Office of the Architect for the University
Ivy Road Gateway Project
Proposal for Joint City-County-University project
In 1994 the City, County and University jointly sponsored a design study of Ivy Road. The consultants who prepared the study were Lardner Klein Landscape Architects P.C. of Alexandria, Virginia. The introduction to the report states: “Ivy Road (Route 250 West) is a ‘front door’ to Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia. As such, its appearance is second only in importance to its safety….As one of the primary entrances to the City, the County and the University, Ivy Road’s appearance and its function is a strong determinant of the general public’s perception of the area.” Thirteen years later, this description is no less true. Since then, the City and County have included the implementation of the proposed improvements—road widening, bicycle lanes, sidewalks and plantings—in their requests to VDOT for funding through the regional Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) but the annual road funding allocations have to date been insufficient to accomplish the project. The University proposes an alternate approach to funding by submitting a joint project request to the Commonwealth’s Revenue Sharing Program.
Revenue Sharing Program
VDOT administers a $50 m. program that provides additional funding for use by a county, city, or town to construct, maintain or improve the highway system by providing state funds to match local contributions for small, immediately needed improvements. Sidewalks and trails are eligible for this funding in the “Incidental improvements” category; however the focus of the program is to improve the highway system. The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) allocates project funding based on a tiered priority system.
· At least 50% match up to $1 m. maximum state contribution per locality
· Highest priority is given to projects where the locality is giving more than $1 m. for a $1 m. match. (more than 50%)
· Projects may be administered locally or by VDOT
· Application must be submitted by the locality but 50% of match can be provided by other sources.
Therefore if the City, County, and University each contributed $1 million, the state conceivably could match that with $2 m., if the terms of the program are not altered in the upcoming legislative session, providing $5 in total project funding for improvements to this important entrance corridor.
The 1994 Study included proposals for bike lanes, continuous sidewalks, relocated utility wires, pedestrian scale street lighting, a raised planted median and other plantings, sign guidelines, and consistent street furnishing. The Study also called for road widening in certain areas; however, the thrust of this new initiative is related to alternative models of transit: bus, bike and pedestrian. Pedestrian safety in the corridor has become more important since the construction of the Ivy-Emmet garage and the JPJ Arena. It is also expected that the $120 m. Arts Gateway to the University (currently in design) will attract more bicycles and pedestrians to this corridor. The University has commissioned a more recent study to address current conditions at the Ivy-Emmet intersection. It is anticipated that the recommendations of that study will be included in the scope of the proposed joint project.
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