A roundabout on 250 West?

The intersection in Ivy of Owensville, Ivy and nearby Morgantown roads has long been challenging. Now VDOT is studying the favorite traffic device of former Delegate Mitch Van Yahres, the roundabout, for that trouble spot. Albemarle transportation planner (and Charlottesville School Board candidate) Juandiego Wade will field roundabout questions March 16 at the Ivy Community Association meeting.

8 comments

As someone who drives on 250 every day at least twice, I think this idea is ludicrous. 250 has to remain an efficient corridor for traffic ... unless they could make a roundabout that could safely accommodate >55 mph traffic. The intersection of 250/240 and the 250 intersection at Bellair are much more pressing matters.

We don't need a roundabout that can safely accomodate >55 mph traffic, because the area in question is a 35 mph zone (slow down Jim). In an area with some stores, post office, etc. so close to the existing road, the posted 35 mph is more than enough. A circle might help to slow down traffic on 250 to the 35 mph speed, and safely connect owensville and morgantown at the same time. I didn't know such a thing was under consideration, but it sounds like a great idea.

I was being a bit facetious about the 55 :) What about an overpass, though?

Being English, I am actually a huge fan of roundabouts, if they are big enough to drive around smoothly. I would imagine an overpass would be much more expensive, also? The intersections and road stretch in question require traffic to slow down to be safe, and the roundabout would help that to happen, and would also prevent the backups that happen now, because in my experience, roundabouts actually help traffic to flow in such awkward spots. The rule is usually that, once you are in the roundabout, you have the right of way until you exit. In addition, you don't have to stop before entering the roundabout if there is no traffic on it, helping traffic flow in general, and keeping your drive smoother than if there were lights or stop signs. The staggered nature of the intersection would be best remedied by such a roundabout, in my opinion. However, it is true that roundabouts are not as common here as in England, so the fact that drivers are not as used to them may affect their safety.

And the land for this would come from....where? Duner's? Certainly not the hillside residences on Morgantown or the railroad overpass.
Regardless it will look pretty with the entire roudabout full of Faulconer Construction Company oversized loads every morning. Don't you think?

Why is the alignment of Morgantown and Ownsville even being discussed? Cite to me some data showing the number of through trips from Morgantown to Owensville. Isn't this really to make it easier for those coming from Ownsville to turn onto 250? A turn lane for eastbound 250 traffic to make a left turn into Owensville is all that's needed to help move the anticipated 50,000 daily trips from Crozet's new 26,000 residents into Charlottesville. Right now the folks coming from that growth area are forced to take to the shoulder to get around those wating to turn. Another turn lane at Tilman and 250 might keep me from getting hit by those Growth Area residents in a hurry who take to the shoulder on either side there, too.

Since the lawyers for Mr. Craig, the new mega-developer, insist that growth is inevitible in Albemarle ("if not here then where?"), maybe Mr. Craig's father-in-law who will benefit from the addition of another 10,000 homes in the area in increased business for his concrete monopoly can donate the money and material for the rataining wall such a roundabout will require as it cuts away the hillside on the SW corner of Morgantown and 250?

What will these damn fools think of next? They should leave 250 alone and build a limited access parkway to I-64 to get the folks from Crozet into town.

The folks in charge around here are really talented when it comes to taking a solution from some other place and using it here OUT OF CONTEXT. I've never seen such a lack of common sense and political will. It's pitiful.

BTW, would you trust the people who brought you 29 north, Pantops and Holly Mead to do anything but UGLY?

I agree that there are arguably many more pressing issues around the county than what to do with the Owensville/Morgantown/250 interesction. However, the notion that more turn lanes on 250 will do the trick is not sufficient. The backups on Morgantown, and especially on Owensville (only going to get worse) are quite something at around 8AM. I live off Morgantown and can attest to the long lines I see each day coming off of Owensville. After waiting in long lines to turn, drivers get increasingly aggressive to turn on to 250, risking danger for themselves and 250 travellers. I agree with Amanda that round-abouts are a great way to go in general in a situation in which you don't want to have to stop all travellers in all directions all of the time with a red light. I spent decades living in the Boston
area in which round-abouts were common. They work great once you get used to them. As to where to get the extra space for it,
this is going to be a problem for all proposed "improvements" to this or other intersections such as turn lanes. The most obvious and cheapest solution is to just put yet another traffic light on this intersection as well as on the one at Tillman. But who wants to do this? Heck, we could put a light everwhere on 250 and then it could have the wonderful traffic flow of 29N. Honestly, for folks with concerns
like Jim that 250 should be able to move efficiently, round-abouts trump red lights everytime. I don't see how an overpass gets anyone from 250 to Owensville or vice versa unless one also includes exit lanes. Now there's a solution that will hog space like no other. It isn't about getting folks from Morgantown to Owevsville, but from/to these onto/off-of 250.

U.S. 250 at Tilman is an intersection with sub-standard site distances in nearly all directions. It could never be built today. The only solution for Tilman is a traffic light, there is no room to take land from at least one of the homes at that corner. A traffic light at Tilman would create a break in traffic allowing Owensville traffic to turn left onto 250 eastbound and obviate the need to do anything additional at the Owensville-Morgantown-250 intersection.