Be patient again this week on 64 and 250 in and out of Crozet …
from VDOT’s site –
– Intermittent traffic restrictions on Interstate 64 between Charlottesville and Waynesboro will resume next week during operations to remove unstable soil from Afton Mountain above the highway at milepost 100.3 in Albemarle County.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 29, traffic on I-64 will be restricted in both directions for 30-45 minutes. The restrictions will continue through the day, ending between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. The westbound right shoulder will be closed and work zone activity will begin at 7 a.m. each day but traffic will not be restricted before 9 a.m. The work is expected to continue through Thursday, May 2.
The restrictions will affect traffic from Exit 107 (Route 250/Rockfish Gap Turnpike) at Crozet to Exit 96 (Route 624/S. Delphine Avenue) at Waynesboro. Drivers should expect significant congestion and delays; passenger vehicles are encouraged to use Route 250 as an alternate route. Message boards along I-64 will advise motorists of the closures and expected congestion in the area.
Motorists should check VDOT’s traffic information web site, www.511virginia.org, or call 511 for real-time information about traffic conditions and delays.
U.S. 250 in the Crozet growth area needs to be retrofitted to accommodate the kind of traffic generated there — including pedestrian traffic.
But the issue goes deeper than that — all the way to the growth pattern that created the problem in the first place.
Within two years, two pedestrians have died near the Blue Ridge Shopping Center, on one side of the highway, and Clover Lawn Village, on the other.
These developments — along with nearby subdivisions — were approved to locate along the highway, which made a certain sense at the time by allowing traffic to take advantage of existing infrastructure.
But the growth then altered the highway usage. Traffic increased — especially vehicular traffic, but also pedestrian — and U.S. 250 went from being a through highway to serving as a local road.
The two uses are profoundly incompatible.
It’s baffling that we’re (meaning: the County) seemingly surprised that approving growth without complementary infrastructure leads to disaster. If we plan to bring more people, common sense dictates that we have a plan for them to move about.
A STROAD is a street/road hybrid and, besides being a very dangerous environment (yes, it is ridiculously dangerous to mix high speed highway geometric design with pedestrians, bikers and turning traffic), they are enormously expensive to build and, ultimately, financially unproductive.A STROAD is a street/road hybrid and, besides being a very dangerous environment (yes, it is ridiculously dangerous to mix high speed highway geometric design with pedestrians, bikers and turning traffic), they are enormously expensive to build and, ultimately, financially unproductive.
I don’t know yet if it’ll be soon, but I’d bet Crozet’s hotel will open in the next 24 months.
The hotel will be in Old Trail, rather than in Downtown Crozet. (my opinion: After many conversations, I’m more convinced than ever that this is going to fill a real void in Crozet – the number of vineyards hosting events, weddings, etc. alone probably necessitates this)
I wrote a bit more on my real estate blog – but I’m hoping that the applicant will respond to my email today or tomorrow so I can give more and better Crozet-specific information. (Update: just talked to David; he has exciting plans that I think are going to be very good for Crozet. Either way, I expect we’ll be talking about and hearing about the changes coming to Crozet for the next several months.
If you’re interested, you’ll find a familiar name as the applicant on the County’s County View; just copy SDP2013-011 and paste it into the “application #” field.
Update: Looks like they’re aiming for an opening around January 2015 … right in time for the spring wedding season.
PROJECT: SDP2013-011 Old Trail Village Block 2B â?? Major Site Plan Amendment PROPOSED: Request for major site plan amendment approval for a four story, 43 room hotel with a 1,000 square foot restaurant and associated parking. ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: Neighborhood Model District (NMD)- residential (3-34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service, and industrial uses. SECTION: Chapter 18 Section 32 of the Zoning Ordinance COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Urban Density Residential- 6-12 units/acre; supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses in the Crozet Master Plan ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes LOCATION: At the corner of the intersection of Golf Drive and Claremont Lane, near The Lodge at Old Trail. TAX MAP/PARCEL: 055E0-01-00-000F1 MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall
– Stormwater Project – Substantially complete September 2012 — Remainder of woody vegetation to be planted January 2013
– Crozet Library – Construction underway; approximately 40% complete as of December 2012 — Working to resolve fiber conflict with storm sewer — Substantial completion July 2013 — Occupancy August 2013
– Crozet Streetscape Phase II – Utility relocation complete – 1st Quarter 2013 — Streetscape –Bid/award 2nd Quarter, ~ 12-14 months construction — Library Ave accepted in State system
– Crozet North Sidewalk – Replacing or constructing approximately 1100 feet of sidewalk and drainage improvements along the west side of Crozet Avenue from Saint George Avenue to Crozet Elementary School. A Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Grant provides improved pedestrian crossing at the school and extends sidewalk to Ballard Drive —- Completing right-of-way & easement plats for 3 parcels (Crozet North); SRTS right-of-way and easement acquisition completed — Submit plans to VDOT for SRTS February 2013 and Crozet N Sidewalk April 2013 and request authorization to bid
There’s a full description of all of the above projects in the above-linked PDF; if you’re interested in what’s happening in Crozet, it’s a good way to spend 15 minutes.
It’s looking good. Last week, my no-longer-a-second-grade-daughter and I rode our bikes from Parkside Village to get ice cream at Trailside Coffee; it’s an easy ride.
I haven’t taken photos of Jarman’s Gap in a while, but I’ll say this – it’s a fantastic road – easy to walk and ride on. It’s surely going to allow better connectivity – both physically and psychologically – between the neighborhoods along Jarman’s Gap and downtown Crozet.
Last week I lamented the possibility of Crozet Avenue becoming a bottleneck. This week, it appears that the right turn lane may not be viable. After the break, you can see Piedmont Development Group’s proposal for a right turn lane followed by Albemarle County’s response. I’m no engineer so I’ll leave it to those who know better as to whose response is more practical. All I know is this – traffic and congestion are coming; those who live within walking or biking distance of downtown Crozet will benefit greatly from the growth.
Update: The Newsplex did a nice story on proposed new development One clarification: the new development could help or hurt the Crozet community. My greatest personal concern is that the new development seems to have its sole access via Park Road. Go to the end of this post for an excerpt from a relevant discussion in 2006.
145 more homes could be coming to the area between Western Ridge and Foxchase and Westhall. This sort of development has wide-ranging ramifications and potential impacts:
– school populations and balancing
– loss of natural landscape (which all new neighborhoods tend to do)
– infrastructure – will there be any improvements? i.e. – roads, bicycle paths, connectivity?
– more housing inventory which could be a good thing, depending on what houses will be built (remember, I’m a Realtor)
– more traffic on 240
Seems a bit of a squeeze. I cannot imagine that many more houses coming out through existing neighborhoods would be a good, safe, or appealing reality. If the entire landmass that is Crozet becomes residential homes then the things that attract people to Crozet – keeping land/home prices so stable – will be gone and people will no longer desire – and pay – to live here. The view of the mountains, the expanses of open land – already depleted – and the country – not full on suburb – are very fragile and once gone cannot be brought back.
I know that the sidewalks are being used now quite frequently and I look forward to more people using the bike lanes when they’re in place … if you haven’t been down Jarman’s Gap lately, the progress (while seemingly slow to those who are living through the construction) is coming along quickly.
Big thanks go to the Crozet PTO for organizing today’s Walk to School Day. In spite of the sudden rain, a lot of families continued on and made it to school on foot and bike without incident. I hear the next Walk to School day is March 9.
“Daddy! More people should ride bikes! There’s less traffic!”*
What a nice surprise to get to Crozet Elementary this morning after riding just over a mile to find that the bike rack had been moved to a more visibly prominent location. I even heard kids discussing the new location.