Rural Transportation Planning
The Rural Transportation Planning Program functions as a cooperative forum for transportation planning among the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT), transportation service providers, and the counties of Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson and Albemarle. While the Metropolitan Planning Organization has authority over the urbanized areas of Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville, the Rural Transportation Planning Program focuses on the region’s rural areas. The TJPDC serves as the Policy Board for this program, with the Rural Technical Committee serving as the advisory body.
Bike Route 76 Corridor Study
As part of its FY14 Rural Transportation Program, the TJPDC is conducting a Corridor Study of the Route 76 Bike Route within our region. U.S. Bicycle Route 76, also known as the TransAmerica Bike Route, is a national Bike Route that spans from the Midwest to eastern Virginia. Along this path, the route passes through five of the localities in our region - Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson. The intent of this work is to increase safety, access and awareness of the bike route. The Rural Technical Committee has conducted a scoping meeting for this project to help guide the process and deliverables.
The project scope includes three main elements:
Work during the current fiscal year will focus on Item 1, an inventory of existing conditions along the 136-mile stretch of Route 76 in our region. For additional information on this project, please visit the project website at www.tjpdc.org/route76 or contact Will Cockrell at firstname.lastname@example.org, 434-979-7310 x 440.
March Status Report for the Rural Transportation Program Available
A status report listing projects being carried out by the Rural Transportation Program is now available. This document dated March 2014, lists the project name, associated locality, status and next milestone. Click here to view the March 2014 Status Report.
Public Meeting for Route 151 Corridor Study Well Attended
On March 14 2013, VDOT held a public information meeting at the Rockfish Valley Community Center, to gather public input on an update of the Route 151 Corridor Study. VDOT provided data and maps of the 14-mile corridor, including the 13 intersections that are covered in this study. There were approximately 50 attendees who were present at the meeting. VDOT collected valuable input on public concerns and possible solutions.
Following this meeting, VDOT and their consultant, HNTB, will use these comments to develop recommendations that will address those concerns. There will be a second public meeting in mid-April (TBA) that will allow the public to provide additional feedback on those draft recommendations. VDOT and the project team are committed to gathering public input and ensuring that this input guides the final recommendations and report.
The VDOT Lynchburg office successfully secured funding to update this study, which was last completed in 2001. The Route 151 Corridor Study will evaluate the operations and safety of the corridor, beginning at the intersection of Route 151/Route 664 (Beech Grove Road) in the South and ending with the Route 151/U.S. Route 250 intersection in Albemarle County. HNTB Corporation is VDOT’s on-call consultant and will perform the majority of the work. This study is included in the TJPDC’s Rural Transportation Program and the PDC serves on the project team.
For more information on this study, contact Will Cockrell at email@example.com, or the VDOT project manager, Rick Youngblood at Rick.Youngblood@VDOT.Virginia.gov. If you would like to submit written comments on the Route 151 Corridor Study, please contact Rick Youngblood by email or regular mail, at 4219 Campbell Avenue, Lynchburg, Va. 24501. Please reference “Route 151 Corridor Study” in the subject line.
Successful Roundtable Event on Rural Special Events
Large organized events are increasingly common in our region, particularly as wineries and brewers become more popular and common. These gatherings include festivals, weddings, concerts and other public assemblies. While these events bring benefits, such as increased tourism, economic development, community pride and recreation, they also create challenges. Most notably, those issues revolve around noise and traffic. Localities attempt to balance the benefits of these events with the needs for peace and safety in the surrounding areas. It is a challenge to find that balance in local regulations, but the TJPDC held a roundtable discussion intended to provide guidance to these issues.
On February 19, 2013 the TJPDC's Rural Technical Committee held the roundtable event on this topic. There were several guest speakers, providing various unique perspectives. From Albemarle County's zoning department, staff discussed local permitting and laws that are associated with large special events. A VDOT representative presented on the State's standards, related to required forms and notifications. There were also speakers from the City of Charlottesville's policy and zoning inspections offices, who discussed the challenges and logistics of managing noise at these events.
This was a successful discussion, with good attendance from our member governments. Those local planners heard various perspectives on how to regulate and enforce regulations associated with large events. These discussions are intended to help those professionals take knowledge back to their communities, to better serve their citizens.
Rural Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC)