29N Traffic Flows Well

A new study shows that 29 North has become a lot more efficient, Jessica Kitchin reports in today’s Progress. Since the traffic lights were synched up a few years ago, and since they’ve been tweaked since, it’s become steadily easier to cruise down the Albemarle portion of 29 without hitting a red light. All of that has been at the expense of those who need to cross over 29 or turn onto the road, but it’s hard to argue with an average speed of around 38mph from Hydraulic to Burley Station.

11 Responses to “29N Traffic Flows Well”


  • So we need a 29 bypass why…?

  • Cvillity,

    We need a bypass because people in Southside have all lost their jobs due to NAFTA and they are desperate to grab onto anything that they think could create employment.

    The people of Southside have convinced themselves that the reason businesses won’t move to Southside is that Rt. 29 is somehow confusing or slow around Charlottesville and that this utterly snarls shipping to the North. They sincerely think that building a Rt. 29 bypass will magically cause businesses to flock to Southside, lured by the prospect of being able to drive a semi to DC 10 minutes faster. As if professional truck drivers are having so much difficulty reading a sign on the highway that they’re just flat-out unable to drive between NoVA and Southside.

    According to Southside, *that’s* why everybody’s packin’ up and moving to Mexico. Because it’s so much easier to deliver goods to the NE United States all the way from friggin’ Mexico than it is to drive through Charlottesville.

    Obviously this whole theory of theirs is so idiotic that it’s hard to even know where to being. Among other things, we already *have* a bypass around Charlottesville. You know, the one that we call ‘the bypass?’

    Southside has further convinced themselves that the ‘elite liberals’ of Charlottesville have snubbed them in refusing to support the construction of a road that would bulldoze hundreds of our homes and cost tens of millions of dollars while creating exactly zero jobs for Southside. They’ve come to hate Charlottesville because they think that we’ve blocked them from having the road built.

    Right. As if the biggest liberal stronghold in Virginia has soooo much pull in the Republican-held state House and Senate.

    By the way, I totally agree about 29 North. I was just noticing last weekend how amazingly little time it takes now to move from Barracks Road up to Lowes. Nice work, traffic engineers. Thank you!

  • cville_libertarian

    Well, I’m glad they’ve started to straighten this out…I still avoid it like the plague. One has to maintain a pace above the speed limit to stay synchronized with the lights.

    However, saying 38mph average is good, is kind of like saying that your head feels better when you stop beating it on the wall. I remember all to well just 20 years ago how smoothly things flowed – of course, no Lowes, Forest Lakes – not too much beyond Fashion Square. Don’t get me started on what things were like when K-Mart was the edge of town.

    ‘Progress’ is fine and well, but there is no excuse for the miserable strip mall sprawl that is 29N, and in another ten years it will be all the way out to Ruckersville. There is no way you’re gonna fix that with synchronized lights, a bypass or the MPO’s parkway deal. The time is here for people to get serious about re-working the existing 29 corridor as a limited access road.

  • cville_libertarian

    Jack – you are right about Southside logic, but the truth is they hate us because we have jobs. They are scornful of libruls, but jealous of jobs. Good living is the best revenge.

  • ‘Progress’ is fine and well, but there is no excuse for the miserable strip mall sprawl that is 29N, and in another ten years it will be all the way out to Ruckersville.

    You’re absolutely right about that — things might be flowing (relatively) smoothly now, but that’s due to transportation shoring up what planning can’t seem to manage. Planning will inevitably win out.

  • Cville_libertarian,

    I don’t really want any kind of revenge against them. They haven’t managed to actually do anything to us yet. The truth is that I feel pretty bad for them and would help them if I could. They’re wrong and they’re being foolish to the point of absurdity but I can’t bring myself to hate people in such desperate circumstances.

    They don’t hate us just because we have jobs. They hate us because a small number of people in Charlottesville have ridiculous amounts of money and they think that’s all of us. They think of Charlottesville as ‘rich people’ who are deliberately keeping them unemployed.

  • Isn’t there some ancient history about how Lynchburg wanted Rt. 64 and we got it instead? Is this partly a decades long attempt at payback? I have only lived here 15 years so don’t know the history of this very well.

  • Gail actually interstate 64 was supposed to go through Lynchburg instead of Charlottesville but the federal government approved the Charlottesville route. There is actually a belief that someone in Charlottesville had pull with the Kennedy or Johnson administration and thats the reason the interstate came through here instead of there. I honestly dont know how much of this “hate” Lynchburg is real or just something Charlottesvillians think because we are fairly self-absorbed.

    If they do resent us, however, its probably because of or liberal politics, our job growth (we some of the lowest unemployment in the nation and to show just how much pull we have nearly 300 people commute from Amherst to Charlottesville, around 50 from Lynchburg, and then of course parts of Nelson are just as close if not closer to Lynchburg but we pull half of their workers compared to around 40 to Lynchburg), we cant deny a certain level of elitism either, then there is the fact that the Lynchburg area used to be much larger than the Charlottesville area but Campbell-Lynchburg and Albemarle-Charlottesville are now about equal with Chalbemarle pulling ahead. In short if they do resent us as James Carvel said “its the economy stupid….”

  • In the late 1800s, Charlottesville did something strange: we largely opted out of the industrial revolutionary. While cities like Lynchburg and Danville staked their reputations on — and did very well with — attracting and building various factories and plants, Charlottesville leaders thought that the air and noise pollution just wasn’t worth it. The city’s capital became intellectual, with the origin being UVa. When industry started to fail in the area, ultimately moving to Mexico and China, Lynchburg had nothing to fall back on. They’re still hurting from putting all their eggs in that particular basket.

  • Waldo wrote:

    The city’s capital became intellectual, with the origin being UVa. When industry started to fail in the area, ultimately moving to Mexico and China, Lynchburg had nothing to fall back on.

    Not to mention that Lynchburg’s idea of intellectual is “Liberty Baptist University.” :P

  • cville_libertarian

    Jack – “revenge” was meant broadly…I don’t hate southside either, and I don’t really want ‘revenge’ for anything.

    Southside really does dislike and resent us because we have jobs. It is not just a ‘few rich people’ – there is a sense that people from our area are extremely wealthy liberal elites who are on the University Gravy Train – ie, we’re on some kind of welfare paid from the taxes of the hard working completely independent people of the southwest corner of the state. C’ville unemployement turns out to be fairly recession-proof, and we do have an intellectual property economy, as Waldo points out (although I do not credit them with such foresight – look at Staunton which made essentially the same decision – we are lucky to have a major state instituiton). There is (was) some manufacturing here – we lost industrial jobs too – but we’ve been growing – Danville, Martinsville, Lynchburg and the coal towns have all been hit very hard. Until Bush re-vived the coal industry by eliminating/easing EPA regulations five years ago, Coal was dying. Textiles and agriculture have been dying for longer…that’s what the southwest does. Universities are growth industries…much more like businesses than schools anymore.

    I think we got the interstate because we’re on the Parkersburg, WV to Richmond Turnpike (250) which is historically quite important for east/west travel to the Ohio and ultimately Missippi river system. Moreover, getting over the mountains at Afton is far easier than Big Island where the James cuts through. We have good old Claudius Crozet to thank for making those civil engineering observations. Lynchburg is extremely well connected to Richmond by rail already – and before that, by the canals (on top of which run the rails). The rail system already used the existing right-of-ways through the mountains down there where the James carves through. Take a drive and follow 130/501 through from Lexington to Lynchburg and compare with a trip over the mountains on 250 at Afton.

    The invisible dividing line seems, as best I can determine, to run roughly on the Tye River – dividing Amherst and Nelson.

    I’ve got a whole pile of relatives in Fort Hill/Spring Hill cemetery down in L’burg, and more down in Pittsylvania. I have heard their complaints often.

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