This text was taken from an email sent out on October 22, 2014:
Walkability, bike lanes and aesthetics are important considerations for Rt. 29 improvements
While momentum has shifted towards positive, effective improvements to Rt. 29, it’s now critical for the public to weigh in on something important — design.
When it comes to road projects, pedestrian and bike access and the overall aesthetic design can become afterthoughts. With the planned improvements to Rt. 29, we have an opportunity to make sure that isn’t the case.
Rt. 29 is the gateway to our community — and if its going to continue to be a safe place to shop, work and live, smart design elements should be an integral part of the road improvements.
VDOT already has a design plan for their projects. But before they award a bid to a contractor, they will consider refining their project plans, to be sure the final design takes into account public input and desires.
VDOT is collecting public comment on the design of the overpass at Rio Road, the extension of Berkmar Drive and widening Rt. 29 north of the river. Comments are due by Friday, October 24.
As an example of what I’m talking about, my comments to VDOT focused on: including multi-use paths on Berkmar Drive and the section of Rt. 29 that will be widened, safe pedestrian crossings, paying attention to design aesthetics and landscaping for the Rio overpass and bridge at the Rivanna River, and requiring that wooded medians on Rt. 29 be preserved as best they can.
It’s important that we continue to show support for these Rt. 29 improvements and encourage VDOT to make every effort to minimize construction impacts.
Albemarle County and Charlottesville Land Use Officer
The Piedmont Environmental Council
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