Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Charlottesville Route 29 Bypass awfulness

The proposed Charlottesville Route 29 bypass is now taking bids from developers, and VDOT is denying them information for accurate quotes. Are they doing this to steer the bid toward particular cozy construction firms?

The real awfulness and absurdity of this project is clear to me.
  1. It will have almost no observable impact on the actual traffic on Route 29. An expert study shows that the vast majority of traffic on Route 29 is local. This issue is best addressed by upgrading local alternative routes for users. 
  2. The bypass will permanently degrade beautiful Charlottesville environs, and accelerate its decline into another hideous Northern-Virginia-style soulless suburban outpost.

It makes my heart sick when people care so little for their surroundings. This project does nothing whatsoever for Charlottesville, and does much to harm it. What more can be done to convince our representatives and the citizens to oppose it?

Western Bypass From South Interchange to North Interchange from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.


  1. It's hard to know how the proposed bypass will impact traffic on the commercialized sections of Rt. 29. However, citing a 25 year old traffic survey as justification for your stance against the project is inadequate. If nothing else, the bypass will make it easier to get to and from areas north of the city for most Charlottesville residents (airport, D.C., etc).

  2. Thanks for posting your comment, Adam. The 29 bypass project is equally based on outdated traffic studies. What concerns me is the degrading of the Charlottesville city character. What would improve travel around Charlottesville Rt. 29 North would be to upgrade and expand the existing alternate routes, such as extending Berkmar Drive to Airport Road. There was an excellent book published recently, called "Traffic" outlining the results of the best studies on traffic issues. Of course building the bypass would help some people. The question is whether the bypass is a good thing for Charlottesville, and whether there are alternative effective strategies that would be less expensive and less harmful. You can see Charlottesville Tomorrow's latest info on the bypass here: http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/page/29bypass