WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Tolls No Longer on the Table for Charlottesville

By: Val Thompson Email
By: Val Thompson Email

August 20, 2013

The Charlottesville/Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization is abandoning a proposal to put tolls into downtown Charlottesville over the next several decades.

The plan had been one of the possible scenarios for the long-term transportation plan the MPO is developing. However, MPO program manager Sarah Rhodes says the toll idea was dropped because it was not possible.

Instead, they are focusing on other ways to cut congestion as they develop a plan for transportation projects for the next 25 years. But, according to Rhodes, transportation funding is not reliable.

"It's getting so limited that it's very difficult to build a transportation vision with the funding you can reasonably expect," Rhodes says.

The MPO is estimating that Central Virginia will get about $300 million in transportation funding in the next twenty years. Rhodes says, that's not much money, considering that the Western Bypass is costing nearly that much on its own.

However, the Western Bypass is already funded, and not included in future road cost estimates.

"We're working under the assumption that the bypass will be built," Rhodes said. "It's a fully-funded project. It's something we have to do."

She says, having the bypass would take traffic away from Route 29 and open up new options for that roadway, like bicycle lanes or a bus-only lane.

"It would be a lot like a subway," Rhodes said. "Buses come on a certain time and you get on and you are not trapped by congestion."

The commission has created a new web site that explains some of these ideas.

"This is all planning phases," Rhodes said. "There's still plenty of opportunity to discuss these ideas."

And plenty of time to see if the state gives more money for roads.

"That funding estimate could change," Rhodes said. "I'm really hoping it does. Maybe go up a little bit."

The MPO is holding the first of a series of meetings on August 28 at 5 p.m. to take public feedback about transportation priorities.

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 220416931