February 23, 2006
We've all been stuck on traffic in and around Charlottesville, especially on Rt. 29, but some people are seeing the congestion their neighborhood.
The specific area is between East Market Street and Meade Avenue. Neighbors presented a petition before City Council complaining about the traffic that uses Franklin Street as a "cut-through."
"It's at the point now where I'm really not comfortable with my children going out to bicycle on the street. Even walking is a problem, especially up on Chesapeake," said neighbor Jenny Ackerman.
"It's not a street anymore that you can just walk out into. The traffic does not slow down from the top of East Market all the way down to the one stop sign that's at the bottom of the hill. It's just a complete drag," said Betty Jo Dominick of the Woolen Mills Neighborhood.
Dominick lives on the corner of East Market and Franklin where she says the truck traffic is the worst.
"The trucks seem to start about 3 in the morning, even on Sunday nights," said Dominick. "Two or three have actually been wedged in the turn since I've lived here,"
Residents say a quick simple help would be to add a sign to keep industrial trucks out.
One neighbor wanted his own data and counted how many vehicles travel through in 24-hours.
"June of '03 the County counted the traffic here and they counted 1530 cars using Franklin Street on a daily basis. My count on Franklin was a little bit higher, it was about 1800," said Bill Emory of Woolen Mills.
The city says they are planning to do a traffic count to find problems and possible solutions, but there are several other places ahead of them on the list.
"The first step that we're going to take is to look at it from a stand point of speed and if there's a safety situation that exists there, we'll do sort of a speed analysis on the road and see what that shows us," said Neighborhood Planner Brian Haluska.
Another suggestion the neighbors have is the make Franklin Street a one-way street out of the neighborhood, but not invite people in. Neighborhood planners caution, however, that this will have an impact on traffic flow in the city as a whole.