March 27, 2014
The 10-person advisory panel, which includes officials from around Central Virginia, wrapped up their first meeting on the Route 29 Corridor.
The goal of the panel is to create a plan for Rt. 29 that will ease congestion and create better mobility along the stretch of road.
“We've got some solutions that I don't think our partners north and south may have realized we were that far along with,” says Jane Dittmar from the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. “Hillsdale drive, Berkmar, widening, the fact that the Meadow Creek parkway is going to open.”
They are looking for a plan that will create a solution for the next three decades and they are hoping to have it place in four years.
The state has given $200 million for the project and panel members just want to make sure it is used to better the corridor.
“It's a really good start but we need to make sure we are focused on a regional, a big picture, solution,” says Turner Perrow of the Lynchburg City Council. “These are dollars designed for a bypass or through traffic.”
“We need to focus how to get through traffic through Charlottesville.”
Perrow wants to focus on keeping state funds on the state issue of traffic and not spending it on local issues like pedestrian walkways.
“We need to look at separating the lanes, removing left hand turn lanes, grade separated intersections or a bypass and we heard that a bypass was off the table,” says Perrow.
Another solution thrown out by the panel was the use of synchronized traffic lights.
“What I did hear were solutions that were practical that can be measured and whose performance we'll be able to get a solid idea of,” says Philip Shucet, former VDOT Commissioner and chair of the panel.
The ideas from today will go to a technical team, who will take a look at if the ideas really work.
The next meeting takes place on April 10th.