Tag Archives: Transportation Planning

VDOT Panel’s Pocahontas Problem

By. Neil Williamson, President

This Sunday’s (3/12) Daily Progress Editorial discusses “Beginning Anew on Hydraulic” painting a rather optimistic picture of the regulatory and political process planned to design, secure funding and build improvements to the Hydraulic and US29 intersection.

But the Editorial forgot Pocahontas.

Please let me explain.

Regular readers are aware of the Free Enterprise Forum’s position opposing the Rio/US29 grade separated interchange.  Despite that opposition, we have been impressed with the manner the project was completed.  Now the Daily Progress editorial board is comparing the Rio intersection process with Hydraulic:

And the process through which the Rio project was completed did, in fact, contribute to its success. That process can be replicated, regardless of what kind of engineering design it eventually produces.

In fact, it is being replicated. The meeting last week of state and community leaders follows the pattern used in the Rio project: A panel of local elected officials, business owners and citizens is meeting regularly to discuss the Hydraulic venture, provide input and help guide decision-making. Their involvement is aimed at ensuring that local interests are represented in the state’s drive to speed traffic through a congested bottleneck.

disney pocaThis is where Pocahontas lesson comes in:

What I love most about rivers is you can’t step in the same river twice – The water’s always changing, always flowing

Just prior to the seating of the so called “29 Solutions” panel, there was significant state and federal dollars allocated and a contract awarded to a project (the western bypass) that had enjoyed (4-2) support from Albemarle’s Board of Supervisors and then Republican Governor Robert McDonnell. In November 2013 elections, the balance of power on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors shifted left and Democratic Governor Terrance McAuliffe was elected.  Then in February 2014, the project was effectively prohibited by a letter from the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency.

Cvillepedia described the situation in the manner:

Aubrey Layne, Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation, convened a panel in the spring of 2014 to suggest alternatives for money that had been allocated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

With the project [Western Bypass] presumed dead, former VDOT commissioner Philip Shucet has recommended alternate uses for at least $200 million that had been allocated to the bypass. The alternatives include $54 million to extend Berkmar Drive across the South Fork Rivanna River, an additional $10 million to further extend Hillsdale Drive Extended to Holiday Lane in Charlottesville, and $81 million to build a grade-separated intersection at Rio Road and U.S. 29. The Commonwealth Transportation Board adopted a new six-year improvement program that included the projects at its meeting on June 18, 2014. [17] That meant the Western Bypass project was defunded. [5]

In addition, in a deft politically savvy move, McAuliffe required ALL the Route 29 “solutions” be completed by October 31, 2017 (coincidentally just prior to Election Day 2017).

The Pocahontas lesson that was not lost on Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) contract facilitator Philip Shucet.  In the first meeting of The Hydraulic Planning Advisory Panel last week, he highlighted that unlike the previous panel which was considering how to spend a pot of money already allocated to the district the project or projects would have to compete for limited transportation dollars via VDOT’s Smart Scale evaluation program in 2018.

Secretary Layne’s charge to the Hydraulic panel includes this concern as well as hinting at the potential political in fighting at an intersection that is 3/4 in the City of Charlottesville and 1/4 in Albemarle County:

Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne’s charge to the Panel:

To provide general advice and input to the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, VDOT and the Commonwealth Transportation Board regarding future land use and mobility improvements in the general area near the Hydraulic Road and Rt. 29 intersection.

The Secretary understands that land use decisions are in the hands of the localities, but also emphasizes that decisions to submit a future Smart Scale application for state-funded transportation improvements are also in the hands of the localities.

The multi jurisdictional work (land use, design and funding) of Hydraulic Road will be significantly more involved than the challenges at Rio Road.  While we agree that the process will be informed by the work of Rio, we are also reminded that Pocahontas quote is actually derivative of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus:

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

Not only is Hydraulic a very different intersection than Rio,the land use work ahead is different and the funding is nowhere near secure.

Yes the facilitator is the same, as are some of the panel members, but this multi-jurisdictional land use and transportation effort will be a VERY different process and the outcomes (and their timing) are far from certain.

Stay tuned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson, President

Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and  Nelson County.

Photo Credits: Disney


Albemarle Arrogance on US29


By. Neil Williamson, President

directional question signPrior to determining what transportation solution to implement on US29, the community, state and federal government must determine exactly what problem they are trying to solve. Unfortunately,the Free Enterprise Forum continues to see a vocal minority expressing a self centered circular argument that precludes productive dialog.

Please let me explain.

The February 18th letter from The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) changed the conversation paradigm from the approved and funded bypass versus anything else to everything is now on the table.

But the question remains, what is the problem the project is seeking to solve?

Alice-Falling-Down-the-Rabbit-HoleLewis Carroll captured this concept in his famous tome Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

Throughout the 5 hour public hearing at the Albemarle Board of Supervisors last month, speakers mentioned that the bypass is a misnomer and needs to be significantly longer.  The Free Enterprise Forum wrote about this concept in September US29 Bypass Extension is too short and too long.

The question raised by the FHWA letter is one of “purpose and need”.  The feds believe this road was properly designed for a time that has passed.  The letter also suggests that VDOT should get significant buy in from the community to any solution proposed.

To gain community consensus, the Free Enterprise Forum believes an objective set of metrics needs to be developed to evaluate ANY proposed solution.  The metrics discussion should happen now absent any concrete (pun intended) concept. Some of the metrics I have heard discussed include:

          • Cost/Return on Investment
          • Throughput Improvement (Corridor Travel time)
          • Congestion Improvement (how many hours at level of service  E or worse)
          • Preservation/Destruction of Rural Area
          • Water Quality
          • Economic Dislocation
          • Freight Capacity
          • Distance to Schools

us 29 logoSeemingly, there are some in the community that have little to no concern about the import of this National Highway and Federal Aid Route as it relates to the rest of the Commonwealth. Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Sean Tubbs article in Sunday’s Daily Progress included two direct quotes that clearly voiced this sentiment:

“I don’t think … I’m sitting here to worry about people from Lynchburg getting to Washington, D.C.,” said Places29 council member Cynthia Neff. “I’m worried about the growth area of the Albemarle community and how we move traffic through most effectively.”

“It’s obvious Virginia needs a third north-south interstate, but it ain’t U.S. 29,” Places29 Council Member and President of Charlottesville Albemarle Transportation Coalition George]  Larie said. “There are too many driveways.”

The Free Enterprise Forum has also learned that one person at the meeting heard a Places29 Council member member suggest under their breath “[explicative deleted] Lynchburg”.

It is interesting those generally described as Bypass Opponents, including Neff and Laurie, have little difficulty with the concept of accepting Federal funds (from all of the US) for transportation improvements as long as they are programmed for their myopic local improvements.  This “Albemarle Arrogance” suggests a lack of understanding of the word “Commonwealth” and undercuts the goals of VDOT.

Despite calls for the immediate sale of Western Bypass Right of Way,  Virginia’s Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said at the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) February meeting discussion of selling the right of way is premature because it would rule out a possible solution.

Interestingly, in the February meeting two CTB members indicated a willingness to accept the funds that had been dedicated for Charlottesville and reprogramming them to projects in their districts.  Again, Layne suggested such reprogramming of funds would be premature (but not out of the question).

Unfortunately, I believe Lewis Carroll correctly projected Albemarle County’s current transportation planning philosophy in Through the Looking Glass.

“Well, in out country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’dAlice_in_Wonderland generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”

We eagerly await the March 19th CTB meeting where VDOT has been charged to present a laundry list of projects designed to address the concerns raised in the FHWA letter.  Whether any such projects might garner the required local support is an open question.  If not, there are plenty of other communities in the Commonwealth who are lining up for these Federal dollars.

If the funds are reprogrammed outside of Albemarle, no significant transportation improvements will likely be completed in the near term “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place”.

Maybe that was the opposition’s goal after all.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson, President


20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa  and Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credits: Pixabay, Walt Disney Company

Greene Says “No” To MPO

By. Brent Wilson, Greene County Field Officer

At their August 14th meeting the Greene County  Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to decline the invitation to join the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The Board had asked a number of questions regarding membership in the organization.  As the reply to those questions came in after the Board packet had been prepared for the public, the Board requested Planning Director, Bart Svoboda  read the answers into the record. 

Steve Williams TJPDC Photo Credit Greene County RecordThe answers were provided by Stephen Williams, Executive Director for The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) . The key answer that impacted the decision was that Greene County would not have voting rights initially and it might take years before such voting rights would be granted.

In addition, the increased demand of limited county resources was also a factor in the supervisors’ decision. Supervisor Jim Frydl calculated that close to one month’s cost of the administrator would be the cost Greene County could incur when the annual meeting time for a Board Member, Planning Commission Member and staff was calculated.

The five current voting members of the MPO Policy Board are Charlottesville (two), Albemarle County (two) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) (one).  These five would be deciding policy until Greene County was given voting rights. Chairman Buggs Peyton also wanted to keep the Greene County Transit System separate. It operates on an as needed basis as opposed to a regular schedule.  Both Supervisors Lamb and Deane raised concern over the inability to get the US 29 Western Bypass accomplished.

It is generally believed at the next census – in 2020 – Greene County will have grown in population to mandate inclusion into the MPO. The BOS unanimously agreed that they would prefer to not spend the money required to join the MPO and deal with the MPO in 10 years when Route 29 has been expanded northbound. Greene County has been studying the Route 29 corridor as it passes from Albemarle County into Greene County as part of their 20 year comprehensive plan  .

As the Free Enterprise Forum stated in our July 23th editorial, we believe that the Greene County Board of Supervisors considered the pros and cons of joining the MPO and made a decision in the best interest of Greene County.


Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.

The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you.  To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credit: Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission

Saying “No” to the MPO


By. Neil Williamson, President

When is a regional organization not regional enough?

In the coming days, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) [and the Greene County Board of Supervisors] will be discussing a potential expansion to include Albemarle Countys Crozet, Fluvanna County’s Lake Monticello as well as the Twin Lakes and Ruckersville “urban clusters” of Greene County.

MPO Expansion (2)By means of background, the 2010 Census identified these areas currently outside the MPO Boundary area as attaining urban cluster population numbers. 

The MPO Policy Board and the respective localities must discuss if there is interest on both parties to move forward with the expansion of the MPO Area.

The MPO is a federally mandated and federally funded organization designed to facilitate regional cooperation on transportation issues of regional importance in communities of over 50,000 residents.

According to the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) website [TJPDC serves as staff for the MPO]:

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is the forum for cooperative transportation decision-making among Charlottesville, Albemarle, state and federal officials.

The MPO considers long-range regional projects and combines public input, technical data, and agency collaboration to develop forward-thinking solutions. Organized for the City of Charlottesville and the urbanized area of Albemarle County immediately surrounding the City, it is responsible for carrying out continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning and programming process*.

The MPO coordinates the transportation planning activities of the various transportation-related agencies that have both a direct and indirect impact on the Long Range Plan and Transportation Improvement Program.

Steve Williams TJPDC Photo Credit Greene County RecordThe MPO is led by TJPDC Executive Director Stephen Williams who reports to a Policy Board including five voting members, two Charlottesville City Councilors, two Albemarle County Supervisors and one representative from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) If the MPO was to expand the construct of the voting members of the Policy Board must change to include the new localities as well. 

The Free Enterprise Forum has documented how the current construct proved critically important during the recent approval of the US29 Western Bypass (What the MPO could learn from Kenny Rogers).   Expanding the voting members significantly changes the voting pool and diminishes the import of the VDOT representative. 

In addition, the geographic unity of the MPO footprint would be lost.  While we recognize the entire transportation network is interlinked, it is difficult to draw a direct impact of Hillsdale Drive Extended to Lake Monticello. 

Currently, if Federal funds are available for a project in an area outside the MPO, VDOT works directly with the locality to secure those funds.  If the area is within an MPO footprint there must be additional consent from the MPO .  This results in a loss of autonomy by the locality.

Finally, such an expansion would require the outlying counties to increase staffing.  The Policy Board currently meets only every other month as does the technical committee but each of these public meetings requires staff (and elected) to review and understand the matters coming before the MPO. 

The Free Enterprise Forum has attended well ovneil at MPOer a hundred hours of MPO meetings.  As a seasoned observer, we believe the potential loss of locality autonomy, the increase in staff time on issues not germane to the locality, as well as the lack of geographic unity are reason enough for Greene and Fluvanna to say “No to the MPO”.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson, President


20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and  Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credits: Greene County Record, Charlottesville Tomorrow

Ever Wonder What the “V” in VDOT stood for?

By. Neil Williamson, President

Two transportation bills (HB 1248 and SB 639) working their way through the Virginia General Assembly seek to codify the importance of a coordinated statewide transportation network.

In this morning’s Daily Progress front page story, Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Sean Tubbs framed the issue well:

“We think it has the potential to broadly change the way transportation planning and programming and funding [takes] place in Virginia,” said Stephen Williams, the director of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. …

State law already requires localities to include a transportation section in their comprehensive plans. The new legislation would require those plans to be approved by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)  to make sure they are “consistent” with the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s (CTB) state plans.

“The department could withhold federal or state funds until the local government came into consistency,” Williams said.

Wait a minute, the state department charged with building and maintaining the transportation network across the state, can withhold state and federal funds if the local governments refuse to follow the state plan?

And this requires NEW legislation?

The Free Enterprise Forum firmly believes transportation is a state and federal responsibility.  Fully understanding the transportation needs of the entire state requires a longer lens than any one locality may posses.

Further, transportation decisions are not made in a secret star chamber.  Local governments are often the best represented interests at such public meetings.  The idea that local government does not have a voice is patently untrue but the idea that a local government should not [by ether action or inaction] have veto power over the state transportation program is absolutely true.

Virginia has the third-largest state-maintained highway system in the country, behind Texas and North Carolina. VDOT is responsible for building, maintaining and operating the state’s roads, bridges and tunnels.

Tollroad and I-495Last week, I was in Northern Virginia and I was amazed at the number of significant transportation projects that were under construction.  Long overdue updates to the Capital Beltway, Dulles Toll Road and I-66 each will impact millions of travelers each year. (October 2011 photo of new interchange at I-495 and Dulles Toll Road)

Bob McDonnellGovernor Robert McDonnell is aggressively pursuing transportation as an economic development issue.  In a media release last week promoting his transportation agenda, he said:

“Virginia simply cannot remain a leader in economic development and job creation if we do not continue to address our transportation challenges. That is why this year’s transportation package will dedicate additional funding to transportation and will help spur our economic recovery through job creation, forward-thinking investments and promoting our transportation assets. . .

“Without an adequate transportation system, almost every aspect of our daily lives and government are negatively impacted,” said Governor McDonnell. “Therefore, we must get serious and start treating transportation like a core function of government.”

While the Free Enterprise Forum is not convinced that the dedicated transportation funding stream proposed in McDonnell’s initiatives will provide the needed revenue to complete the majority of our state’s long delayed road projects., we applaud the Governor for making transportation a priority of his administration.

If the state is willing to accept transportation as a “core function of government”, local governments should be eager to have state infrastructure investment in state coordinated transportation projects.  If a local government chooses not to follow the State transportation program, withholding state and federal funds from the locality seems to be a reasonable and rational “stick” to encourage compliance.

Put rather bluntly, the V in VDOT stands for Virginia; all of Virginia.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson


20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and  Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credits: Virginia Department of Transportation, Governor Robert McDonnell office, Michaele White

Eight Candidates Seek Three Greene County Supervisor Seats

By Pauline Hovey, Greene County Field Officer

This November Greene County Greene County voters will face an unusual situation: eight candidates running for three positions on the Board of Supervisors.

As of yesterday’s (8/23) deadline for potential candidates to submit signatures to have their name on the ballot, Registrar Sandra Shifflett reported that a total of four candidates would be vying for the newly redistricted Ruckersville district. Shifflett said this is the largest number of candidates running for one district seat that she’s seen during her tenure, and interest seems to be building in serving on the board in general.


Carl Schmitt


Mike Skeens

In addition to the four Ruckersville candidates, two incumbents whose terms are expiring, Carl Schmitt (at-large) and Mike Skeens (Monroe district), will face challengers.  The current Greene County Board Chairman Steve Catalano (at-large), is not seeking reelection.

The recent redistricting eliminated one of the two at-large seats and created a fourth district. At the time the Board of Supervisors  addressed this subject, there was some concern that eliminating an at-large seat and adding another district would make it difficult to find enough people in a particular district interested in serving. That concern has not materialized in this upcoming election.

Most of August’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting dealt with reviewing proposed revisions to county subdivision and zoning ordinances. Planning Director Bart Svoboda specifically addressed revisions regarding home businesses, home occupations, non-conforming uses, site development plans, height regulations and like features, and notice of violation and civil enforcement.

Under the current ordinance, a home occupation is not allowed in a senior residential district, and the planning staff recommended revising the ordinance to allow for such businesses in order to support the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan goals and increase the county tax base. “The ‘cottage industries’ that home occupations allow in the suburban and rural residential areas are a growing trend,” Svoboda said in his statement recommending the revision.

A second revision dealt with home businesses in an R-1 district, by special use permit, which would allow the county to place conditions on the use and property to address potential impacts.

Supervisors voted to adopt the proposed ordinance amendments minus the ordinances on interconnectivity of adjacent lots and the expansion or enlargement of a non-conforming use or structure, both of which they agreed require further study by the board.

The issue of interconnectivity of adjacent lots and “access management” garnered much discussion about the desire to not force traffic out of a neighborhood-type model and onto busy Route 29, but rather interconnect roads to residential areas and stores for easier shopping. Currently the county does not have an ordinance in place for the interconnectivity of adjacent lots.

Interconnectivity advocates promise businesses and residents would benefit from better mobility and access to their destinations if a system of parallel roads existed to access their development.

Opponents of mandated interconnection cite their increased cost with benefit being reaped by the adjoining parcels.  In addition, they contend such a mandate is unworkable with larger lots where the development may be a great distance from one or more of the lot lines.

Interconnectivity is mandated by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for residential subdivisions if such roads are to be accepted into the VDOT system.


Pauline Hovey is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.  If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum.  To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credit : Greene County

What the MPO Could Learn From Kenny Rogers

By. Neil Williamson, President

poker handThe Free Enterprise Forum has written previously about the Jurisdictional High Stakes Poker that seems to be played between the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County.  Well in today’s poker game, there is a new player with $230 million dollars in transportation funding on the table.

This afternoon at 4 pm the Charlottesville Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)  will hold its second public hearing regarding changes to its Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) at the Albemarle County Office Building (401 McIntire Road).

In an unusual move, the MPO sent a letter to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) outlining the projects it would like to see fully funded.  The letter, which the Free Enterprise Forum described as showing Chutzpah, was very careful not to make the funding of these projects as demands:

We recognize that transportation funds in Virginia are limited; however, we would appreciate consideration and support for these requests by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.  As you know, we will be considering amendments to our Constrained Long Range Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program on July 27 to incorporate the US29 Bypass and hope to be able to conduct such deliberations in the context of support to assist us with our local transportation needs.

In last week’s CTB meeting, they authorized funding for for the Bypass and the widening of US 29 from Polo Grounds Road to Hollymead Towncenter.  They did not take up the balance of the MPO’s Chutzpah list.

This is where Kenny Rogers comes in.

In perhaps his most famous song The Gambler, (1978) he discusses philosophy with a fellow train traveler.  Many folks remember the quote about “Knowing when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em” but often forget the most telling passage:Kenny Rogers

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser

The MPO has the opportunity to make the hand they have been dealt by the CTB into a winner or a loser.

The Free Enterprise Forum encourages the MPO to amend their plan include the Western Bypass and the widening of US29 as part of the TIP.

Anything short of this, will make this hand a loser and the community we may walk away from the table with nothing.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson


20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

US 29 Plan Price Tag 1/4 Billion Dollars — Kinda

Forum Watch Editorial

By. Neil Williamson

On Monday (11/24), The Charlottesville/Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved the US 29 North Corridor Transportation Study (pdf)  despite the fact that in contains inconsistent and inaccurate project cost information.  The cost information presented in the document did not include totals for the various time frames (short term, mid-term, long term).  The Free Enterprise Forum  independently calculated the total project costs (see spreadsheet below)  that totals over $292 Million Dollars in public funding and just shy of $22 Million Dollars of private funding. 

In total the plan calls for in excess of a quarter of a Billion (with a B) dollars in the next twenty years – WITHOUT LAND ACQUISITION COSTS. 

In 2005, The MPO approved the Hydraulic/250 Report that indicated the interchange at Hydraulic and 250 would cost $89 Million dollars.  In the most recent report (exclusive of right of way costs) the interchange cost is listed as $33 Million dollars.  Elsewhere in the report, it references “Interchanges are individual projects in the range of $15-$50 Million and would all require more detailed design studies to determine actual cost”. 

Why does this taxpayer funded report not reference the previous taxpayer funded report regarding cost? 

When the Free Enterprise Forum raised the issue of costs inconsistencies in the MPO Public Hearing on this report, one voting member of the MPO indicated it did not matter what the cost numbers were.  Another member suggested they are merely place holders.

Recognizing the extremely limited funds for transportation projects, it is most regrettable that the cost numbers produced by a $400,000 transportation study, do not really matter to the MPO.  How much road maintenance does $400,000 buy? 

Despite our call that the report lacked intellectual consistency, it passed unanimously.

Why am I not surprised?


METHODOLOGY If both public and private sources were listed the cost was split 50/50
   Public    Private  Time
Project  Funding   Funding  Frame
US29 Expand  Best Buy ramp      2,000,000   short term (1-5 years)
US29 Access Management        260,000   short term (1-5 years)
New Planning Document for Rio Ring road          50,000   short term (1-5 years)
Construct Northpoint Dr & Airport Acres Ext    10,240,000 short term (1-5 years)
Alignment Study for Berkmar ext Bridge        150,000   short term (1-5 years)
Add left turn lanes Burnley Station/Frays Mill      2,150,000   short term (1-5 years)
Subtotal      4,610,000  10,240,000 short term (1-5 years)
US29 Bus Rapid Transit Service Cville to Midtwn    16,500,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US29/US250 Ramps    12,000,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US29 Expansion Seminole Sq to Morton Dr      8,000,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Reconstruct Hydraulic Road US29 to US250      8,000,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US29 Access Lane from USPS to Greenbrier        680,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Construct Cedar Hill Ext to Greenbrier        715,000       715,000 mid term (5-10 years)
US 29 Construct north lanes for Rio Ring Road        450,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US 29 Widen Shoppers World approach/ mall drive        265,000       265,000 mid term (5-10 years)
US29 new Southbound lane at Berkmar          50,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US29 Westbound Albemarle Square Approach      2,620,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US29 Channelize Woodbrook intersection        910,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Parallel Roads – Berkmar Bridge across South Fork    14,910,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Widen Berkmar from Rio to Hilton Heights    10,020,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Extend Berkmar to the River      2,660,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Hollymead Drive        100,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Construct Berkmar Ext to Towncenter Drive    10,230,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Construct Hollymead Drive Extended      1,010,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US29 Jug handle (?)          70,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US29 East side Jug handle (FL area)      1,085,000    1,085,000 mid term (5-10 years)
US 29 West side Jug handle access (FL area)      1,305,000    1,305,000 mid term (5-10 years)
US29/Airport Acres signalization        270,000   mid term (5-10 years)
US29/Northside signalization        270,000   mid term (5-10 years)
Subtotal    92,120,000    3,370,000 mid term (5-10 years)
US29 Implement BRT from midtown to Uptown    16,500,000   long term (11-20 years)
US29/Hydraulic Replace intersection with SPUI    33,000,000   long term (11-20 years)
Reconstruct 250 Bypass/Hydraulic intersection      4,000,000   long term (11-20 years)
Turn Lane at Seminole Square        280,000   long term (11-20 years)
Extended Turn Lane at Branchlands        140,000   long term (11-20 years)
Realign Premier Circle        130,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct Cedar Hill Ext to Shoppers World      2,550,000   long term (11-20 years)
US29/Rio interchange    35,000,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct pedestrian overcrossing (of US29) @Berkmar      1,800,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct SW Rio Ring Road      3,940,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct NE Rio Ring Road      2,320,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct roundabout on Mall Drive         450,000 long term (11-20 years)
Construct Cedar Hill Drive to Berkmar        430,000       430,000 long term (11-20 years)
Extend Roadway on west side 29 alb sq to Berkmar      1,745,000    1,745,000 long term (11-20 years)
Extend Roadway on east side 29 Mall dr to Rio Ring        940,000       940,000 long term (11-20 years)
US29 Extend turn lanes at Shewels      1,180,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct US29 Jug handles for Wal-Mart access        750,000   long term (11-20 years)
US29 overcrossing Hilton Heights, access rd, aux lane    17,640,000   long term (11-20 years)
US29 Widen to six lanes Polo grounds to Town Center    15,060,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct US29 Overcrossing at Ashwood Blvd    10,000,000   long term (11-20 years)
Extend Ashwood Blvd to Berkmar Ext      1,590,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct US29 cross over @ Airport Road    15,000,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct US29 Cross over @ Timberwood    15,000,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct Jug Handles and roundabouts FL area        315,000       315,000 long term (11-20 years)
Widen US29 to six lanes from Airport Rd to L&C Drive    10,690,000   long term (11-20 years)
Airport Acres South Aux lane          50,000   long term (11-20 years)
Construct frontage road Airport acres to Airport rd        870,000       870,000 long term (11-20 years)
US29/Lewis & Clark transition        240,000   long term (11-20 years)
Signalize US29/Austin Dr        270,000   long term (11-20 years)
Signalize US29/Dickerson        270,000   long term (11-20 years)
Boulders Road Extended        475,000       475,000 long term (11-20 years)
Austin Road Extended      3,125,000    3,125,000 long term (11-20 years)
Subtotal  195,300,000    8,350,000 long term (11-20 years)
SUMMARY  Public   Private   
not including ROW or Utilities  Funding   Funding   
short term (1-5 years)      4,610,000  10,240,000  
mid term (5-10 years)    92,120,000    3,370,000  
long term (11-20 years)  195,300,000    8,350,000  
TOTAL  292,030,000  21,960,000