JAUNT hosts a public meeting to present updates on the long-anticipated express bus service to Charlottesville slated to begin August 5.
Short story: Safe Routes to (Crozet Elementary) School … soon. Probably.
Last week we had quite the conversation on the RealCrozetVA Facebook page about the pothole under the bridge downtown. It was fixed shortly after I posted the photo, but it’s back. When riding my bike with the little one this morning, I noticed its deepening. When stopping on the way back to take a picture, I noted that it’s dangerous for pedestrians. From Twitter last week, we learned that calling VDOT to report it is an option (1-800-367-7623).
But it’s back. Surely this isn’t an indication of how the Streetscape process will be.
2013 – lots happened in Crozet this year – a lot of good, some bad, and I tried to capture most of it here. 2013 is the year that the RealCrozetVA Facebook page (I don’t like FB, but it’s awfully useful) became the third leg in the RealCrozetVA community, the recaps of the Crozet Community Advisory Council meetings proved quite useful, and the Crozet community time and again demonstrated why this is a great place to live. If you’re interested in browsing all the stories, you can see the 2013 archives – 165 stories all – here.
I’ve highlighted some of the stories I posted from each month and done my very best to not editorialize (although if I did, “Crozet Library opened” would have an exclamation point!).
– You can subscribe to RealCrozetVA by email, follow RealCrozetVA on Twitter, or like RealCrozetVA on Facebook. A note on Facebook – we tend to have very good conversations and interaction there, but I don’t post everything there that gets published here.
– I’m a Realtor who lives in and loves Crozet. In my ideal world, I’d never get off my bicycle to show houses or meet seller clients. (and I know this will likely never happen). I rarely explicitly say this, but if you’re moving to Crozet or thinking about selling your home, I’d appreciate the opportunity to talk with you.
– If you’re curious, these are some of the photos I’ve taken in Crozet this year.
– Thank you. Thank you. Thank you Crozet for reading, commenting and sharing what you see here with your friends. You truly make this a great place.
– Really, thank you. Whenever I hear from people how they read about Crozet here, or used RealCrozetVA to research Crozet before they moved here, or when you let the community know about power outages and such via the RealCrozetVA twitter feed, I’m ever more grateful for the Crozet community and your support here. Thank you.
WAHS got a new principal, the Daily Progress called for retrofitting 250 West, a guest’s reflection on the James Sun Memorial 5k, Crozet Volunteer Fire Department got a Twitter account, and the Crozet real estate market started to really pick up.
King Family Vineyards responded to the soggy pitch by having Nolo Weekend – and it was tons of fun. A 10 year old was accidentally shot in Crozet. I started to recap the CCAC meetings using Storify – and subsequently did it many more times to what I think is a great success.
We discussed where the next Crozet stop light will be, I thanked Blue Ridge Internetworks for hosting RealCrozetVA, I summarized the CCAC meeting and the Crozet community suffered another rash of car break-ins.
The Crozet Library opened, the community responded to a survey on new Crozet hotel, I recapped the September CCAC meeting, I looked at when homes come on the market in Crozet, Ned Gallaway, Albemarle’s At-Large school board member hosted the first community conversation about Albemarle County Schools that I can remember being held by a school board member in Crozet, and you voiced your opinions on what should happen to the old Crozet Library.
We figured out what the utility work in front of BP was, I relaunched the Crozet Calendar – and it’s now available for community members to post their own events (ask me how), y’all answered the question – What’s the first thing you tell someone about Crozet?, the 3rd Quarter Crozet real estate market report was interesting, the recap of the CCAC meeting proved useful and interesting, and we had a good conversation about the walkability of Crozet.
Lots happened in Crozet on the Crozet Calendar, the awesome Crozet Trails Crew reached a few milestones, the Crozet Angel Tree was quickly accomplished, the buildings downtown were re-sided and the CCAC meeting was live-tweeted by a chorus of people! and recapped here on RealCrozetVA.
The Crozet Streetscape meeting was very informative, I looked at the Crozet real estate market in December, Tim Dodson, WAHS junior, wrote about his perspective after having attended and live-tweeted the CCAC meeting, the Streetscape really is coming, we can now drive faster (legally) on 64, and the Barnes Lumberyard redevelopment may be moving forward – see this recap of the December CCAC meeting.
via press release:
SPEED LIMIT INCREASE SET FOR I-64 IN ALBEMARLE CO.
12-mile section between Crozet and U.S. 29 will see 70 mph limit this week
Remember the now-seemingly-mythical sidewalks to Crozet Elementary? Announced in May 2010, news was silent about the sidewalk grant for years. We’ve discussed for years the need for sidewalks to Crozet Elementary.
Looks like we’ll be waiting for sidewalks for longer than expected. Even last month it seemed that the funds were in place.
via email last night from Jack Kelsey with Albemarle County (thanks, Jack for keeping us informed):
The bids for the Crozet Elementary School “Safe Routes to School” sidewalk project (Crozet ES to Ballard Dr.) were received and opened on Oct 29th. I will be providing a brief status update to you and the PTO Wednesday night, but I wanted to give you a heads-up that the bids came in substantially higher than the estimated construction cost and the project budget.
Based on the stipulations that came with the SRTS Grant funds, the project must be re-advertised/re-bid. Prior to re-advertising we must try to determine the reasons for the higher bids – for example: error in estimating; lack of clarity in the plans & specifications; season or time period for construction; market conditions or amount of work already lined-up by bidders. We will address the reasons in the plans & specifications, reduce the scope of the improvements as necessary to stay within the budget, and then re-advertise the project. We will work to resolve this matter and re-advertise as soon as possible, but I wanted to give you advance notice that there will be additional delay.
When I asked how much higher the bids were, Jack responded –
As for how much higher were the bids, all I can say at this time is that they were greater than 10% of the construction cost estimate.
I asked Jack if we were at risk of losing the funding. He replied:
We need to rebid the project so at this time I cannot share the difference between our estimate and the bids received. We are not at risk of losing the grant funding. Also want to make certain you understand that the SRTS project (Crozet ES to Ballard Dr) had to be advertised/constructed as a separate project from what is described below (ed note: referencing the funding noted here ). This is because the SRTS is Federal funding and there are specific Federal design, bidding and construction requirements to which we must adhere that do not apply to the State (Revenue Sharing) fund portion of the Crozet North Sidewalk project that runs from St George Ave. to the Crozet Elementary School.
– The above is posted with permission.
– Anyone on Crozet PTO want to write a story/update for RealCrozetVA after the PTO meeting?
– I’m wondering if those bids can be public. I’d think they could/should be so we can see the scope of work and where the discrepancies/overruns are.
As Crozet continues to grow, it’s important to keep the end result in mind. What do we want Crozet to be in 10 years? In 20 years?
“Walkability plays a big part in an area’s economic vibrancy,” said Scott Bricker, executive director of America Walks, a national nonprofit that fosters walkable communities. “The most valuable real estate around the world is in walkable places, places where people are living and working in closer proximity.”
Researchers have found that areas with high Walk Scores fare better environmentally (less use of cars), socially (better chances of connecting with someone face to face) and economically. A recent study published in Real Estate Economics found that in neighborhoods with greater walkability, the resale value of both residential and commercial properties is higher. And according to a 2009 report commissioned by CEOs for Cities, “a one-point increase in Walk Score was associated with an increase in value ranging from $700 to $3,000 depending on the market.”
“There’s a strong preference for being in a neighborhood where people can walk to shops, restaurants, parks,” said Joe Molinaro, managing director of community and public affairs at the National Association of Realtors, which found that two-thirds of respondents in its 2011 Consumer Preference Survey said that walkability was an important factor when deciding where to live. “We asked people for tradeoffs—comparing different things they might have to give up to get that—and more and more are willing to make a sacrifice to be in a walkable neighborhood.”
– Homes for sale in Old Trail have relatively low Walk Scores (for now) – there’s Trailside Coffee, ACAC gym, Anna’s Pizza, Dentist, Augusta Medical, park, playgrounds and more (and much more to come as the Village Center gets built out.
– Homes around Downtown Crozet have higher Walk Scores – Mudhouse and Greenhouse coffee shops, hardware, Fardowners pub, Great Valu, Crozet Park, YMCA gym and lots more.
– Homes around the third business center – 250 West – don’t have the same connectivity, despite the proximity to Harris Teeter and all of the businesses in Clover Lawn – Eye Care, restaurants, UVA Credit Union …
With the lumberyard having been purchased recently, the future of downtown Crozet has the potential to shape up in the next couple years. What will it look like?
Let’s not forget (or forget to volunteer!) the value of the growing Crozet Trails system and network; I feel that these will be integral to the future of connectivity in Crozet, in addition to sidewalks and bike lanes everywhere possible. Continue reading “Does Crozet Have All the Pieces for Walkability?”
Pedestrian improvements have long been advocated for by the CCAC and Crozetians for some time. There may be a glimmer on the sidewalk horizon.
via email –
Crozet Elementary celebrates another Walk (Bike) to School Day on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013. This walk is in concert with a greater national effort, http://www.walkbiketoschool.org.
Students can walk or bike from home. Additionally, buses will drop students off at Crozet Baptist Church and parent volunteers will help students walk safely to school.
This should be a lovely fall event, celebrating school, community, and the benefits of exercise.
Rain date Thursday, October 10th.
To volunteer, please sign up here.
We all know it’s coming. Where do you think it will be?
– Jarmans Gap and Crozet Avenue? (I really think a roundabout would make sense there
– Library Avenue and Crozet Avenue?
– Harris Teeter and 250?
– The gas stations on 250 near Western?
– Somewhere else?