ALBEMARLE COUNTY RECOMMENDED PRIORITIES FOR SYIP,
FOR PRIMARY ROAD, TRANSIT AND ENHANCEMENT IMPROVEMENTS
The following are Albemarle County’s priorities for each federal allocations 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:
1. 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 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 funding earmarked in the 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.
2. Route 29 North. 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 appreciates continued VDOT and Commonwealth Transportation Board support of initiatives in the Route 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 Route 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 multi-modal approaches that will support the northern development areas and the Route 29 Corridor.
a) The County requests that VDOT plan for the funding of the 29H250 Phase II Option B design recommendations, which emphasize improving Route 29 to serve regional trips and changing the character of Hydraulic Road. between Route 29 and the Route 250 Bypass. These improvements include an extra ramp lane on Route 29 North onto the Route 250 Bypass and an extra lane on Route 29 from Hydraulic Road (in the City).
b) The County requests funding for a third lane northbound and southbound on Route 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 Route 29 as part of major land development projects at the Hollymead Town Center. There are significant peaks and valleys in Route 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 Route 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.
Other projects listed in CHART in the northern study area must be actively pursued and completed. These projects include:
c) the Hillsdale Drive Extension Project;
d) Berkmar Drive Extended.
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.
3. 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.
4. There are three areas of emphasis the County requests be addressed on Route 250:
a) The County does request funding for the improvements of the Tilman Road intersection at Route 250 and the Owensville Road/Route 250 intersection (possible round-about at Ownesville Road). Otherwise, the County 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.
b) VDOT has completed a similar study of Route 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 is considering the recommendations of this study as part of the Neighborhood Planning process “Pantops Urban Area Neighborhood Master Plan.” This Pantops Plan focuses 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. Draft recommendations include improvements to the I-64 interchange, pedestrian crossings, parallel roads and a possible new bridge/crossing of the Rivanna River connecting to the City, and limited widening of Route 250.
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)
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 among the City, County and University.
5. Undertake improvements that will benefit/improve Route 240 in Crozet in accord with recommendations from the recently completed Crozet Master Plan.
a) Implement sidewalk plan (per Downtown Sidewalk and Parking Study) and Crozet Master Plan.
b) Create bike lanes to and in downtown.
c) Construct Eastern Avenue, to include the Lickinghole Creek Bridge and a railroad crossing.
d) Construct Main Street east from Crozet Avenue.
6. 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.
7. 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 recommends improvements to Fontaine Avenue and the construction of a new connector road between Fontaine Avenue and Sunset Avenue.
8. 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.
ll. Transit Improvements
Regional Transit Authority - Funding
for a consultant to explore
to support establishing a regional transit authority
entity with expanded service to Albemarle County and the
City of Charlottesville.
2. Expand Existing Service - Funding to expand existing transit service capacity for CTS, JAUNT, RideShare, including capital projects to enhance capital operations (such as bus pull-outs, etc.).
3. Funding for Transit Operational Costs - Fully fund the State’s existing formula share of transit operating costs or provide fuel subsidies in the face of rapidly escalating fuel costs.
4. Inter-City Rail – Improve and increase inter-city rail service to Albemarle County. The County continues to support the funding and implementation of the TransDominion Express as a means to provide improved inter-city rail service within the State.
IIl. Safety Improvements:
Several projects in the County seem to qualify under this 10% set-aside. They are, in priority order:
1. Construct pedestrian walkways along various primary routes within the County’s Urban Neighborhoods. Absent the incorporation of such walkways into full road widening/improvement projects, the following road sections are priorities for pedestrian walkways:
a) Route 240 in “downtown” Crozet;
b) Pedestrian crossings at strategic locations on Rt 29 North;
c) Route 250 East in the Pantops area as an extension to existing sidewalks and
provide pedestrian crossings at strategic locations;
d) Route 250 West from the City limits to the Farmington/Ednam entrance; and,
b) Route 20 South from the City limits to Mill Creek Drive.
2. 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). Another potentially eligible safety project is the improvement of the Route 240 underpass at the CSX Railroad tracks in Crozet (including pedestrian facility improvements).
3. Reconfigure intersection and install traffic signals at the intersection of Routes 22 and 250. This project is currently scheduled in the SYIP for construction. Provide adequate funding and resources to maintain the current construction schedule.
4. Improvements to Route 250 West in the Ivy area to address existing traffic circulation problems at the Tilman Road intersection and the Owensville Road intersection (as noted in l.4.E, above), 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.
5. 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.
IV. Enhancement Projects/Safe Routes to School Program:
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:
1. 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.
2. Beautification of entrance corridors (particularly Routes 20, 29 and Route 250).
3. Construction of bikeway, pedestrian, and greenway facilities as prioritized in the Jefferson Area Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Greenways Plan.
4. Development of portions of the Rivanna River Greenway path system.
5. Removal of non-conforming billboards.
6. Continued support of Scottsville Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project.
V. 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.
VI. 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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