Update on the “Safe Routes to School” Grant

Remember the Walk to School grant for the part of Crozet near Crozet Elementary?

So did a concerned parent who asked the County for an update, and received this response.

From Jack Kelsey with Albemarle County:

Regarding the Safe Routes to School Project, the short answer is that it’s being designed by David Anhold & Associates and I’m expecting a progress print this week.

The long answer is that a lot has transpired to get us to this point. Our original plan was to provide this simple design in-house, we hired a surveyor, and had the project area surveyed.  We were in the process of addressing VDOT’s environmental requirements (required by all projects funded by VDOT), when VDOT informed us that we could not do the design in-house due to the project being funded by the grant.  

The design fee was expected to be small and well below the procurement limit where we may request 3 fee proposals from consultants, then choose one and move on with design.  However, VDOT’s procurement rules required this project have a public advertised “request for proposals”, formal interview of the candidates by a committee, selection and negotiation of the fee, and lastly VDOT’s approval of the selection process and chosen firm. Fortunately at that time we were just completing our procurement process for civil engineering “on-call” design services contracts.  We had to submit our procurement process information to VDOT for review and did receive approval to select from our new “on-call” consultants.  

This took time, but far less than then going through a formal project specific “request for proposals”.  We provided Anhold Associates with a project scope and requested a fee proposal.  The fee was reviewed/approved, a project order routed for signature, and a notice to proceed was issued 10 August 2011.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

Jack M. Kelsey, PE
Transportation Engineer
Office of Facilities Development
County of Albemarle
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902-4596
(434) 872-4501 office; ext 3376
(434) 760-1272 mobile
(434) 972-4091 fax
[email protected]


The award was announced in 23 April 2010, but the required VDOT-County agreement wasn’t approved by VDOT until 25 August 2010.  What needs to be kept in mind is that with State-Federal grants there are inherent processes and procedures that must be followed, so a portion of this time is allotted to these tasks.  However, overall the time frame is conservative to allow adequate time to get the project scheduled and completed.

As for our schedule, we plan to have the plans, plats and bidding documents completed by the end of the year.  Then have the right-of-way/easement dedication acquired this winter.  The construction will then be publically bid late winter/early spring 2012.  Construction could then begin in spring 2012 and we estimate it will take about 3 months to complete.

Update 3 October 2011: Aaron Richardson at the Daily Progress has an update on this story.

Albemarle County Announces Safe Routes to School Grant for Crozet Elementary

Earning/winning this grant was the result of collaborative work by the County of Albemarle, the Albemarle County School Board, 250 West group, Crozet Community Association, the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation and a few others. Readers of RealCrozetVA know that I have long advocated for walkability and bikeability in Crozet, and practice what I preach.

(Bolding mine.)

From the press release:

Chairman Ann Mallek, School Board member Barbara Massie Mouly, and Crozet school officials and parents. The grant will fund construction of a new sidewalk north of the school connecting to neighborhoods where many students live and a crosswalk with activated flashers and a warning sign to alert approaching motorists. This project will be funded entirely by grant funds.

The project is intended to provide a pedestrian-friendly environment in the area surrounding the school, and will significantly increase the number of students who can safely walk or bike to school. Approximately 177 of 305 students live within two miles of Crozet Elementary School and there are over 200 homes in neighborhood located within one-half mile of the school that will be able to take advantage of the new pedestrian features. In addition, the private Field School located directly across the street from Crozet Elementary will also be linked by the new sidewalk to neighborhoods north of downtown Crozet and will be served by the new crosswalk and warning sign features.

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