city, county officials discuss transportation concerns
By Dan Heuchert
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.
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.
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.
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,"
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.
county already has eight Park and Ride lots, Humphris said, adding
that they should be better publicized. ³Most people don't know
that they're there,² 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
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
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.
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,
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.
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.
emphasized that nothing had yet been finalized, and asked for
patience. "I don't expect complete success for the first
game," he said.
council also discussed:
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
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.
and Ride locations
U.S. 29 North corridor
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
Crossroads, on the northwest side of the Interstate 64-Route
Lovingston Volunteer Fire Department, Lovingston
Waynesboro Outlet Village
For information, call RideShare at 295-6165