U.Va. offers to share
By Matt Kelly
University has offered to share the costs of synchronizing traffic
lights at seven intersections and extend an existing traffic lane
on Ivy Road as part of its proposed Emmet Street parking garage
two separate letters sent June 14 to Charlottesville Mayor J.
Blake Caravati, Leonard Sandridge, U.Va.s executive
vice president and chief operating officer, suggested synchronizing
traffic signals at seven intersections. Sandridge offered to pay
for signals at four of the intersections, at $25,000 each, plus
install a $25,000 transponder to connect them. This would leave
the city to install signals at three intersections, at a cost
intersections Sandridge suggested synchronizing are Ivy Road/Emmet
Street, Ivy Road/Copeley Road/Alderman Road, Ivy Road at St. Annes-Belfield
and Old Ivy Road, Rugby Road/McCormick Road/University Avenue,
Emmet Street/Massie Road, Emmet Street/Arlington Boulevard and
Emmet Street/entrance to Barracks Road Shopping Center.
recent traffic study of the area indicated that synchronized traffic
lights would reduce delays at the Ivy-Emmet intersection, which
are a major concern for garage critics living in the adjacent
Lewis Mountain neighborhood. They fear that delays there would
increase traffic on their residential streets.
a separate letter to Caravati, Sandridge committed the University
to extending an existing westbound traffic lane on Ivy Road 300
feet toward the Emmet Street intersection, linking it to the proposed
garage. Sandridge estimated the cost of the extension to be about
lane extension would make it possible for vehicles leaving the
garage to make an uninterrupted right-hand turn.
letters came a day after University President
John T. Casteen III responded
to a letter from Caravati in which the mayor complained that
the city should have been involved earlier in the planning process
and requested that the University submit the garage proposal to
a rezoning and site plan review process.
said the city had ample opportunity to examine the garage project,
first presented to city planners on Feb. 15, 2001. He said University
officials have worked with city staff on the project since then,
and that no city official raised objections to the garage for
more than 13 months as it went through both the General Assembly
and University Board of Visitors approval process. Casteen also
outlined the steady stream of communications between the city
and the University on the garage since February 2001.
proposal to submit this matter to local regulatory review is simply
inappropriate and ill-timed, Casteen wrote in his letter,
adding that state law does not provide for localities to pass
judgment on state agency projects, which are subject to state
review and regulation.
his letter, Caravati questioned how closely the University abided
by an agreement between U.Va., the city and Albemarle County.
Casteen said the University had stayed well within the agreement,
including paying taxes on the land for the past 13 years, which
it did not have to do since it was not an investment property.
Ben Ford (left) and field director Michael F. Barber meticulously
scrape layers of soil from a grave shaft at the proposed site
of the Emmet Street parking garage.
at the property
June 14, archaeologist Ben Ford and Michael Barber, his field
director, performed a detailed excavation of a suspected 19th-century
grave shaft at the proposed garage site and found remnants of
a coffin. University officials will decide what steps to take
after receiving Fords report and consulting with the states
Department of Historic Resources.
plan to work through the proper channels in assessing all of our
options, Sandridge said.
found five nails and a U-shaped piece of decorative coffin handle
with wooden fragments attached.