EDA briefed on Broadway Blueprint study

The Albemarle Economic Development Office has officially completed a planning study for a portion of the county around the Woolen Mills Factory on the western banks of the Rivanna River. (read the report)

“The general idea was to take the 46 and a half acres on the Broadway Corridor and turn that into a place that people, businesses, and activities all occur at the same time and everyone would like to be there,” said Roger Johnson, the county’s economic development director.  

Recommendations in the plan include creation of an arts and cultural district, creation of a business association for the corridor, increased bike and pedestrian facilities, design of a multimodal streetscape, and enhanced public transit. 

The report was delayed by COVID and during that time, Albemarle has adopted a new value of “community” which means equity and inclusion. That’s meant a new round of recommendations after the study was looked at through an equity lens. 

The new recommendations include connectivity to all outside communities including the city,” Johnson said. “We were talking about this being a county-only type project but there are some surrounding neighborhoods that we believe it makes sense to connect to as well. It also includes targeting programming and the use of public space to serve the broader neighborhoods.” 

The item was on the consent agenda for the March 16, 2022 meeting of the Board of Supervisors. 

On Thursday, the MPO Policy Board will select an alignment for a pedestrian and bike bridge to connect the Woolen Mills with Pantops. One would connect to Charlottesville at Chesapeake Street at a cost of $11.3 million. The other would connect at East Market Street and would have a cost of $15.4 million. (alternatives report) (comparison matrix)

Albemarle’s Broadway Street is entirely landlocked by Charlottesville (read the report)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the March 22, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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