Traffic Changes Along Charlottesville Roads

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

November 14, 2005

Charlottesville City Council met tonight to discuss some traffic improvements that could alleviate some of the congested areas of the City. One intersection in question is that of West Main and Ridge Streets. The council pinpointed that area as a problematic bottleneck area, and construction has already begun in the form of a new addition of a southbound lane.

The future of West Main Street was on the minds of City Council as they examined future construction needs.

"We have needs for our sidewalks, for our street maintenance, and we need to make sure we figure out how to prioritize our capital needs," said Mayor David Brown.

One of those capital needs may be here at the corner of West Main Street and Ridge Street. The city is moving forward with several traffic calming measures including adding a second through lane on the southbound lanes of Ridge Street. Vice Mayor Kevin Lynch believes it is a fiscally sound start.

"That's going to be relatively inexpensive and would be good for both vehicular traffic, pedestrians, and transit. So that's a priority for me," he said.

Further changes may be in the works.

"Maybe move the statue over. Change the way the lanes work and have traffic flow be expedited in more than one direction," Brown said.

If traffic flows, so does mass transit.

"West Main Street is a backbone for most of our transit routes, so keeping that running smoothly is key," Lynch said.

One of those steps is already in place. The traffic light synchronization project is already under way on West Main Street and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

For now, the reconstruction of the intersection of West Main and Ridge Streets will not be addressed until January. City Council says that they will hold a public hearing and receive the public's comment before they move forward with any changes. No formal date has been set by the council for that public hearing.

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