Could Changes to Rt. 29 Be Bad for Business?

March 28, 2014

On Thursday afternoon the advisory panel held their first meeting to discuss solutions to traffic along Route 29.

They suggested eliminating left turns, creating through-traffic lanes as well as synchronizing the lights along the corridor, but one Albemarle County supervisor says that the best solution was a bypass.

“If we built a bypass think of all of the options that would leave us open to do with the existing 29,” says Ken Boyd. “Then you would have an alternate route for the traffic to be rerouted to while you did things like putting in rapid transit systems, improving the boulevard of 29 where it is now, improving access to the businesses would generate tremendous tax revenue.”

Businesses along Route 29 make up nearly 45 percent of the local tax revenue for Albemarle County, with over 20,000 jobs creating $800 million a year.

“VDOT and the Commonwealth and our local officials need to be very careful about subjecting that commercial artery to three, five or 10 years to destructive construction,” says Timothy Hulbert, president of the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce.

Hulbert says that businesses could hurt if the wrong plan is put into motion.

“We don't need a plan which will jeopardize and destroy the economic engine in that area.”

Instead, both Hulbert and Boyd think that extending Berkmar and Hillsdale Drive could help ease traffic along Route 29 without hurting local businesses.

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