The first meeting of the year for the Pantops Community Advisory Committee comes with a first look at a new concept for how Free Bridge Lane along the Rivanna River could be reconfigured in the near future between Darden Towe Park and U.S. 250. This is called for in the Pantops Master Plan adopted by the Board of Supervisors in June 2019.
“Free Bridge Lane provides a unique opportunity to further enhance the River corridor while improving upon the bicycle/ pedestrian connectivity in the area,” reads page 53 of the .PDF of the plan. “Free Bridge Lane should be reimagined as a “green street” that integrates elements of stormwater management into the street design to reduce runoff, while also enhancing facilities for bicycle and pedestrian travel along its length.”
In the language of the plan, this is a “catalyst” project which means it’s intended to be completed within eight years of the adoption of the plan. Other examples include expanded transit service, bike and pedestrian improvements on South Pantops Drive, and ways for pedestrians across Route 250.
The firm LPDA has developed two draft concepts. One is a Promenade that would close Free Bridge Lane to through vehicular traffic and would include parking areas at either end. The stretch in between would be a 15-foot wide pathway. The second is a Multi-Modal Boulevard that would convert the street to one-way from Darden-Towe Park to Free Bridge Lane, though a parking area at the southern end would be accessible to motorists.
The two concepts can be reviewed on the county’s website. They will be presented to the Pantops CAC at their meeting which begins at 6:15 p.m. in the Martha Jefferson Hospital Outpatient Center in the Kessler Conference Room at 595 Martha Jefferson Drive. (meeting info)