Transportation Solutions

As high gas prices, traffic congestion, strain on the state budget and concerns about pollution prompt widespread calls for change, PEC supports a new transportation vision for Virginia. 

Prince William County Considers Land Use Changes That Encourage Sprawl

Prince William County Considers Land Use Changes That Encourage Sprawl

Prince William County is evaluating three different land use changes that would introduce industrial and residential sprawl into the Rural Crescent, to the detriment of water quality, wildlife habitat, agriculture, historic resources, tourism and the rural atmosphere.

PEC Signs Letter Asking National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board to Reduce Transportation Emissions, Sprawl

PEC Signs Letter Asking National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board to Reduce Transportation Emissions, Sprawl

On May 1, PEC joined 34 other groups around Virginia, D.C. and Maryland in signing on to a joint letter from the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG) to make necessary and feasible changes to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TBP)’s Visualize 2045 plan.

Rivanna Bridge Update

Rendering: VBH via VDOT

Update (August 1): The MPO submitted the Bridge proposal (with the Wool Factory terminus) to VDOT this afternoon for SMARTSCALE funding. We will find out if the project is approved in January of 2023.

Read the full project background here.


As you may know, the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Board voted last week to pursue VDOT SMARTSCALE funding for a pedestrian bridge connecting Pantops and Woolen Mills at the end of Market Street (the Wool Factory). Allison Wrabel wrote a good story about the vote.

Getting a pedestrian connection over the Rivanna in this area is a big win for the community, and I’m excited for the next step. Although the public survey and MPO Technical Committee both preferred the Chesapeake Street location, Market Street has powerful logic of its own and some late-breaking and not-obvious factors were decisive in the vote.

For one thing, much of the support for Chesapeake Street was contingent on the bridge being an elegant suspension bridge, which came into doubt late in the process. Many people might well have voted differently if they had known the bridge style would likely be more industrial in nature. Of course, it would have been better to know this from the beginning, but the process did work in that it brought the issue to light before the final location was selected.

What’s more, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors has a strong preference for the Market Street alignment adjacent to the Wool Factory site, which locates the bridge entirely in the County. Albemarle is stringing together a series of projects that merge economic development and community wellness in Pantops, the Old Mills Trail, the Wool Factory and Broadway. The bridge at Market Street ties them all together.

Not only is Albemarle putting forth plans, it is putting money behind them. The existing improvements at the Wool Factory are one example. Also quite interesting is the fact that the county has recently juiced several transportation projects with millions from its Transportation Leveraging Program.

That kind of local support (or Economic Development funds) could help mitigate the cost difference between the two bridge location options and be of critical importance if unforeseen contingencies arise. Although both options had strong appeal, the Policy Board (with representatives from Albemarle, Charlottesville, and VDOT) selected the one that it would best be most able to get behind and push to completion.

For all those reasons, this is a very positive outcome.

A Few Highlights From 2021

A Few Highlights From 2021

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a global economic slowdown, 2021 proved to be a year of new opportunity here at The Piedmont Environmental Council.

Your input needed on planning efforts in Albemarle and Charlottesville

Your input needed on planning efforts in Albemarle and Charlottesville

Charlottesville and Albemarle are in the midst of major planning efforts, and both are thinking about their capital budgets, which is a big part of how those plans get implemented. At this time, the two localities seem to be heading in different directions when it comes to quality-of-life infrastructure.

Your Support is Doubled for Giving Tuesday

Your Support is Doubled for Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global movement dedicated to giving back to organizations and causes you care about. Today on November 30, your donation will go twice as far thanks to the generosity of a longtime supporter who is offering a dollar-for-dollar match on any gifts we receive up to a total of $25,000! We hope you consider making a special one-time gift, becoming a new PEC member, or renewing your existing membership.

Mini Summit Continues Forward Movement; Mobility Social Recognizes One Who Started It

Mini Summit Continues Forward Movement; Mobility Social Recognizes One Who Started It

Passionate activists, professionals, and community members came together virtually on August 27 to work to make Charlottesville and Albemarle a better place for walking, biking and active living. Later, many of them (joined by others) enjoyed an outdoor happy hour and mixer. The day culminated with a community service award presentation to Albemarle County’s recently retired Greenways Coordinator, Dan Mahon.