Within the next two years, work is expected to begin on two projects that have goals of enhancing portions of two Charlottesville streets. Last week, the city held information meetings on the Fontaine Avenue streetscape and bicycle and pedestrian improvements to two intersections on Monticello Avenue. The estimated $11.7 million Fontaine streetscape has an anticipated construction date of winter 2021. At a Thursday open house at the Fontaine Avenue Fire Station, visitors were given the opportunity to give feedback on the options to rework the entirety of the city’s portion of the street. The options came from community feedback and the project’s steering committee. The work has been broken up into three segments. Between city limits and Summit Street, Fontaine currently is a two-lane road with a sidewalk on only one side. Renderings of one version of the plan show an expansion of the road within the current right-of-way that would feature bike lanes in each direction and two 7-foot-wide sidewalks. The alternative would include a 5-foot landscape buffer between the roadway and the sidewalks. Three options were presented for the portion of Fontaine between Summit and Lewis streets, which currently has incomplete sidewalks, a small section of dedicated bike lanes and some on-street parking. The first proposal largely would fit in the existing 56-foot right-of-way and would add sidewalks and bike lanes to both sides of the road. The second would include a landscape buffer between the pavement and the sidewalk, and the third would expand the road’s right-of-way to 83 feet to preserve on-street parking and include the landscape buffer. From Lewis Street to Jefferson Park Avenue, the options presented Thursday would add bike lanes either with or without a landscape buffer between the roadway and the sidewalk. The city is collecting comments on these streetscape concepts through May 3, and officials expect to refine the concepts and incorporate feedback throughout the year.

Some of the options for the Fontaine Avenue streetscape. Credit: Credit: City of Charlottesville Credit: Credit: City of Charlottesville

At Monticello Avenue and Ridge Street, Monticello would be reconfigured to eliminate the dedicated through lane into the Noland parking lot and add a bike box for turning cyclists, according to renderings. On Ridge Street, dedicated bike lane and bike boxes at the intersection would eliminate about nine parking spaces. A curb extension on eastbound Monticello Avenue would remove one parking space. At Second Street, a slip lane from southbound Second to westbound Monticello would be removed and replaced by a traditional right-turn lane. Curb extensions would shorten and straighten crosswalks at the intersection, and bike boxes would be painted on the pavement. A net loss of about five parking spaces on both Monticello Avenue and Second Street would occur because of the intersection work, according to renderings. The deadline to submit comments on the Monticello Avenue improvements or to request a public hearing for concerns that cannot be addressed adequately without one is April 27. Additional information on the Fontaine streetscape may be found at fontainestreetscape.com, and the city’s page on the Monticello Avenue improvements is at www.charlottesville.org/monticello.


Elliott Robinson has spent nearly 15 years in journalism and joined Charlottesville Tomorrow as its news editor in August 2018 through 2021. He is a graduate of Christopher Newport University.