Parallel universe: "Connector roads" all the rage

Back in the day when the Virginia Department of Transportation wanted to make Preston Avenue a six-lane road, VDOT's working road-building philosophy was, "How wide can it be?"

Those days are long gone. Today, instead of "huge freeways," the buzz words in transportation are "connector" or "parallel" roads, designed to take traffic off overcrowded main thoroughfares.

This week's cover story looks at the big one for this area: the Hillsdale Connector. But there are more. UVA has the green light to build its North Grounds Connector, and the Daily Progress' Bob Gibson reports on two other smaller roads UVA is eying for their connector potential: Maywood Lane and Stadium Road.

An extension of Maywood Lane, a dead-end street off Jefferson Park Avenue, would cut through backyards along the Norfolk Southern tracks to connect to Crispell Drive south of the UVA Medical Center and on to the Ninth-Tenth Street connector.

The Stadium Road extension heads west on land south of the McCormick Observatory to link up with Fontaine Avenue near the U.S. 29/250 bypass and is designed to help with Scott Stadium game-day traffic.

Because it adds less than half a mile of new road and traverses undeveloped land, Stadium Road is projected to be built first.

No engineering studies have been done, nor have the neighborhoods been heard from.