Great news! On July 3, 2019 the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors adopted the Jefferson Area Bike / Pedestrian Plan as part of the Transportation chapter of the County’s Comprehensive Plan! See the approved resolution >>
Charlottesville intends to include it in their forthcoming plan as well. Thank you to all the staff, officials, and (most importantly) residents and advocates who came together to make this happen. The next step will be implementation and that will be our focus going forward. The simplest way you can get involved is by signing our Letter of Community Support >>
Original Post (5/10/19)
Support the New Jefferson Area Bike & Ped Plan!
For the last year and a half, PEC and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) have been working with residents and community groups in the Charlottesville and Albemarle urban area to envision a better network of bicycle and pedestrian connections.
Robust bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improves the quality of life for all residents — providing everyday access to fresh air, relaxation, and the natural world. It also increases transportation options while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and air, noise, and water pollution.
That is why the newly released Jefferson Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is such an important milestone.
The Plan maps a comprehensive network of bike lanes, sidewalks, and shared use paths that connect Charlottesville and Albemarle neighborhoods to schools, shopping, downtown and natural areas while also identifying bicycle connections to and among adjoining counties.
From Plan to Action
Pulling this regional bike and pedestrian plan together was just the first step. Now comes the hard work of getting projects in the plan built.
The Plan’s ambitious recommendations will require increased local funding, cooperation between governments and among agencies and sustained advocacy and engagement from local residents, organizations and businesses.
You can help by adding your name and/or your business/organization to our letter of community support!
Sign the Letter of Support >>
Many of you signed our greenways petition, which demonstrated the community-wide support for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The finalized TJPDC plan gives us something more detailed to rally around. Signing this letter will let elected leaders and funders know that we are serious about getting projects implemented.
We encourage you to forward this appeal to your friends and colleagues!
More About the Plan
The Jefferson Area Plan is the result of a multi-year effort to pull together previous bike/ped plans in the area and incorporate some new ideas. Though the focus is on the urban areas in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, recommendations are also provided for Greene, Louisa, Nelson and Fluvanna Counties.
To inform the Plan, PEC took a leading role in gathering public input through outreach events, community meetings and promoting our online survey using social media. My coworker, Rex Linville, and I also co-convened the Stakeholder Advisory Group with TJPDC staff, which helped shape the planning process.
The Plan emphasizes opportunities for the City, the County, and the University of Virginia to work together, particularly along boundaries, where there are many gaps in the bike/pedestrian infrastructure and barriers to connectivity.
Among the recommendations:
- A bike/pedestrian bridge linking Woolen Mills and Pantops
- Connect to resources south of town including Biscuit Run, PVCC, and Monticello as well as schools and neighborhoods
- Increased connectivity along and access to the Rivanna River
- Extend and improve bike/ped infrastructure on Fontaine Avenue and Ivy Road
- Create better crossings on US-29 and US-250
- Upgrade existing bike lanes and sidewalks along major routes to make them safe and appealing for everyone
Although the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is an important milestone, it can only succeed with a broad coalition and long-term community mobilization.
If you would like to receive more frequent communications on this subject, please send me an email asking to be added to our bi-weekly Greenways Advocacy email list. Please also consider joining or donating to The Piedmont Environmental Council so we can continue this important work.
Thank you for your support! I know that with your help—and a great deal of persistence—we can create a better connected community and add to the reasons this is such a great place to live.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
Charlottesville and Albemarle
The Piedmont Environmental Council
P.S. I also wanted to give a huge thank you to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation! Much of PEC and TJPDC’s recent work was made possible through the Strengthening Systems Grant we received in 2017.
The preceding text was taken from an email alert sent out on May 10, 2019. To sign up for email alerts, visit pecva.org/signup.