City evaluates road priorities, options for calming traffic, and critiques the County’s failure to construct connector roads and bypasses

The Annexation Monster.


Rey Barry’s website

in which he credits the illustration to local artist Charles Peale.

There was a time when Albemarle County feared Charlottesville’s increasing grasp over County land in the form of annexation.  That’s when this illustration of the

Annexation Monster

first appeared.  The City and County put an end to annexation in February 1982 with a revenue sharing agreement that has the County taxpayers perpetually making annual contributions to the City’s general fund (in FY 2008 that agreement is expected to send the City about $13.21 million).

(L to R) Bill Lucy, Cheri Lewis, Dave Norris, and Jim Tolbert

Yet, observing the City Council and City Planning Commission in a

joint work session on transportation last week

, it sounds as if we now have a

“Vehicular Commuter Monster”

extending its tentacles and choking City streets.  County encroachment on City roads is among the top concerns of City leaders and residents.  For example, at the last City Council meeting the Fry’s Springs neighborhood demanded the closure of Old Lynchburg Road at the City line to cut one of those traffic tentacles.  City leaders in this work session gave these concerns serious consideration and added their own ideas about ways to send the County a message on traffic.

You can LISTEN to the audio podcast of this meeting

by downloading it from

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Publications Page

.  It was too big to post on the blog.

I’ll admit it.  I am part of the problem.  I have not lived in the City since I was a student at UVA and I have been commuting into downtown Charlottesville every year since graduating in 1990 (my employers have always had offices in the City).  Yet had public transit been available from my past homes in Crozet or Ivy (West), Troy (East), 29 South, or 29 North, I would have gladly ditched my car.

This meeting was intended to facilitate the City’s updating of transportation goals and policies in the Comprehensive Plan.  Staff intended for this to be a “free flowing discussion,” and their expectations should have easily been met.  At the start of the meeting, Jim Tolbert, Director of the City’s Neighborhood Development Services, asked that the focus of this meeting be generally on roads in the City and not public transit and other modes of transportation, areas on which staff believe there is already broader support and consensus.  During this past year, as the County’s growth areas have seen major rezoning requests come forward (e.g. North Pointe, Biscuit Run, Old Trail), the City and County have been advancing a plan to form a regional transit authority (RTA).  Obviously, traffic congestion is a regional problem as commuters are also coming from localities beyond Albemarle where housing is cheaper and jobs are scarcer.

So back to the work session… Here are the major issues that received discussion:

Here are some specific highlights from the discussion:

Brian Wheeler


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