Overhead seen: New traffic signal one of two on busier U.S. 250

news-stoplightAs seen pre-lighting on October 13.

Highway workers have been installing a new traffic signal outside UVA's new Transitional Care Hospital (the place that made the news recently for its ability to move one-ton humans via overhead lifts). The new stoplight becomes the second within 4/10ths of a mile, with the other being the one installed as a blinking light in 1997 and converted four years later to stop-and-go status at Broomley Road at the Ivy Nursery.

"It's about to get harder to get to Charlottesville from Crozet," notes realtor Jim Duncan, as he Tweeted about the newest light–- which came as proffer from UVA as part of the property's site plan process, according to Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Lou Hatter. A recent Charlottesville Tomorrow story noted that UVA's the big engine driving the look of this road.

As for talk of yet another light destined for the vicinity of the White Gables condominium complex a little closer to town, that hasn't yet been decided, says Hatter.

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10 years ago David Wyant told me that his biggest fear was that Crozet would become, simply a bed room community for Charlottesville, without infrastructure, or adequate representation. He was right.


There are already train tracks between Crozet and Charlottesville. Let's get some passenger rail going, at least during peak hours.

Giving people solid alternatives to driving will take some people off the roads - thus easing congestion - while also help us escape the sprawl = traffic = more roads = more sprawl loop by encouraging compact,walkable development.

good- I hate turning left out of Northridge

I'm retired I can go to Waynesboro and spend my money, put all the stoplights you want it will just send more people away form Charlottesville.

It is not so much the number of traffic lights in this area as is the fact that none of them are synchronized with each another (try driving east bound on 250 in the Pantops area - ridiculous! Note to our inept traffic engineers: the purpose of traffic lights is to EXPEDITE traffic flow NOT IMPEDE it!!


The Charlottesville/Albemarle area seems to be about traffic stop, not traffic flow. A big piece of it is the poor development design, and then when individual businesses are allowed to dictate what sort of traffic light should be at the entrance to their small patchy business parks. And then old people want to turn left and feel they can't without a light.

Any good traffic engineer in the area gives up and moves on after about a year because they try and design something about flow, and then the county and city cave to small interests.

What about traffic circles? Works well at the airport, but that would be way to intelligent. Better to have sprawl and stop lights everywhere.

Traveling at 55 mph westward on 250: By the time I am halfway from Emmet Street to Crozet, a freight train traveling parallel at 40 mph has already reached Waynesboro. Why? It does not have to spend fives minutes at reach red light--where there is no traffic to warrant the lights being there.

But on the other hand: What would those poor little government cubicle jockeys do if they had to get real jobs in the private sector rather than being paid to waste our tax dollars by creating obstacles and nuisances?

@Old Timer, you are right on again, as you seem to be a lot of the time. Charlottesville/Albemarle's traffic problems ABSOLUTELY come from private-sector development and poor access management.

@Jeff D, VDOT and any other municipality does not arbitrarily install traffic signals or "nuisances" because they are bored. Signals are actually "warranted" - there are specific warrants that must be met, such as minimum volumes or number of crashes, before a signal is installed. The desire for a signal or other "nuisances" like speed humps comes from citizen requests and complaints. Also, I highly doubt you're spending 5 minutes at each light. Nice try, though.

I have to agree with Old Timer and Calling It Both Ways: the major problems are induced by politics, not incompetent engineers.

While it is true that the major problems are the result of political pressure by business/development interests, please do not ignore that a substantial number - particularly in the city - are the result of out-and-out anti-car hostility. See: "Traffic Calming", much of which violates the UTC (traffic engineering standards).

I'm a pedestrian and a biker (I try to see how many days I can leave my car parked in a row!), and an advocate of public transit, but the anti-car hostility and congestion in this area is horrific. The really sad part about the "calmers" is that they fail to recognize their folly: they are increasing road rage around here by annoying and further frustrating drivers. The money quote for me was Meredith Richards (taken from The Daily Progress):

Traffic calming, Richards said, 'is designed to disturb drivers and be an incovenience, and that's what we're hearing'" (Jake Mooney, The Daily Progress, February 18, 2001).


And all the while Albemarle County is patting itself on the back for having such a wonderful (and expensive) Community Development Department and a stellar Comprehensive Plan. It's all so wonderful and stellar until some "big boy," and we know WHO they are, wants something different.

GEE, how many ways can you spell BLATANT SELF INTEREST and SPINELESS government officials? Our ridiculous road system is a manifestation of those two things. Throw in VDOT's ineptitude and it's a real mess!

Best options -- STAY HOME and TELECOMMUTE; hit the road at odd hours; head to Waynesboro. But don't complain in public unless you want to be invited to move elsewhere. :)

So, like most, mostly unnecessary, local traffic lights, this one will go into its 168 hours a week robot cycling even at 3 in the morning when it'll be regulating the one car that comes along every 10 minutes on 250 and the one every 3 hours on the cross street. Traffic management in this area is hilarious to those who live elsewhere and see its absurdity, but infuriating to those who have to put up with it.
We could use some guerrilla activity around here where some folks see fit to "monkey wrench" some of this foolishness by destroying the switch gear or cutting the power supply with an axe in the middle of the night.

@bb - "I’m retired I can go to Waynesboro and spend my money, put all the stoplights you want it will just send more people away form Charlottesville."

That's what the NIMBYs want, to send people AWAY from Charlottesville...they don't want growth or more people to MOVE to C'ville. Stop lights won't get them what they want, but making C'ville look like Newark, NJ just might do the trick!

Stratton Salidis - perhaps Oliver Kuttner could have expended his efforts on a local electric railway....oh, just remembered- there was no prize at the end of the tunnel