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.
N/A. Library Avenue Extension/Crozet Square/Barnes Lumber Redevelopment – Designs for these projects are expected to be complete by Summer 2024. Facilities Planning & Construction will provide further updates in their upcoming quarterly report. (RS)
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.
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)
Bike racks – sigh. Racks: great. Access to said racks: terrible.
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.
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.
(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.
I-64 Exit 107 Park and Ride – advertising date: Fall 2024
Rte. 680 Browns Gap Turnpike Bridge Replacement over Lickinghole Creek – advertising date: June 2025
Route 240/250 Roundabout — this is part of a bundle of projects. Status: Scoping & preliminary engineering underway. Survey complete. Public Hearings complete. Comments are still being accepted through October 2nd
.240 at Music City Today and Starr Hill Brewery – Pedestrian Crossing — Recommendation: Plans being updated. (huh?!) — I have an email in to VDOT asking about this.
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”)
If nothing else, convince your kids to start the movement. Block traffic. Do what it takes. 🙂
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.
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.
The School Board to Board of Supervisors bit is always interesting (for me, from a real estate perspective — they are planning for a new school new Mountainside Elementary, as well as redistricting on 29 North, and a Center II new Lambs Lane Campus (I had no idea it was called that — “which houses Albemarle High School, Journey Middle School, Greer Elementary School, Ivy Creek School and other division buildings.”
WHEREAS, concerns have been received from residents along and near Park Ridge Drive in Albemarle County regarding speeding and unsafe conditions for drivers and pedestrians along Park Ridge Drive; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) offers various programs to address certain traffic problems on local streets, including the Traffic Calming Program; and
WHEREAS, VDOT provides communities with guidance and procedures to implement traffic calming on neighborhood streets, as outlined in the Traffic Calming Guide for Neighborhood Streets; and
WHEREAS, the Traffic Calming Guide for Neighborhood Streets specifies that a locality must conduct an engineering study that includes a speed study and traffic count; and
WHEREAS, the VDOT District Office is willing to complete an official speed study and traffic count on behalf of Albemarle County, provided this action is requested by a resolution from the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors hereby requests that VDOT complete a speed study and traffic count of Park Ridge Drive between Eastern Avenue and Raven Stone Road.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Public hearings in Albemarle on photo speed cameras, Miller School expansion
The six member Albemarle Board of Supervisors meets at 1 p.m. in Lane Auditorium in the county’s office building at 401 McIntire Road. (agenda) (meeting info)
After the Pledge of Allegiance, announcements from Board members, matters from the public, and the consent agenda, Supervisors will consider a petition from Woodard Properties requesting the vacation of 430-feet of right of way dedicated to the county in 1968 for construction of a portion of Colonnade Drive that was not built.
Woodard Properties to use the land for more housing units above the 96 permitted under an active site plan, but staff is recommending denial of the request to preserve interconnection to another nearby parcel zoned R-15.
“In order to abandon a public road, the Board must find either that no public necessity exists for the continuance of a section of road as a public road, or that the public would be served best by abandoning the section of road,” reads the staff analysis.
The location map for the right of way dedicated in 1968 for a roadway that’s not been built. (Credit: Albemarle County)
The meeting continues with an update on the due diligence Albemarle County is doing as it seeks to complete a contract to purchase 462 acres near Rivanna Station from developer Wendell Wood for a purchase price of $58 million. The cost may be slightly more if the county takes more time to conduct environmental and financing work.
“The purchase agreement provides a 90-day due diligence period, extendable with a fee in 30-day increments,” reads the staff report. “The first three 30-day increments would cost $50,000 per increment and the final three 30-day increments would cost $100,000 per increment.”
If you’re new to this story, here are some previous stories:
Fans of transportation rejoice! Albemarle County staff will go through recent activities and provide updates on projects. I’ve missed a couple of items I have wanted to report, so I’ll hoping to provide some updates of my own! At any given point there are many transportation studies underway and my hope is to get as many of you looking at them as possible so you can have your stay. (here’s the raw report)
For now, here are some items:
An application for federal funds to study a 3.2 mile section of U.S. 29 from Hydraulic Road to Hilton Heights Road did not make the cut. However, county staff met with counterparts in the U.S. Department of Transportation and have been encouraged to resubmit the application to a new grant program called the Neighborhood Access and Equity program.
Supervisors will be updated on Smart Scale applications that have been funded including the District Avenue Roundabout, intersection improvements at Belvedere Boulevard and Rio Road, and bike improvements along Avon Street from Druid Avenue to Avon Court. More details in my story from July 9, 2023.
A project to install “pedestrian facilities” on Solomon Road and Inglewood Drive between Hydraulic Road and Georgetown Road is on hold due to workload and staff limitations.
There’s an update on the two “pipeline studies” underway at the Virginia Department of Transportation. These are in the Old Ivy Road area and the Barracks Road area. I’ll have more details coming soon in Charlottesville Community Engagement.
“Stakeholders” are concerned that a project at the U.S. 29 / Fontaine Avenue interchange funded in Smart Scale Round Four “does not meet the needs of the rapidly developing area.” The staff report doesn’t tell you who those stakeholders are but I reported in much more detail in an April 13 story.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has completed an initial review of Plank Road to see if a through-truck restriction would be appropriate. Albemarle staff report that the conditions of the roadway meet the objective criteria. The next step would be a public hearing on a formal request.
Construction will begin next spring for a pedestrian bridge across U.S. 29 just north of the Hydraulic Road intersection. Work will begin for a roundabout at Hillsdale and Hydraulic will be the following summer. These are all part of a Smart Scale funded project.
Three large projects funded through Smart Scale will be bundled into one with a public hearing coming later this summer. These are the roundabout at John Warner Parkway and Rio Road, Route 20/Route 53 intersection improvements, and a roundabout at Old Lynchburg Road and 5th Street Extended. The idea is to hire one contractor to create efficiencies. This strategy has been used on the Route 29 Solutions project as well as several recent intersection projects.
The strategy will be used for two other projects. These are the Route 250 East Corridor Improvements and intersection improvements at Route 20/U.S. 250. A public hearing on those will be coming up for the fall.
There’s so much more in the report. More details this week including a report from the Virginia Department of Transportation. (read that report)
In the evening there are two land use public hearings and two public hearings for ordinance changes.
First, Community Christian Academy seeks a special use permit to increase enrollment from 85 to 150 students. This is part of a trend across the Fifth District with private schools seeking capacity increases to fulfill increased demand for alternatives to public school after the pandemic. (item materials)
“Not only did the public-school shutdowns emphasize the benefits that private schools offer our community, but also the increasing enrollments in many, if not all, of our private schools emphasize the desire and need for more educational options,” reads the narrative.
The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 on June 27 to recommend approval.
The second public hearing is also for a private school.
“The Miller School would like to plan for the future of the institution,” reads a narrative prepared by Line and Grade for a request for a special permit for the school to becoming compliant with the zoning code. They also want to eventually expand up to 500 students including a partnership with the Seven Rivers Day School.
The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 to recommend approval at their meeting on June 13.
Credit: Line and Grade
Next there will be a public hearing on whether Albemarle should allow photo speed monitoring devices in school crossing and highway work zones. The General Assembly enabled localities to do so in 2020
“If the proposed ordinance is adopted… County staff will begin procurement of a vendor to assist in implementing a speed enforcement program in school crossing and highway work zones,” reads the staff report.
The fourth public hearing appears to be to correct a clerical error wherein the phrase “motor vehicle” was used instead of “dwelling unit.” (staff report)
Let’s finish up with the consent agenda:
Supervisors will approve the minutes for three meetings from 2021. There are no approved meetings yet for all of 2022.
There are several appropriations for Fiscal Year 2023 including $300,000 in additional revenue from EMS cost recovery that will be used to cover the cost of running additional calls. There’s also a payment of $38,069 to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville pursuant to a performance agreement held by the Economic Development Authority. (more details)
There are also several appropriations for FY2024 including the acceleration of the purchase of a $970,000 ladder truck which still won’t be delivered until FY2025. There’s also $222,000 in federal revenue to allow the Police Department to purchase “drones, ballistic shields and thermal imaging, which will aid in officer safety, further reduce violent situations and reduce gun violence within the community.” (more details)
Kaki Dimock will become the county’s Chief Human Services Officer completing a reorganization of the social services and human services programming. She’ll oversee the Office of Human Services, Office of Housing, Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the Broadband Accessibility and Affordability Office. Mary Stebbins will be the Director of Social Services. (more details)
Supervisors will be asked to forgive $11,036.37 in unpaid interest on a specific loan for downpayment assistance brokered through the Albemarle County Housing Assistance Program. In October, Supervisors will review potential changes to that program including a move to have all future loans be zero interest. ACHAP is managed by the Piedmont Housing Alliance. (more details)
There is a written report telling anyone who’s interested in what the closed-door Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee has been up to. Even though members of the public cannot attend these meetings, I’ve managed to write quite a few stories anyway in my quest to keep people informed about regional planning. Take a look at the report. What do you think?