Is Parking Too Cheap in Downtown Charlottesville?

Parking in Downtown Charlottesville is limited, and likely will get more limited when the Market Plaza is under construction and completed. Now this: The Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville has asked the City Council to consider charging for on-street parking within the downtown core. “Our present on-street free parking system is not serving the needs of the public or the businesses downtown and […]

Albemarle Gets a Transportation Planner + Urban Density

Two stories at Charlottesville Tomorrow this week are worth noting (in truth, all their stories are), in part because they mesh with a conversation last night with a potential new client contemplating moving to Charlottesville from out West.

Two points he made:

1) They are considering moving to Charlottesville in part because they want a higher and better quality of life, and hope to achieve that with less traffic and a shorter commute.

2) He expressed concern that Charlottesville hadn’t grown in two decades. I advised to look at the population growth in Albemarle County (related: Should I move to Charlottesville?) Albemarle’s population has grown remarkably over the past 20 years while Charlottesville has remained fairly steady.

On to the Charlottesville Tomorrow stories:

Supervisors debate Albemarle’s growth area planning philosophy

“I really do think we are in a new era of the development area,” Sheffield said. “Without a doubt, I think things are going to move faster and faster and we need to get ahead of it.”

The population of Albemarle is projected to be 134,196 in 2030. The plan assumes nearly 15,000 additional dwelling units will need to be in place to absorb that growth.

The supervisors’ monthly review of the plan will continue in December when they are expected to take up chapters on transportation and parks. Echols said she is hoping the plan will go to a public hearing in April.

Albemarle to hire transportation planner

“Like many counties evolving from a rural level of service to an urban one, Albemarle is seeing a changing role for managing transportation issues,” said Mark Graham, the county’s community development director.

Graham said that 65 percent of Albemarle residents will be in the urban area by 2040, compared with around 45 percent today. The county estimates there are now 104,580 residents.

This. Charlottesville and Albemarle need to get along.

 

More Houses Coming Near Mill Creek

I’d call this, generally, good density – in the urban ring, less than 10 minutes (east/south east) to the Downtown Mall, good access to schools and 64, close to stuff (including the coming Wegmans), and (hopefully) meeting the needs of the marketplace. If the end result looks close to the rendering … (and if there are sidewalks and crosswalks).

More infill neighborhoods, so long as the accompanying infrastructure improvements, are examples of relatively good growth.

Charlottesville Tomorrow reports:

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has approved construction of as many as 100 new homes between Avon Street Extended and Route 20 in the county’s southern urban area.

 

“We live in a county that increases population by about 2,000 people per year,” Cetta said at the board’s meeting earlier this week. “There has been very little change here as opposed to most places in the country that would be filled with subdivisions by now. We want density in these spots, and the county is looking terrific as a result of that.”

 

New Bike Lane on South Street

Bike lane on South Street in Downtown Charlottesville

The City of Charlottesville has been making some nice improvements of late. This one on South Street (just off the Downtown Mall) is mighty nice.

Bike lane on South Street in Downtown Charlottesville Bike lane on South Street in Downtown Charlottesville[/caption]

Now … for cyclists and drivers to each respect the laws …

29 to Get More Car-Friendly (soon) & West Main to get More Bike-Friendly

The stories of two Charlottesville/Albemarle arteries:

29:

However, he unveiled a timetable that lists major milestones that must be met to ensure all the projects are completed by October 2017.

“About a year from now, we’re going to have a set of plans for construction for Rio,” Shucet said.

Plans to manage traffic and relocate utilities will be developed in the spring, Shucet said. The road and bridge designs will be reviewed by July, and the plans will be approved by August 2015, he said.

West Main:

The loss of 30 street parking spaces on Charlottesville’s West Main Street in favor of marked bicycle lanes remains a key concern, members of a steering committee learned Wednesday.

Though increased walkability may promise to bring foot traffic to local businesses, the loss of street parking in order to accommodate bicycle lanes failed to win the support of some business owners.

I’ve yet to see (I probably haven’t looked hard enough) to see any plans for how to better connect Charlottesville and Albemarle to each other in a bicycle-friendly way.