Dec. 3-9, 1999

Holiday leave
ITC search begins

Casteen announces administrative changes
Faculty/Staff Scholarship applications now available
ATTN: 'Green Card' holders

Grant will help Woodson Institute map new curricula focusing on race and ethnicity

Automation could revolutionize medical research
Technology taking history into the 21st century
Youth civic effort nets $1 million
Researchers' start-up companies move to West Main Street offices
Sad during the winter? Lighten up
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Student selected to be on 'Jeopardy!'
U.Va., city, county officials discuss transportation concerns
Note the schedule for mail services during the holidays
Hot Links - Fine and Performing Arts Commission
"Lights of Love" ceremony set for Dec. 5
Virginia Football Florida-bound

U.Va., city, county officials discuss transportation concerns

By Dan Heuchert

When officials from the University, Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville get together to discuss mutual concerns, you can bet that parking and traffic issues will come up.

Shuttle service to the Crozet area, better use of Albemarle County's eight "Park and Ride" lots, and accommodating the larger football crowds expected to fill Scott Stadium beginning next fall were all topics covered Nov. 19 at the quarterly meeting of the Planning and Coordination Council.

The council includes Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Leonard W. Sandridge and Director of Community Relations Dolly Prenzel from the University, County Supervisor Charlotte Humphris, County Executive Robert Tucker, Charlottesville Mayor Virginia Daugherty and City Manager Gary O'Connell.

Discussions of expanding shuttle service between Charlottesville and Crozet are under way, Tucker reported. White Hall Supervisor Walter Perkins, whose district includes Crozet, has estimated that 200 to 300 University employees live in that area, Tucker said; the question is whether enough of them work the same schedules to make a regular shuttle system viable.

"JAUNT seems very interested in working with us on this issue," Tucker said. The service, with its familiar blue-and-white mini-buses, offers a similar "Big Blue" shuttle along U.S. 29 North that draws about 300 passenger-trips per month.

JAUNT already offers some service from Crozet, community relations director James Fitzgerald said. Buses leave Crozet at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., stopping at the hospital, and make return trips at 11:15 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. One-way trips are $3, he said.

"It's a question of whether we can provide it in a way that it is so convenient that people cannot afford not to do it," Sandridge said.

Other ideas are being considered to relieve traffic congestion in the University area and the on-Grounds parking crunch. The city is beginning a study of transportation issues, including the West Main Street/University Avenue corridor, and a shuttle service will be one of the measures considered, O'Connell said.

The county already has eight Park and Ride lots, Humphris said, adding that they should be better publicized. Most people don't know that they're there, she said. Noting that students are barred from having cars on Grounds during their first semester, Daugherty asked Sandridge if the University would consider extending the prohibition.

"As a practical matter, we have some experience -- as you do in the high schools -- that youth expect to have automobiles," he replied, adding that the University provides space on Grounds for the cars that appear in the second semester. "It's tough, because often they have had them since they were old enough to drive. They'll give them up for awhile, but they expect to get them back."

Sandridge outlined tentative plans for dealing with the crowds expected to fill the expanded football stadium beginning next fall. The new stadium will hold approximately 15,000 more fans than it did in 1998, with only a new 600-space parking structure to be built at the stadium's south end.

Around Grounds, there are still parking areas that could be better utilized on game days, he said, including North Grounds, the Fontaine Research Park and the new, 1,000-space Health System garage. Together, they have the potential of holding another 2,000 to 2,500 cars, he said.

In addition, Sandridge would like to see more fans park downtown in the Market Street and Water Street garages. The city began promoting such a system this fall, with some success.

"We would like to explore the feasibility of having our primary shuttle from the downtown area," replacing the current service from University Hall, Sandridge said. More fans parking downtown could relieve some of the traffic congestion around the stadium and at the U.S. 29 exit from Interstate 64, and also provide some economic benefit to the city, he said.

He emphasized that nothing had yet been finalized, and asked for patience. "I don't expect complete success for the first game," he said.

The council also discussed:

  • Water use and conservation. Humphris noted that water was once considered plentiful in the Charlottesville area, but said now "it's getting to be like gold." All three jurisdictions agreed that there is a need to examine and replace aging water pipelines to prevent leakage.
  • A proposed downtown basketball arena. Sandridge relayed University President John T. Casteen III's remarks at a recent Board of Visitors meeting, in which he said that the University was proceeding with planning for a replacement basketball arena on Grounds, likely across Massie Road from University Hall. However, Sandridge was careful not to close the door entirely to any off-Grounds proposal.
  • Safety and security issues. Sandridge complimented the cooperative effort of police departments following the August rape of a University student in the Venable area of the city. Members of the council agreed to work together to standardize the information being given to students living off-Grounds.
  • U.Va.'s master plan. University Architect Samuel A. "Pete" Anderson gave an overview of the University's master plan and a report on current and near-future construction projects, including the Groundswalk, which could begin construction next year. The latest option for a possible new performing arts center is building it into the hillside at the eastern end of Nameless Field, near Alderman and Clemons libraries, he said.

    Park and Ride locations

  • U.S. 29 North corridor
    Bull Durham Restaurant, 9422 Seminole Trail, Ruckersville
    Paran Methodist Church, 5145 Dickerson Road near GE/Fanuc
    Maple Grove Christian Church, 3210 Proffit Road
    Forest Lake's Shopping Center
    Peace Lutheran Church, 1510 Broad Crossing Road, Hollymead
    Forest Lake's South entrance
    WalMart, 975 Hilton Heights Road
  • Avon Street Extended, adjacent to the city-school bus depot
  • Zions Crossroads, on the northwest side of the Interstate 64-Route 15 interchange
  • Lovingston Volunteer Fire Department, Lovingston
  • Waynesboro Outlet Village

    For information, call RideShare at 295-6165


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