community Advisory Council, CCAC, has advocated for greater control of development – stressing that it should more closely resemble the accepted Master Plan and for the infrastructure that was expected to support the development be put in place. I think they are doing very good work to present the point of view of the people who live in Crozet these regards.

More importantly, during my involvement in these meetings I have become aware of three traffic issues that will directly affect our local neighborhoods. These are all documented in public domains – they are not my opinions – although I have not seen them addressed as an integrated issue.

  1. As part of the current Foothill Crossing development (happening now adjacent to Parkside) an “emergency” access road, connecting to the next phase of Foothill Development, has been cut through the stream buffer and a crossing over the stream has been installed. A hundred feet of trees on either side of the stream were cut down and a culvert installed to accommodate this.

Right now the road is dirt. It has been used to haul excess soil from current Foothill Crossing site construction to the next phase of development on the other side of the stream. 

The finished road will be 24 feet wide and paved with standard VDOT asphalt paving according to the plans. The drawings say it will be removed when the connector to downtown Crozet is complete.

The county engineers office confirmed that this road could be used as a construction access road in the future. 

This cut through the steam buffer is done, it is there now, and no limitations to its usage are identified. It is highlighted in red on the sketch below.

  1. Crozet Park has proposed to build an expanded Community Center and is requesting a Special Use Permit which will be presented to the Planning Commission soon. I have not been told when this will happen but Planning staff has made their comments and it could happen at any upcoming meeting.

The plans contemplate a new 32’ high, two story building with a 36,000 square foot footprint (see purple area on sketch below), with over two hundred new, paved parking spaces (counts by area shown on sketch below). 

Crozet Park is also asking, as part of the permit, that the existing access road onto Hilltop, which currently used during special events, be expanded to become a two lane, permanent entrance/exit although their drawings do not show a VDOT approved configuration. The drawings say that configuration will presented later. (shown on the sketch below highlighted in red).

The CCAC has been shown these plans at a meeting that I attended. I am not aware that CACC raised any major issues with Crozet Park’s Request for a Special Use Permit.

  1. At a recent CCAC Meeting a traffic study was presented by the county that analyzed the future impacts at the Old Trail/250 intersection, the Crozet Avenue/250 intersection and the Tabor/Crozet Avenue intersection. 

The study indicated that Tabor/Crozet Avenue intersection would have unacceptable wait times when all the development planned in Crozet is complete (the study found the intersection is not a problem now) AND, even after all of the proposed infrastructure roads are complete (Eastern Avenue Connector to 250 and the connector to downtown), the intersection would not work properly because of conflicts of turns from Tabor with queuing to turn onto Jarman’s Gap. 

The proposed solution was to eliminate left turns from Crozet Ave onto Jarman’s Gap, instead cars would turn left onto a loop road, that would be built around the Methodist church, and connect to Carter Street from which a right onto Jarman’s Gap could be made. This conceptual road is shown in red on the sketch below.

It should be noted that the study and proposed solutions were presented as preliminary findings of the study group. However, at the conclusion of the meeting they indicated that they planned to move forward studying the “loop road” solution.

I attended the CCAC meeting where this was presented, and I am not aware that CCAC has raised any major with this proposal. 

I overlayed the plans submitted for the Special Use Permit for the Crozet Park, highlighted the proposed access road in red. New Building is purple, existing buildings dotted, new parking counts indicated.

I overlayed the Foothill Crossing plan to shown where the “emergency” road cuts through the steam buffer. I am not aware of limitations to usage of that roadway.

I sketched in red where the “loop road” is proposed at Tabor/Crozet Avenue.

The dotted yellow and gold lines are my attempt to highlight new traffic patterns that could result once the new roads are in place. I am not aware of any studies of these traffic patterns nor studies of the intersection of the proposed, new Crozet Park entrance at Hilltop. 

I have my own opinions about these changes and plan to share them with the CCAC, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. I also realize that at one time the development I live in impacted someone else’s backyard and that these changes impact us all differently.

Digging in to BoS Agendas – Schools and Roads

  • $20+ Million for Crozet Elementary and Western Albemarle High Schools?
  • Eastern Avenue study?

From the PDF to the County:

Preferred Alignment Location

It is recommended to pursue the future extension of Eastern Avenue along the proposed Alignment B, as shown in Figure 3. This preferred alignment presents a balance of impacts to the identified constraints along with planned and unplanned developments. Alignment B matches the needs identified within the Downtown Crozet Master Plan with the lowest construction cost. Alignment B provides a crossing over Lickinghole Creek that lowers the risk of the bridge construction and future scour. The preferred alignment also minimizes impacts to utilities and private property by matching the alignment along Route 1260 (Cory Farm Road).

One can safely assume that all residents of Cory Farm know and knew about this road; it’s been planned forever, and it looks like the first resident of the neighborhood bought in 1997, per the GIS.

Read more. The Charlottesville/Crozet area lost the 804 area code June 1, 2001.

I’m struggling with reactivating the RealCrozetVA Facebook page; I recognize that it has thousands of people who used to visit it, but I’m also seeing that Facebook is dangerous. Thoughts welcomed.

Crozet Land Use Meeting Recap

There was a big land use meeting the other day. Here’s the blog post with the agenda, and below are the attachments sent out after the meeting. These land use decisions affect everything. Housing, schools, roads, trails, jobs, parks, and virtually everything else.

Note that the County are having Office Hours on 2 October. Read on for details.

These quick thoughts are part of an email that I sent to someone asking for my thoughts after the meeting. I wasn’t going to write a story until I was asked, so here it is.

(here’s the accompanying FB post)

Quick thoughts

  • We need creative density, commensurate with infrastructure improvements
  • There are a lot of people who say they want affordable housing, but want it somewhere else
  • Seems like a lot of Crozetians don’t like the current growth patterns, and want to shut down development. At least the ones speaking out.
  • Some of the stuff that is being built around Crozet is certainly contributing to the changes in Crozet
  • We need affordable housing here. Not “over there.”
  • I agree with the commenters that this feels somewhat rushed, but we still need to do something soon
  • We need a developer to come and propose/put up something like this that is functional and creative.
  • Ceasing development is not a good or viable solution (I’m working on a follow up post on this, and would welcome citations in favor or against this argument)
  • Zoom meetings are fantastic in that they open the meetings in a way that make them much easier to access, jump in and out, and learn.
    • No driving or parking
    • Meetings are recorded and put on YouTube
    • Transcripts of the meetings!

Attachments


From a Nextdoor Thread

(bolding is mine; this is part of the email from the County Staff as a followup

Thank you for attending yesterday afternoon’s Crozet Community Advisory Committee meeting. This was by far the highest-Zoom meeting we have had since we were forced to move engagement to a virtual format, with the turnout surpassing some of our public input opportunities that were open for over three weeks at a time. If you were unable to attend, please take some time to provide input through our questionnaire at https://publicinput.com/O2561.

I’ve had a number of requests for the video from the meeting as well as the Q&A list, chat, and presentation and wanted to provide those here. The meeting video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/gCUKw8b4Mb0.

The Q&A list, chat log, and presentation slides are attached. We also wanted to create some additional opportunities for community members to chat directly with staff to provide feedback and ask questions about the Master Plan. Next Friday, October 2 from 11AM-1PM we will be hosting (virtual) office hours. Please consider joining us to learn more about the draft future land use plan, ask questions, and share your feedback! You do not have to attend for the entire time and can join whenever is convenient for you. You can pre-register/access the meeting here:

https://albemarle-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwtduispjojHNKmukxCG-93SNoEQpybeAqp/.


Continue reading “Crozet Land Use Meeting Recap”

Voice your Opinion on Bicycle & Pedestrian Connectivity

Take a few minutes and voice your opinion on bicycle and pedestrian connectivity in Crozet here.

“Crozetians have told us about the importance of connecting Crozet’s different neighborhoods and centers with safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists.

We invite you to discuss potential projects and recommendations that can address the community’s goals regarding bicycle and pedestrian connectivity.

Your participation will be used to draft recommendations in the Connectivity Chapter of the Crozet Master Plan. “