Category Archives: Ask

Why’s Gas So Expensive Here?

I’ve heard tell about gas prices dropping, but it’s been so little that I haven’t noticed. As it turns out, that’s just Charlottesville. I see on NBC 29’s Gas Price Watch page that fuel is $2.30/gallon in Waynesboro, $2.34/gallon down the street from me in Barboursville, and $2.43/gallon in Ruckersville. Here in C’ville it’s between $2.65 and $2.69 a gallon, which is a bit higher than the national average of $2.61 and significantly higher than the $2.30/gallon average in metropolitan areas across the nation. Our prices are, in fact, the highest in the state.

What’s going on? Did I miss a memo?

09/13 Update: Bryan McKenzie has a lengthy article on this very topic in today’s Daily Progress.

Community Supported Agriculture Program?

As the trees turn green and my wife and I prepare to transfer our seedlings into the garden, I’ve found myself wanting to sign up for a share in a Community Supported Agriculture program. Having a weekly supply of fruits, vegetables, herbs and meats would be great. I see that Best of What’s Around is full up for the season, so they’re out. Does anybody have any experience with area CSA programs? Any recommendations?

Mystery Traffic Light Antennae?

AntennaSometime when I wasn’t looking, these antennae sprouted up on many of the traffic lights around Charlottesville. They look like flat panel directional antennae (here’s an example), though I don’t know what the city would be doing with them, least of all in tandem with traffic lights. I’ve got a picture of one in context, at the corner of JPA and Main, too. Does anybody have an idea of what these are for?

Our Burgeoning City Traffic

East High Street. Long Street/250. West Main. Ridge/McIntire. From 4:00-5:30 each day, these roads are packed. High Street gets backed up clear past Meade, Long past Locust and sometimes to Park. Navigating Pantops during lunchtime and during evening rush hour is an exercise in patience. As the populations of the surrounding counties boom (Fluvanna, in particular), the number of people commuting to Charlottesville climbs correspondingly.

What are we going to do? It’s not possible to widen most of these roads — we’ve got to work with what we’ve got. The Meadowcreek Parkway and the 29 Bypass Bypass wouldn’t have any effect on this traffic. Public transit to and from population centers in Albemarle and the surrounding counties would be neat, but I don’t see it in the cards. The only solution that I see is a total overhaul of how planning works for the entirety of Central Virginia, creating viable centers of blue- and white-collar commerce all around the area, rather than centering on Charlottesville.

But that’s just one idea. What do you think will keep things from getting worse?