Tuesday, August 15, 2006

River Road Walk

Chris wants us to reduce the number of trips we make by car. I am onboard for the most part. So I decided the boys and I would walk to pick up the pictures I had gotten developed.

River Road has spotty sidewalks, meaning in the most dangerous sections there are no sidewalks. In addition, River Road is now (unofficially or officially) part of the Rivanna River Trail because of the lady who put up barb wire. River Rd. is really hard to walk and not just because of the hill, it is the industrial traffic and the speed of the cars. The alternatives are not that much better (think extremely narrow streets + speeding cars) at least River Rd. is somewhat wider than the other neighborhood thoroughfares.

A sidewalk on the whole of River Rd. is an ideal solution for neighbors and visitors to the trail. I know the City is loathe to consider a sidewalk in Locust Grove Neighborhood after the last fiasco, hopefully this goes smoother and it certainly benefits more than the neighborhood with all the users of the trail hiking up River making for a potentially dangerous scenario.

I would certainly feel a lot better about walking more places if there were more sidewalks. The photos turned out great (who knew 36 pictures of the Fair could be soo fun?).


Peter Kleeman said...

Charlottesville just approved spending $250,000 on an alignment study for an eastern connector road. But, this entire road will (if built) be entirely in Albemarle County. This expenditure appears to be part of the process of moving the Meadow Creek Parkway (McIntire Road Extended) in the City of Charlottesville) that will run through McIntire Park.

I do not understand why the City of Charlottesville feels that spending $250,000 for this study makes any sense. Many improvements in Albemarle County and beyond may benefit the City, but shouldn't the county pay for county roads? And, one of the mentioned routes for this connector would be through Pen Park (another protected parkland area).

I would be much happier if our $250,ooo went toward building pedestrian connections, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and the like. I am unhappy that our city transportation money is being spent on county projects that will threaten not one, but two of Charlottesvilles main parks, when basic sidewalk connections do not exist. What is happening here? Lets ask for a better use of our transportation dollar.

Jennifer said...

I find it hard to believe a study for an Eastern Connector is being funded entirely by the City when honestly, does it even go near the City? From what you say, it appears the Connector may go through Pen Park, to maximize development potential probably.I see the Connector farther out, because honestly at that point how are we ever going to drive on Rio again?
That is a lot of money for a study, certainly lots of my neighbors suffer from drainage issues and lack of viable walking/cycling alternatives.

Peter Kleeman said...

Actually, the City of Charlottesville is only contributing to the Eastern Connector study with their $250,000 in support. Albemarle County is also contributing $350,000 so the total current project budget is $600,00. I believe investigation of an Eastern Connector between the Pantops Mountain area and the area north of Charlottesville has merit, but I think Albemarle County should be the sponsors of this road that would be totally in Albemarle County.

I plan to hike the trails through Pen Park this week to see what resources in this park are being threatened. I have not seen any of the proposed alignments studied to date, but rumor is that not only will Pen Park be threatened, but the Darden Towe Park may be threatened as well.

Perhaps the 'City as a Park' concept developed for Charlottesville several years ago is no longer alive. I for one hope to revive that thinking, and ask the Charlottesville City Council to consider their recent approval of the Mayor's Climate Change Agreement - and evaluate what impacts replacing our parks with roads means to our local health in addition to our global climate. Think globally -> Act locally!