UPDATE: The Rialto, Sixth Street and Meridian/Belmont intersection improvements are complete.
For many years, Belmont residents have expressed concerns about safety, traffic speeds and the visibility of non-motorized users along the Monticello Avenue corridor. Following input from the 2006 Neighborhood Design Day, traffic engineering staff developed designs for pedestrian improvements at Monticello/6th and Rialto. The designs were never implemented due to lack of funding. In 2012, City Council approved a Travel Plan for Clark Elementary School, which included the intersection improvements at 6th and Rialto. In 2013, VDOT awarded funding to the intersection improvements.
Monticello Avenue is also an important corridor both locally and nationally. It is part of U.S. Bicycle Route 76, a transatlantic bike route which runs from coastal Virginia to central Missouri and the main route between Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Pedestrian Mall and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The proposed bicycle and pedestrian designs are a result of several efforts: 2003 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, the Clark Elementary Safe Routes to School Travel Plan , the recently adopted Strategic Investment Area Plan, and two neighborhood meetings/walking tours.
Project Process to Date
On Monday, May 12, 2014, the City of Charlottesville held a Walking Tour & Open House for city residents to share observations and provide feedback on proposed conceptual designs for bicycle lanes and pedestrian crossing changes along Monticello Avenue (from Ridge Street to the City Limits). Two alternatives for bike lane installation were presented for review and feedback. Intersection improvements were also reviewed.
Alternative 1 resulted in bike lanes in both directions throughout the corridor. Implementation of this option would result in the removal of parking on one side of the roadway between 6th Street and Meridian as well as from Carlton to Druid with complete elimination from Tufton to Carlton.
Alternative 2 resulted in a mixture of bike lanes and shared lanes throughout the corridor to preserve existing on-street parking wherever possible. This option attempted to install a climbing bicycle lane on uphill portions of the roadway, while bicyclists on the downhill side of the roadway would operate within a shared lane.
Based on feedback received at that meeting and follow-up comments sent via email, a third alternative was developed that responded to concerns about parking removal and the general concern about pedestrians crossing Carlton Ave. The revised alternative includes a conceptual design for reconstructing the Carlton Avenue intersection, bike lanes from the City limits to Meridian Street; climbing bike lanes on one side of the road between Meridian and Avon; and wider bike lanes from 6th Street to Ridge Street. Parking is consolidated to one side of the road for some sections. This conceptual alternative was presented at the August Neighborhood Association Meeting, where those present expressed support for plan.
The City held a public open house to review draft designs for proposed Monticello Avenue bike lanes and pedestrian crossings on January 12, 2015. Residents, property owners and anyone interested could drop in at any time during that time to provide feedback.
August 2014 Neighborhood Association Meeting Materials
May 12, 2014 Meeting Materials
January 12, 2015
Bike lane installation tentatively scheduled for 2017
For more information, contact Amanda Poncy; Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 970-3720.