February 20, 2007
As it stands right now, 7 1/2 Street in Charlottesville is only about 20 feet wide. With two way traffic and cars parked on one side, it makes getting by a pretty tight squeeze. A squeeze that some residents say is unsafe.
"If you are walking on the sidewalk, you have to jump up into somebody's yard to avoid being hit," said Robert Ferguson.
Robert Ferguson has lived on 7 1/2 Street for 35 years. He says this type of squeeze is a normal occurrence on his street. At tonight's City Council meeting, Ferguson along with several residents from the Fifeville neighborhood came out to encourage council to make the street a one way. It was a change that was granted.
"We have almost unanimous, which is very rare for survey and balloting research, support of this," said Carla Manno.
Right now, the street averages more than 1,000 cars a day. The changes mean traffic will only be able to travel northbound on 7 1/2 Street between Cherry Avenue and West Main Street. That change is expected to reduce the number of cars traveling the road drastically. City Development Services Manager Angela Tucker says the light at West Main was a determining factor in routing the road northbound .
"It the case of sending it northbound, a signal is already in place at the turn, if we are looking from Cherry Avenue to West Main, there is already a traffic signal in place at West Main," she said.
New signs will be installed to inform drivers of the changes. The changes will be reexamined after a year to see if they are working or if anything further needs to be addressed.
In other road changes, City Council voted unanimously to close the median crossing on the Route 250 Bypass at Birdwood Road.