Long Range Transportation Plan process getting underway

Council grants air rights to UVA for Emmet Street pedestrian bridge

The chair of the Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee told the Charlottesville last week Planning Commission about a major planning initiative that is about to get underway.

“We are just beginning the planning for the 2050 long-range transportation plan which is the high level plan that all of the projects that we’ll submit to Smart Scale and build will come out of,” Stolzenberg said. “It will be a roughly two year process, lots of community engagement, lots of stakeholder groups.”

Interested to learn more? A good place to start is the current Long Range Transportation Plan, which was adopted in 2019. The Federal Highway Administration requires the document as a condition of federal funding. You can take a look on the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Committee’s website, and if you’re really interested, go back and look at the 2014 plan. 

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors also got an update on the long-range transportation plan at their October 5 meeting. Here’s Supervisor Ann Mallek, a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board. That’s the body that will adopt the plan.

“And I would encourage people to listen out for participation opportunities to provide your input on that long range plan because our local projects to be funded with state or federal dollars do have to be on that plan,” Mallek said. “While it’s sort of a bureaucratic process it is incredibly important.” 

In other transportation news, earlier this month the Charlottesville City Council granted air rights over Emmet Street to the University of Virginia for a new pedestrian bridge that will connect Newcomb Hall Plaza with the Contemplative Commons. This will replace a span that is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

“Long overdue to have an ADA compliant, bikeable route that traverses that,” said Bill Palmer, the GIS planner for the UVA Office of the Architect. 

A conceptual drawing of the new pedestrian bridge

The University of Virginia is currently working on an update of its Master Plan. This new pedestrian bridge is called for in the 2019 Landscape Framework Plan

“With this new bridge, Newcomb Road South may have more pedestrian traffic as a connector to places in West Grounds such as the Dell, the Curry School of Education, and the future Contemplative Sciences Center,” reads page 150 of the plan put together by Michael Vergason Landscape Architects. 

For all of the UVA’s planning documents, visit the Office of the Architect’s website.

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 October 13, 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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