The County of Albemarle (and City of Charlottesville for that matter) seem to have a “planning for traffic” plan in which they approve stuff and then, twenty years later, seem stunned that more houses and shopping brought more people and traffic … and then they (we) have to deal with said traffic and congestion.
U.S. 250 in the Crozet growth area needs to be retrofitted to accommodate the kind of traffic generated there — including pedestrian traffic.
But the issue goes deeper than that — all the way to the growth pattern that created the problem in the first place.
Within two years, two pedestrians have died near the Blue Ridge Shopping Center, on one side of the highway, and Clover Lawn Village, on the other.
These developments — along with nearby subdivisions — were approved to locate along the highway, which made a certain sense at the time by allowing traffic to take advantage of existing infrastructure.
But the growth then altered the highway usage. Traffic increased — especially vehicular traffic, but also pedestrian — and U.S. 250 went from being a through highway to serving as a local road.
The two uses are profoundly incompatible.
Here’s the thing – Albemarle County have encouraged the growth in Western Albemarle, yet they haven’t begun to address how to facilitate the moving of the people who will move there … and 250 West is likely to not be widened as it’s a Scenic Byway, advocated for by Scenic 250, “… a citizens organization dedicated to preserving the rural and scenic character of US Route 250 from Charlottesville to the western boundary of Albemarle County“.
What’s the solution? I honestly don’t yet know, but the status quo is untenable.
Have you heard of a “Stroad“?