VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RE-ALLOCATION FOR THE
INTERSTATE, PRIMARY, AND URBAN SYSTEMS, AND FOR MASS TRANSIT
RECOMMENDED ALBEMARLE COUNTY PRIORITIES OCOTBER 4, 2006
The following addresses Albemarle County’s priorities for each allocation of TEA-21 and each sub-allocation of the Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds.
I. Surface Transportation Program (STP)
The following projects, listed in priority order, are eligible for STP funds. The County supports these projects as referenced.
Undertake those projects in the Charlottesville Albemarle Regional Transportation Study (CHART) – UnJam 2025 (adopted May 3, 2004) eligible for the primary program in the sequence as called for in the February 2, 1992 joint resolution between the City, County and University and agreed to by VDOT. These include:
A. Meadow Creek Parkway from the Route 250 Bypass to Rio Road. The Parkway is the County's highest priority project after Route 29 North, and is of the utmost importance in order to maintain an adequate level of service on Route 29 and to improve the overall roadway system serving the urbanizing area north of the City. This project is being funded in the County's secondary program and has been approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) as a low speed parkway in the City of Charlottesville and the County. The County asks that this section be designed and built in accord with the County’s design and alignment recommendations developed with the assistance of an independent consultant and endorsed by resolution of the County Board of Supervisors on June 20, 2001 (Attachment A) and approved by the CTB on December 18, 2001. This endorsed design and alignment emphasizes the parkway corridor’s potential as a linear park and its relationship to the development of adjacent urban land. The linear park concept is intended to replace McIntire Park land lost due to the project and, at the same time, link McIntire Park to the Rivanna Trails Foundation trail along Meadow Creek and the County’s urbanizing area along Rio Road. The County requests that the CTB make every effort to provide adequate funding and resources to maintain the current construction schedule for this project.
Meadow Creek Parkway/Route 250 Bypass Interchange. The County also supports the construction of the Meadow Creek Parkway interchange at the terminus of the Parkway with Route 250 in the City of Charlottesville. This interchange is essential to the safe and acceptable future traffic operation of this high volume intersection. The County is grateful for the $27,000,000 earmarked in the latest Federal Transportation Bill for this interchange. It is recognized that this interchange project, and its funding, is a separate but related project from the Meadow Creek Parkway mainline project. The County requests that the CTB make every effort to provide adequate funding and resources to maintain the current construction schedule for this project.
Northern Free State Road (formerly Meadow Creek Parkway Phase II) is being funded in VDOT’s Six Year Secondary Road Plan for the county. The County is now studying the concept/alignment of this road as part of the Places 29 Study, an integrated land use and transportation master planning study for the Route 29 North corridor.
B. Route 29 North. The U. S. Route 29 North corridor has been the focal point of interest, discussion and debate in the Charlottesville area for many years. Numerous and varied transportation improvements have been proposed and/or funded over the years. This highly urbanized area continues to grow and transportation system improvement needs continue to increase. The County, City, VDOT and the MPO have completed Phase I and Phase II of the 29H250 (US 29 – Hydraulic – 250 Bypass Intersection) Study. The County requests that VDOT plan for the funding of the 29H250 Phase II Option B design recommendations, which emphasizes improving Rt. 29 to serve regional trips and changing the character of Hydraulic Rd. between Rt. 29 and the Rt. 25OBypass.
The County appreciates continued VDOT and Commonwealth Transportation Board support of initiatives in the U. S. 29 North corridor. The County, in coordination with the MPO, is currently utilizing VDOT, developer proffered and County general funds to study the concept/alignment of U. S. 29 North as part of a larger transportation network study for the County’s Northern Development Areas from the City limits to the Greene County line. This study, a component of the County’s Places 29 Study, will include a comprehensive and integrated evaluation of both transportation and land use issues and planning to establish a series of land use recommendations, transportation network improvements and a multi-modal approaches that will support the Northern Development Areas and the Rt. 29 Corridor.
Other projects listed in CHART in the northern study area must be actively pursued and completed. These projects include the Hillsdale Drive Extension Project and Berkmar Drive Extended (recommended in CHART). Also, while funding has previously been dropped for Route 29 improvements north of the South Fork Rivanna River, transportation system improvements as identified by the County in its Comprehensive Plan are imperative to this area. Specifically, the County requests funding for a third lane northbound and southbound on Rt. 29 from the South Fork Rivanna River to north of its intersection with Hollymead Drive. These improvements would tie into a third lane recently constructed in each direction along Rt. 29 as part of major land development projects at the Hollymead Town Center. There are significant peaks and valleys in Rt. 29 through this area that create an existing dangerous condition and this will only worsen as traffic increases as development occurs in this area in accord with the Comprehensive Plan. This section of road already experiences a high level of vehicle accidents, particularly in the area of Forest Lakes South. This new third lane section, and other road improvements in the area, was funded by the developer through zoning proffers related to the project’s approval. Completion of this section would essentially complete the three phases of improvements to Rt. 29 from Hydraulic Road to Airport Road that were originally programmed in the Six-Year Plan in 1988. These and other Comprehensive Plan transportation system recommendations envision future development to be served by a transportation network that ultimately provides a complete system of urban streets and supports walking and biking and comprehensively links all land uses.
C. Complete preliminary engineering and undertake the widening of Route 20 South from I-64 to Mill Creek Drive. Incorporate sidewalks and bike lane facilities into these improvements. This is a curvy section of road in the County’s Urban Area that serves the traffic from Monticello High School and has experienced several accidents with fatalities in recent years.
D. The County supports the funding of the TransDominion Express and recommends that it be seriously considered as a multi-modal means to address the issues and recommendations identified in the multi-phased Route 29 Corridor Study.
E. There are three areas of emphasis the County requests be addressed on Route 250:
1. Improve Route 250 west from Emmet Street to the Route 29/250 Bypass. This section is covered by the joint Ivy Road Design Study conducted by the City, County and University of Virginia and originally recognized for improvement in the Lewis Mountain Neighborhood/University Heights (Area B) Study. The University of Virginia is currently constructing a new basketball arena and parking facilities in this area that will likely create additional traffic demands on Ivy Road. Any plans for the improvement of this section of Route 250 West need to be coordinated between the City, County and University.
2. The remaining portion of Rt. 250 West to Yancey Mills (the I-64/250 interchange) was studied by VDOT with a local advisory committee to determine long term needs for this road. The Board of Supervisors has rejected the study recommendations completed in 2000 and passed a resolution supporting Route 250 West as a Scenic Virginia Byway with significant historic, natural, and scenic qualities. The County instead recommends maintaining the present two-lane configuration of the corridor with any short term or spot improvements being as non-intrusive and consistent as possible with the special character of this scenic by-way.
3. VDOT has completed a similar study of Rt. 250 East from Free Bridge to the Fluvanna County line. This study’s findings have been presented to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. The County will consider the recommendations of this study as part of the Neighborhood Planning process “Pantops Urban Area Neighborhood Master Plan.” This study will focus on creating a neighborhood plan that integrates land use and transportation planning to establish land use recommendations, transportation network improvements and multimodal approaches that will support neighborhood development.
F. Undertake improvements that will benefit/improve Route 240 in Crozet in accord with recommendations from the recently completed Crozet Master Plan.
· Implement sidewalk plan (per Downtown Sidewalk and Parking Study).
· Create bike lanes to and in downtown.
· Construct Eastern Avenue, to include the Lickinghole Bridge and a railroad crossing
· Construction of Main Street east from Crozet Avenue.
G. Undertake the widening of Route 20 North from north of Route 250 East to the Elks Drive/Fontana Drive intersection. Incorporate sidewalks and bike lane facilities into the west side improvements. The County has also listed these improvements under “Safety” priorities. To date, the County has constructed sidewalks on the east side of Route 20 from Route 250 to Fontana Drive.
H. Undertake improvements recommended in the Southern Urban Area B Study recently completed in coordination with the City of Charlottesville, County of Albemarle, and the University of Virginia. The Study recommended a road be constructed between Fontaine Avenue and Sunset Avenue.
I. Recognize that mass transit can relieve traffic congestion and is an alternative to road construction, particularly in more densely developed urban areas, and shift funds from road construction into mass transit to accomplish this.
NOTE: The Town of Scottsville has requested that VDOT improve Route 20 (Valley Street) at the intersection of both Warren Street and Hardware Street. VDOT had proposed these improvements in the 1970’s, but the improvements were not completed. The improvements will enhance the safety of the traveling public in the Town.
II. Safety Improvements:
Several projects in the County seem to qualify under this 10% set-aside. They are, in priority order:
J. Construct pedestrian walkways along various primary routes within the County’s Urban Neighborhoods. Absent the incorporation of such road walkways into full road widening/improvement projects, the following road sections are priorities for pedestrian walkways: 1) Route 240 in “downtown” Crozet; 2) Route 20 South from the City limits to Mill Creek Drive; 3) along Route 250 East in the Pantops area as an extension to existing sidewalks; and 4) along Route 250 West from the City limits to the Farmington entrance.
K. The County has placed a high priority on pedestrian improvements in the Crozet area. The County chose Crozet as the first community to be master planned based on the County’s adopted Neighborhood Model. The County received TEA 21 funding in July 2004 for Phase I of the Crozet Streetscape Plan and continues to seek additional funding to undertake needed improvements (see Enhancement Project section).
L. Reconfigure intersection and install traffic signals at the intersection of Routes 22 and 250. This project is currently scheduled in the SYIP for construction.
M. Improvements to Route 250 West along the corridor in Ivy to address existing and short-term traffic circulation problems, including access to developed properties in this area. Of particular concern is the Tillman Road intersection (Route 676), which serves school bus traffic and has poor sight distance. These improvements should be undertaken in accordance with recommendations approved by the Board of Supervisors in the Route 250 West Corridor Study.
N. Improvements to the Route 240 underpass at the CSX Railroad tracks in Crozet.
O. Functional plans, including an analysis of possible safety improvements, for Routes 22 and 231. The County remains concerned with overall public safety as it relates to traffic created by large trucks along these road segments, and encourages VDOT to consider all appropriate measures to ensure that trucks travel safely along
these roadways in the future. The County has repeatedly requested VDOT to restrict through trucks on Route 22 and Route 231.
III. Enhancement Projects:
This is a valuable funding source for which several projects appear to be eligible. Unfortunately funding for new projects is not available this year. The County urges that funds be made available for new pedestrian and bicycling projects. For the County, new projects, in priority order, are:
P. Pedestrian streetscape improvements in downtown Crozet. These streetscape improvements, which were included in an Enhancement Grant submitted in January 2002, June 2003 and October 2004, include the relocation and burial of overhead utility wires, and construction of historically compatible sidewalks. The County received TEA 21 funding in July 2004 for Phase I and July 2005 for Phase II of the Crozet Streetscape Plan.
Q. Beautification of entrance corridors (particularly Route 20, 29 and Route 250).
R. Construction of bikeway, pedestrian, and greenway facilities as prioritized in the Jefferson Area Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Greenways Plan.
S. Development of portions of the Rivanna River Greenway path system.
T. Removal of non-conforming billboards.
IV. National Highway System (NHS)
The Charlottesville-Albemarle MPO Policy Board approved the NHS as proposed by VDOT in this area excluding the Route 29 Bypass. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved the NHS, which includes the existing Route 29, and the Route 29 Bypass. The County believes any projects that are included in the NHS should reflect the recommendations that result from the previously referenced transportation improvement study of the Route 29 North corridor area.
V. Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program
This does not apply to Albemarle County. The County is not in an area of non-attainment for ozone or carbon monoxide.
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