US29/Hydraulic Road Study - Places 29

Albemarle County and City of Charlottesville, Virginia

Thomas Jefferson Planning District


Subconsultant to Meyer Mohaddes Associates

2003 - 2004

CD+A was the urban design and land use planning consultant for this project, led by a transportation-planning firm, which was completed for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC), MPO for the Charlottesville, Virginia region. The core project area was defined by a triangle of heavily traveled roads: US 29 and Route 250, and Hydraulic Road a 4-lane arterial street used as a shortcut between the two highways. The objective was to develop multimodal transportation and land use alternatives to address congestion, and to improve the pedestrian and bicycle environment, support existing uses, and encourage private reinvestment.

A comprehensive charrette process facilitated interaction between the consultants and the client's local team (staff from the TJPDC, city, county, and Virginia DOT). The process included several public open houses and meetings with individual developers and public officials. Three design options were developed using different approaches to regional circulation. The Team designed alternative intersection and roadway configurations, including at-grade intersections, a single point urban interchange (SPUI), elevated roadway segments, underpasses, and multi-way boulevard cross sections.

CD+A designed prototypical street sections, new roadway network options, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and transit-related design concepts. CD+A also designed redevelopment scenarios for initial- and long-term change to existing auto-oriented commercial centers. These concepts served to illustrate the economic, transportation, and quality of life improvements created by mixed-use, and walkable growth patterns.

The recommended concept for redevelopment of the roadways converted Hydraulic Road into a 'main street' supporting mixed-use redevelopment of adjacent properties, reconfiguration of several interchanges and roadway cross sections, and, in the long-term, the construction of a special interchange with facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists. Following the completion of this study, CD+A and MMA led a follow-up planning effort that expanded the study area 15 miles to the north and included transportation, land use, and urban design components.