July 26, 2006
From Route 29 to Route 33 there is evidence Greene County is growing. Bulldozers and construction equipment line many parts of the county pushing aside land to build new conveniences. But those conveniences come at a cost.
"As you start building larger and larger developments, the additional volume on the road network becomes significant pretty quickly," said Lou Hatter from VDOT.
The evidence lies in the numbers. According to VDOT, back in 2001, an average of 24,000 people traveled between Route 29 between the Albemarle County line and Route 33. That jumped to 28,000 in 2005. Route 33 saw the same type of increase jumping 2,000 trips a day in just four years. With no major plans in the works to increase the size of the road, VDOT must try and make this situation work.
"We can do spot improvements that improve the flow of traffic along the existing network of roads," Hatter said.
VDOT is considering one such improvement in Ruckersville. They want to lengthen the left hand turn lane from Route 29 North onto Route 33 West alleviating some congestion in the afternoons. They say it takes some juggling to make it happen.
"The trick is to try and balance that so that we don't add on more capacity than we need and make sure we utilize that existing capacity the best we can," said Hatter.
We talked to Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Catalano by phone and he stressed the importance the board puts on traffic concerns when deciding on new developments. He said the goal in the end is to create a better quality of life for all Greene county residents.