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. “

Crozet Connect Launch Party 2 August

via email

As you might know, the launch of the Crozet Connect is on August 5. To promote that new service JAUNT has partnered with Starr Hill Brewery and Old Trail to hold two service launch promotion events right before the service starts.

August 2, 7-9 p.m., Starr Hill Brewery

Live music by the Crozet Jam Band (they said they’ll do some “road” numbers). CONNECT Bus parked outside. CONNECT swag and info handed out. Possible rebranding of beer with CONNECT logo (brewmaster still working that out). Raffle for monthly passes.

August 3, 12-2 p.m., Old Trail Business Center

Family-oriented, picnic-themed event featuring local artist Sarah Lopez. Businesses will have exhibits. Waylands Crossing Tavern will serve outside on sidewalk. Ice cream truck and CONNECT bus parked. We’ll have a table with swag and info. Raffle for monthly passes.

TONY, the self-driving shuttle, launches

TONY

Well, this is cool.

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VA – Albemarle County, Perrone Robotics, Inc., JAUNT, Inc., and Smart Mobility, Inc. today celebrated the first day of service for their autonomous shuttle transit service, the first public autonomous shuttle operating in Virginia on public roads.

AVNU (pronounced, “Avenue”, an acronym for Autonomous Vehicle, Neighborhood Use), is based on Perrone Robotics’ TONY GEM autonomous shuttle platform.  The pilot will operate for three months, with routes shifting to different areas of Crozet. The first route will be within the Old Trail Village neighborhood and the second route will run between Old Trail Village and downtown Crozet. The AVNU pilot is supported in partnership by Albemarle County, Perrone Robotics, JAUNT, and Smart Mobility, Inc.

“It is with great pleasure that we launch the pilot of the next generation of transportation – autonomous neighborhood shuttles – here in Crozet,” said Ann Mallek, White Hall District Supervisor. “Albemarle County is so proud to support our homegrown company, Perrone Robotics, to bring this project to fruition and to support our development areas by providing small-scale transit service to connect residents with commercial and recreation centers.” 

This electric-powered shuttle is designed to operate autonomously on public roads, navigating vehicle and pedestrian traffic. “With over 33,000 autonomous miles traveled using our technology, TONY powered vehicles bring the highest level of autonomy available in the world today to shuttles,” said Paul Perrone, founder/CEO of Perrone Robotics.

“We are deploying an AV platform that has been carefully refined since 2003, applied in automotive and industrial autonomy spaces, and now being leveraged to bring last-mile services to communities such as those here in Albemarle County, Virginia. What we deliver is a platform that operates shuttles autonomously in complex environments with roundabouts, merges, and pedestrian-dense areas.” 

During the pilot, the shuttle will operate with an onboard safety operator that is actively monitoring the roadway and able to assume control of the shuttle if needed. 

Perrone Robotics, Inc. (PRI)

Perrone Robotics has developed a general purpose software platform for robotics and autonomous vehicles called “MAX®”.  The company is focused today on delivering its TONY product, built on MAX, to commercially deploy practical autonomous shuttling of people and things. With over 16 years of experience and over 33,000 miles autonomously driven, Perrone Robotics’ MAX autonomous engine enables standard vehicles of any size to collect input from any suite of sensors, fuse that information together into a coherent picture of what surrounds a robot, and then engage in appropriate maneuvers and actions. For more information, please visit https://www.perronerobotics.com/

Update: Answer to a Question

Question: I don’t understand. Is there a schedule? Or do you summon it somehow? I mean, if its route is within Old Trail, where is it going besides between people’s houses and the commercial block? School to Grit? Confused.

Answer: Today was the shuttle launch. Today from 10-12 and 3-5 as well as tomorrow, the shuttle will be available on a fixed loop in Old Trail. Beginning next weekend (July 20-21) the shuttle will be running on weekends on a closed loop in Old Trail. There will be a schedule that is publicized before next weekend (July 20-21).

Eventually the plan is to be able to summon it and to expand it’s range. Stay tuned!

250 Closing at Tilman for a Bit

It’s just past the blinking light on 250 on the way into Charlottesville. You know, the dip in the road that’s been getting dippier for the past few weeks?

via email:

 PORTION OF RT. 250 IN ALBEMARLE TO BE CLOSED JUNE 12-13

Crews will replace large pipe; motorists advised to follow posted detour

CULPEPER — An upcoming pipe replacement project will close a portion of Route 250 (Ivy Road) in Albemarle County in mid-June. 

VDOT will close Route 250 to through traffic to replace a large pipe located just east of Route 676 (Tilman Road). This work has been scheduled to avoid both morning rush hours. The road will be closed beginning at 10 a.m. June 12 and will reopen by 4 a.m. June 13, weather permitting. 

The large pipe must be replaced to prevent damage to the travel lanes. Crews will excavate the soil above and around the pipe. After removing the pipe, crews will install a new pipe, backfill the area and resurface the road. 

Due to the significant work required to remove the old pipe, it is not feasible to keep one travel lane open during this project. 

Motorists are advised to use Route 738 (Morgantown Road) to get around the closure. 

Drivers should check www.511virginia.org or the 511 mobile app for updated information about traffic conditions and follow @VaDOTCULP on Twitter for updates.

Input on 240-250 Roundabout – 11 June 2019

via email from VDOT … this is the roundabout at the 250/240 “Y” intersection is.

GIVE INPUT ON RT. 240-250-680 ROUNDABOUT PROJECT 

Comments invited in person on June 11, via mail or email by June 21 

CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation invites the public to attend an upcoming design public hearing for the proposed project to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Route 240 (Three Notched Road), Route 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) and Route 680 (Browns Gap Turnpike) in Albemarle County.  

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Field School of Charlottesville, 1408 Crozet Avenue, Crozet.  

At the open house-style hearing, VDOT staff will be available to discuss the project at the open house style hearing. The public can review project plans, ask questions and obtain information about the project’s timeline, cost and travel impacts, as well as provide feedback on the project orally or in writing. 

The proposed roundabout will improve safety at the busy intersection. Roundabouts are safer than conventional stop-controlled intersections because traffic can continually and efficiently flow through the intersection and vehicle operating speeds are lower. Additionally, roundabouts help reduce air pollution and fuel use compared to a signalized intersection due to reduced idling and less acceleration and deceleration. 

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.  

Written comments can also be submitted by mail to Hal Jones, Project Manager, 701 VDOT Way, Charlottesville, VA 22911 through June 21. Email comments can be sent [email protected].  

Anyone requiring special assistance to attend and participate in this meeting may contact VDOT at 540-829-7500, 800-367-7623 or TTY/TDD 711.

More information about the projects can be found on VDOT’s website at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/culpeper/albroundabout.asp.

(END)

240/250 intersection

When Are They Going to Close 240?

How’s that for a click-baity headline? 6 months closure is certainly way better than the previously-heard 12-18 months.

Via email:

PUBLIC HEARING APRIL 17 FOR RT. 240 BRIDGE REHABILITATION

Give input on preferred construction alternative

CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation invites the public to attend an upcoming design public hearing on the proposed rehabilitation of the Route 240 (Crozet Avenue) bridge over Lickinghole Creek in Albemarle County.  

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Crozet Library, 2020 Library Avenue, Crozet. 

At the open house-style hearing, VDOT staff will be available to discuss the project and answer questions. The public can review project plans, ask questions and obtain information about the project’s timeline, cost and travel impacts, as well as provide feedback on the project orally or in writing. 

VDOT proposes to rehabilitate the existing substandard bridge and is presenting two construction alternatives for public input:

·       The first alternative proposes to close Route 240 in both directions for six months with a detour in place. Traffic south of the bridge would use Route 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) to Route 240 (Three Notched Road) to reach Crozet Avenue. Traffic north of the bridge will reverse the detour and use Three Notched Road to Rockfish Gap Turnpike. 

·       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 temporary traffic signals for at least eight months. Motorists would experience delays near the bridge site especially during rush hour with this alternative.  

Written comments can also be submitted by mail to Howard Tomlinson, Project Manager, 1601 Orange Road, Culpeper, VA 22701 through April 27. Email comments can be sent to [email protected].

Anyone requiring special assistance to attend and participate in this meeting may contact VDOT at 540-829-7500, 800-367-7623 or TTY/TDD 711.

More information about the projects can be found on VDOT’s website at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/culpeper/240bridge.asp.

(END)

25 MPH on Crozet Avenue

Recently, you might or might not have noticed that the speed limit on Crozet Avenue changed, from Oak Drive (sort of near the cemetery) to Parkview Drive (Western Ridge). There didn’t seem to be any official announcement, and I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about it, so I asked VDOT, and they quickly responded. I added the link to the code below.

VDOT recently extended the 25 MPH speed limit on Route 240 between Oak Drive and Parkview Drive.

A speed study was conducted in mid-September as a result of a citizen request to the Albemarle County Police Department. VDOT traffic engineers analyzed the results and determined the road met the requirement of Virginia Code §46.2-874 to set the maximum speed limit at 25 MPH due to the density of the commercial and residential development and the multiple pedestrian facilities and crossings along Route 240.

The speed limit extension was approved and implemented in mid-October. The changes are intended to slow traffic down to improve safety for everyone including pedestrians and bicyclists. There are advanced warning signs of the 25 MPH speed limit near Oak Drive and Parkview Drive to notify drivers of the speed limit before it begins.

VDOT traffic engineers recently reviewed the signing plan for the extension and will be installing an additional 25 MPH sign on westbound Route 240 near Union Mission Lane.  (near Starr Hill)

Now … about bike lanes and sidewalks …