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June 04, 2008

Council grants easement for Meadowcreek Parkway near CHS

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20080602-CC-MCP Council watches as the 3-2 vote is recorded

The Charlottesville City Council has voted 3-2 to set aside City-owned land in Albemarle County for the construction of the Meadowcreek Parkway. Mayor Dave Norris and Councilor Holly Edwards voted against.

Approximately 4.8 acres will be permanently set aside for the road’s right of way and utilities, while another 3.7 acres will be held temporarily while the project is under construction.  Council also approved language that asserts the City’s control over the intersection at Melbourne Road, despite the fact that the land in question is in Albemarle County. Members of the Charlottesville School Board had concerns that the speed limit in the northern part of the intersection could be higher than 25 miles per hour, given that the County has less control over setting speed limits.

The City School Board donated the land to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in May, despite safety concerns about the portion of the parkway that would pass near to Charlottesville High School. The ordinance passed by the City Council, in accordance with conditions from the school board that require  a 25 mph speed limit at the intersection as well as the construction of safe pedestrian crossings to the linear park being installed to the east of the Parkway.

The next step for the Meadowcreek Parkway will come on June 4, 2008 when the City Council will have a work session to discuss the intersection where the parkway will meet the Route 250 bypass. The Meadowcreek Parkway Steering Committee had selected an oval roundabout, but when Council discussed the interchange in April, several Councilors had reservations about its safety and cost, and opted to defer a decision until after another work session. Consulant Owen Peery with engineering firm Rummell, Klepper and Kahl said his team will incorporate feedback from Council in its presentation.

Ben Doernberg and Sean Tubbs

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