Fix the Pedestrian Crossing near Crozet Pizza

Shoddy pedestrian crossing

We need to do better


Each time I ride, walk, drive past this terrible pedestrian crossing, I get more irritated at the fact that the only safe way to cross from one side of Crozet to the other is broken and unsafe.

We ostensibly want a more bikeable and walkable community, but can’t even have a safe way to cross from one side of the road to another?

While we’re at it, what about sidewalks?

Years ago, there was a pedestrian light there, but it was hit, and never replaced. Looking at photos I have in that location, it was broken before November 2016.

Pedestrian crossing in November 2016


No particular relevance between this story and this photo, but I saw it when browsing photos of this part of Crozet, and liked it.

Eastern Connector Coming Within Our Lifetimes?

Old Eastern Connector sign in Cory Farm

Note that the picture of the sign is old … but was in place long enough that the area code changed from 804 to 434. 🙂

*please read this whole thing, and then read the thing at the bottom.

Will the Eastern Connector come to fruition in our lifetimes?

Maybe.

The above is from the July 2022 Transportation Planning Report.

I asked Kevin McDermott, Planning Manager for Albemarle County if the Eastern Connector might have a realistic timeline. He answered:

We have a proposed timeline for construction of the Eastern Ave Southern Connector but, because we are still working to gather the full amount of funding the project is currently estimated at, that schedule could still fluctuate.

We have already completed design and engineering for the project to the 30% level. Between FY23 and FY27 the County has dedicated another $12M to this project through the CIP. The State has dedicated $8.1M in the years FY26 and FY27. That would set us up for construction in FY29. We are currently looking at ways to advance this by using the County CIP funds to continue to advance design and engineering so that we can move straight in to construction in FY26 when the State money becomes available. The issues we need to overcome are to get VDOT approval to continue moving the design forward despite no state money being available for 2 more years and to identify a way to address the gap in funding of about $3.5M from the current estimate of $24M and the $20.5M currently available.

Hope that provides the information you were looking for. Obviously the County really wants to do everything we can to move this project along quickly but unfortunately the timeline is dependent on a lot of factors outside of our control.

So the answer is – I think there may be a realistic timeline?


Someone who follows me on Twitter sent me these two things:

I found this link and it shows the current status of the Eastern Avenue extension in the Smart Portal. Looks like if approved and everything goes to plan (ha) construction would begin in 2027.

They sent me this as well:

I also reached out to VDOT about the roundabout at 240/250 that was slated to go to bid this fall. Was told it’s been delayed.

“You are reading the website correctly, but the information isn’t up to date. The project is behind and I anticipate that it will be advertised next year. Thank you for reaching out to me and I apologize for not having the information updated.”


*the thing I want you to read.

We need journalists. Sean Tubbs at Charlottesville Community Engagement is doing a remarkable job, so is the Crozet Gazette. I wrote about them recently. I’m a Realtor at Nest. While I think I’m doing journalism when I write on RealCrozetVA, my profession is not journalism. We need people like Sean, the reporters at Crozet Gazette, and we’re really missing the amazing journalists at the Daily Progress.

While I do my damnedest to know about my community, and know more than my clients who are moving within or to the area, I/we need the people who do this – they tie the threads together to make the story, and they write and describe to both inform, and to hold others accountable.

Did you know the Daily Progress has only one reporter right now? Sean Tubbs at Charlottesville Community Engagement is providing extraordinary work for the community (please pay to subscribe; if you’re interested, I’ll gift you a subscription – ask me.)

Sean reminded us this week

There’s an entire newspaper devoted to Crozet, and the Crozet Gazette is the best source for information coming out of western Albemarle County. 

Without full-time journalists who know what they’re doing, like what they do, and stick around to build and share institutional knowledge – we all suffer.

Three Notch’d Trail Planning Funding Approved!

Three Notchd Trail map

This is great news.

$2,007,045 for the Three Notched Trail Shared Use Path Plan in Albemarle County for the planning of a project that will develop a shared use path between the City of Charlottesville, the community of Crozet, and Western Albemarle and Nelson County.

(the following is from the beginning of the above-referenced release)

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $64,207,045 in federal funding for Virginia infrastructure projects courtesy of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law negotiated by Sen. Warner and supported by Sen. Kaine. The funding was awarded through the Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program that helps communities plan and carry out projects with local or regional impact.

“Virginia continues to benefit from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” the senators said. “We are thrilled to see this funding head to Virginia for improvements throughout the Commonwealth that will have a direct impact on Virginians’ daily lives.”


Getting people out of cars onto bikes and e-bikes withing safe, protected lanes from Afton and Crozet to Charlottesville. Sounds simple, reasonable, and a no-brainer.

Getting there will take a lot of work, and huge thanks and congratulations to everyone who lobbied to get this funding.


From the TNT site

The Three Notched Trail (TNT) is a proposed shared use path from the City of Charlottesville extending to Ivy, Crozet, and the Blue Ridge Tunnel in Afton.  Additionally, the trail will connect users to the University of Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, and the Appalachian Trail.

A “shared use” path is typically a 10’ wide paved trail that is physically separated from the motor vehicle travel way and allows bi-directional pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  Once built, the TNT will provide local residents and visitors with car-free transportation and recreational opportunities.  

We see the Three Notched Trail being a part of a larger Mountains-to-Sea Trail, connecting the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay.  This continuous trail would make Virginia a trailblazer in outdoor recreation, tying together the Virginia Capital Trail with the proposed Birthplace of America Trail and Fall Line Trail. Imagine a continuous trail almost 200 miles long!


The cynical side of me is hopeful, but realistic. It took 10 years to get the sidewalks in front of Harris Teeter. Here’s hoping my great grand child will be able to get from here to there not in a car.

The sidewalks took only a decade to get done.

  1. Years.

Roundabout at WAHS and Old Trail?

Cars at Old Trail Drive

If you’re not reading the Charlottesville Community Engagement Week Ahead, you’re missing out. There’s a lot happening in Albemarle and Charlottesville that will affect our respective back yards.

At least read the weekly (shorter) summaries on Charlottesville Reddit.

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors will meet in person at Lane Auditorium for their first meeting of June. (agenda) (meeting info) …

* The first phase of Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan review continues, and Supervisors will review the same material on the build-out analysis shown to the Planning Commission last week. Assuming that rezonings come in at the higher end of the densities designated in the Future Land Use Map, there’s enough land to support population growth. Supervisors may be the first to admit that those rezonings often don’t max out the land available. For instance, the Rio Point development could have had over 650 units but the project approved by Supervisors only came in at 328. This is a conversation to watch.

And then there’s transportation:

* Albemarle Supervisors will vote on the 12 Smart Scale applications to be submitted for areas in the county. The county itself is submitting four, including a potential roundabout at the intersection of Old Trail Drive and U.S. 250 West. The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and the Charlottesville Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization will submit the other eight. Those include a pair of projects on U.S. 250 in Pantops and the Rivanna River pedestrian bridge. Albemarle has had success with getting Smart Scale projects built whereas Charlottesville has languished.

* The TJPDC meets Thursday and will adopt a resolution to support a dozen projects that are being submitted on behalf of Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties. Several of them are indicators of areas preparing for more growth in the future.


From Albemarle’s site.

Good to see that they’re considering moving things other than cars.

  1. Old Trail Drive/US 250 West Intersection ImprovementsThis project would construct a roundabout at the Old Trail Drive/250 intersection with pedestrian accommodations, particularly for the pedestrian movement across 250.

A question to you

What matters to you in Crozet, and Albemarle County?

Three Notch’d Trail at the BoS

Three Notch'd Trail

This would be such a remarkable asset for Crozet, Charlottesville, the Climate, people’s health and well being, community, and the community.

Learn more about the Three Notch’d Trail idea.

From Sean Tubbs’ excellent Week Ahead.

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors will hold their first in-person meeting in nearly two years beginning at noon with a budget work session before their regular meeting. The meeting can be viewed by the public on the Board’s website. (agenda) (meeting info)

Regular business starts at 1 p.m. Two walkability proposals are on the agenda. First, Supervisors will be asked to grant final approval for a sidewalk on Commonwealth Drive and Dominion Drive in the Jack Jouett District. Albemarle is seeking revenue-sharing funds from the Virginia Department of Transportation. (staff report)

Next, the county is seeking a federal grant to plan for a trail between the Blue Ridge Tunnel to Crozet and then on to Charlottesville along the route of the Three Notch’d Trail. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved by the U.S. Congress last year set aside $1.5 billion under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant program. 

“There has long been local and regional interest in the development of a shared use path along the historic Three Notched Road,” reads the staff report. “A shared use path along Three Notched Road is highlighted in the Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan, the Crozet Master Plan, the Jefferson Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, and the most recent Virginia Outdoors Plan. Segments of the shared use path were prioritized in the 2019 update of the Albemarle County Transportation Priorities list.”

Albemarle will seek up to $1 million to pay for a feasibility study, conduct public outreach on an alignment, and to bring the design to a certain level of engineering. 

Add protected bike lanes and e-bikes, and we’d have something super-awesome and functional.

Crozet Stuff This Week – 14 March 2022

Searching Sean Tubbs’ “Week Ahead” Charlottesville Community Engagement for “Crozet” …

And a reminder to subscribe to Sean’s work; I do. I’m happy to gift a subscription to someone if you’re interested; just ask me.

The Albemarle County Economic Development Authority meets virtually at 4 p.m. for a wide-ranging meeting. (meeting material)

Then there will be a closed session at which the EDA will discuss “possible litigation” against the Center, as well as potential investment in Downtown Crozet. 


Glenbrook developer seeks to change housing type proffer

There’s only one item on the agenda for the Albemarle County Planning Commission’s virtual meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. (meeting info)

The developer of the previously approved Glenbrook neighborhood in Crozet wants more flexibility in a 1.89 acre section of the development. When the rezoning was granted in 2016, there was a proffered condition that a minimum of 50 percent of the units would be single family housing. 

Since then, a new Crozet Master Plan has been adopted that designates the land as being for Middle Density Residential which allows for between six and 12 units per acre. 

“Instead of a minimum of 50 percent single family detached dwellings in the overall Glenbrook development, the applicant proposes a minimum of 40 percent single family detached dwelling units,” reads the applicant’s narrative.” This change will allow for the construction of affordable dwelling units in the final phase of the project. 

This would not apply to the remaining 36 acres that are not subject to this rezoning request. Staff recommends approval. 

The application plan for the new Glenbrook rezoning. Click to see a more detailed version.

Beaver Creek Dam Improvements

The referenced 230 page ACSA doc is not searchable, sadly (thanks for the nudge about Sean’s note).

Riding my bicycle yesterday, I noticed a working barge(?) and silt fencing along part of the Beaver Creek Reservoir perimeter. A bit of searching this morning, and I was reminded by the Crozet Gazette of the timing , and a bit more at Rivanna’s site.

CCAC – 9 March 2022 – Transportation!

Browns Gap Turnpike

Via Charlottesville Community Engagement:

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee meets virtually at 7 p.m. The focus for this meeting will transportation with an update on projects in Crozet, as well as a update and discussion of the Crozet CONNECT service operated by Jaunt. (meeting info)

As I’ve said for years … these meetings may seem boring and disconnected, but the information is critical to how we live in Crozet. See a few of my transportation-thoughts at the bottom after the agenda.


Crozet Community Advisory Committee Wednesday, March 9, 2022 7:00 P.M. â€“ 8:30 P.M. Virtual Meeting

This meeting is being held pursuant to and in compliance with Ordinance No. 20-A (16); An Ordinance to Ensure the Continuity of Government During the Covid-19 Disaster.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS MEETING ONLINE:

Download Zoom. Use this link https://albemarle-org.zoom.us/j/94571782297 to join the webinar.

BY PHONE/CALL-IN:

Dial (301) 715-8592. Type in the Webinar ID 945 7178 2297 followed by the pound (#) sign. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

AGENDA

  1. Call to Order & Agenda Review (3 minutes)Allie Pesch, CCAC Chair
  2. Approve Meeting Minutes (2 minutes)Allie Pesch, CCAC Chair
  1. (15 minutes)
  2. Upcoming CAC topics (5 minutes)Rachel Falkenstein, Planning Manager, Long-Range Planning

Transportation Planning Overview & Crozet Project Updates (60 minutes)

Kevin McDermot, Planning Manager, Transportation

Crozet CONNECT update & discussion

Jodie Saunders, JAUNT

6. Committee Business (10 minutes)

Allie Pesch, CCAC Chair

Next Meeting: April 13, 2022


Transportation thoughts, for those who don’t follow me on Twitter

First CCAC Meeting of 2022 – More Houses + Transportation Stuff at Board of Supervisors

Meetings matter, folks.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 7:00 P.M. â€“ 8:30 P.M. Virtual Meeting

This meeting is being held pursuant to and in compliance with Ordinance No. 20-A (16); An Ordinance to Ensure the Continuity of Government During the Covid-19 Disaster.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS MEETING ONLINE:

Download Zoom. Use this link https://albemarle-org.zoom.us/j/94571782297 to join the webinar.

From Sean Tubbs’ Week Ahead: (bolding mine)


Community meeting for Montclair development in Crozet

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee meets virtually at 7 p.m. and the year begins with a review of a rezoning of two parcels of land on Route 240 in Crozet to the west of Wickham Pond. This is the first application to proceed following an update of the Crozet Master Plan. (meeting info) (formerly known as the White Gate Village)

One parcel is currently zoned light industrial and the other is zoned for rural uses. The applicant seeks rezone both to the Neighborhood Model District. The 2010 version of the Future Land Use Map designates one of the properties for green space, and the other light-industrial and green space. The updated plan designates both as having elements of Middle Density Residential, Low Density Residential, and green space. 

According to the narrative written in September 2020 by Shimp Engineering (#3), the proposed development is a “mixed-unit residential community with limited complementary commercial uses.” The project would be most intense along Route 240, tapering back towards a conservation along a stream. 

The project was deferred while the Master Plan update was under development. A new code of development has been submitted that increased the maximum request from 125 units to 157 units. 

From the Rezoning (bolding mine)

PETITION: Request to rezone 12.19 acres from the RA Rural Area zoning district which allows for agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre in development lots) to NMD Neighborhood Model District which allows for residential (3 – 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses. Request to rezone 5.32 acres from the LI Light Industry zoning district which allows industrial, office, and limited commercial uses (no residential use) to NMD Neighborhood Model District which allows for residential (3 – 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses. Proposal includes approximately 3.5 acres of open space and recreational amenities throughout the development. A minimum of 58 and a maximum of 157 residential units are proposed at a maximum gross residential density of 8.96 du/acre for the entire development and a maximum net density of 12 du/acre for the area designated for development in the Crozet Master Plan. A maximum of 16,500 sq. ft. of non-residential uses are proposed. Request proposed to amend the ACSA jurisdictional area boundary to water and sewer on Tax Map Parcel 56-91A.


A bit more from his Week Ahead

(bolding is mine)

The late afternoon (of the 12 January Albemarle County Board of Supervisors’ Meeting) is reserved for transportation issues with new reports from Albemarle transportation staff and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The ten-page county report is a summary of what took place in 2021, including the reclassification of several roads in order for them to quality as Entrance Corridors. There’s also information about pending Smart Scale pre-applications including these projects already endorsed by the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Board. 

  • A roundabout at District Avenue and Hydraulic road
  • A bike/pedestrian bridge to connect South Pantops and Woolen Mills (see Friday)
  • Avon Street Corridor Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
  • 5th Street Extended Multimodal Improvements 

Other projects under consideration for submission by either Albemarle County or the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission: 

  • U.S. 250 Corridor Improvements – Hansen Road to Peter Jefferson Parkway 
  • Avon Street Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
  • Ivy Road / U.S.29 / 250 Bypass Interchange 
  • Belvedere Boulevard / Rio Road Intersection Improvement 
  • 5th Street Extended Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
  • Crozet Avenue / US 250 West Intersection Improvements
  • U.S. 250 / Route 22 / Milton Drive 

The VDOT report tracks projects in planning and construction. Preliminary engineering is underway for a roundabout at Route 240 and U.S. 250 east of Crozet as well as a connector road between Berkmar Drive and Airport Road. When the latter is completed, Berkmar Drive would connect all the way to the UVA North Fork Research Park. Three more roundabouts are planned and funded in the county at these locations:

  • John Warner Parkway and Rio Road 
  • Route 53 and Route 20 
  • 5th Street Old Lynchburg Road

240 Bridge Work Beginning 22 November 2021

240 Bridge sign

One of several Crozet area transportation projects gets underway on Monday.

via email:

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS MONDAY ON RT. 240 BRIDGE

Crozet Ave. reduced to one lane controlled with signal during rehabilitation work

CULPEPER — Route 240 (Crozet Avenue) will be reduced to one lane at the bridge over Lickinghole Creek south of Crozet beginning Monday. This will allow rehabilitation of the current substandard structure that carries more than 7,000 vehicles per day.

During the construction work, traffic over the bridge will be controlled by a temporary signal; traffic in the open lane will be separated from the work by temporary barriers. Once the work is complete on one side of the bridge traffic will be shifted to the new lane and the opposite side of the bridge will be reconstructed.

Motorists should drive with extreme care as they travel through the work zone. Workers and equipment will be operating near the travel lane and there is likely to be congestion and delays, especially during morning and afternoon commuting hours, due to the lane closure. The advisory speed limit through the project construction area is 15 miles per hour.

The $1.17 million project will be constructed by Clearwater Construction Inc. of Mercer, Pa. It is scheduled for completion in July 2022. Information about the project is available on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s web site at: Route 240 (Crozet Avenue), Albemarle County

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.

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”