May 2, 2014
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) released their newest four year plan for transportation.
The plan looks at current projects in place like the Meadowcreek Parkway, but it also looks at future plans including some that are being debated by the Route 29 advisory panel.
The MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program for fiscal year 2015 through 2018 is out for review and that four year plan includes a wish list of things that they would like to do if there is enough money in their budget.
On that list is a $74 million plan for a grade separated interchange at Rio Rd. and Route 29.
That's the same type of interchange that has come up in discussion by the advisory panel.
Many believe construction at that busy interchange will hurt businesses nearby, but business owners in the Albemarle Square Shopping Center say they just want something to be finalized and complete in their lifetime.
“I just hope that whatever decision they arrive to and finalize, they just go ahead and do it,” says Kirt Gray, owner of Kirt’s Ice Cream. “Don't wait another 20 years; If the funding is there let's get it done.”
“It may hurt local businesses, but at the same time, we're such a destination store, if you want to come to Cavalier Cards you're going to be getting off of 29 to come here anyways,” explained Rob Craid, store manager for Cavalier Cards.
Craig says he's not worried about people not knowing about his store. He says what has hurt is business is the location.
“Albemarle Square has kind of turned into a ghost town, with the library leaving, chandler's leaving and going back to the Circuit City days,” says Craig. “We've noticed an impact in sales because of that.”
In the past Craig didn’t notice much change in sales because of road construction.
Also included on that wish list is a plan to extend Berkmar Drive.
For a complete look at the four year plan click on the link under the picture.