In an effort to save money and reduce road congestion, Governor Tim Kaine is outlawing a neighborhood staple: the cul-de-sac. The regulation is just one of a handful of new land-use policies that start this summer.
Subdivisions that have been around for years, like Albemarle's Forest Lakes, are chock full of them. But from now on if a new neighborhood wants the state to pay for road maintenance, the rule is no cul-de-sacs.
"We'll take over the maintenance responsibilities if the roads are designed to minimize congestion rather than maximize congestion," Kaine said.
Kaine says the policy would make for quicker response times for emergency vehicles and lower road maintenance costs. It's a model that Albemarle County is familiar with.
"The state requirements that are now going into effect in many ways reflect what we had put in policy and did with our subdivision ordinance in 2005," said Wayne Cilimberg, Albemarle Planning Director.
Even neighborhoods that don't exist yet are making "connectivity" a priority, like the potential Biscuit Run development.
"We want to have neighborhoods that are connected to other neighborhoods, we want to make it easy for people who live in the community to get from one part of the community to the other," said Steven Blaine, attorney for the Biscuit Run developer.
"Well the idea is that you're getting away from pushing all the traffic towards one major road," Cilimberg said.
Virginia families that live on cul-de-sacs now are lucky, because they're about to become history.
"Folks can still build roads and localities can approve roads as they want but if they want the state to maintain them forever, they have to build them in a way to minimize congestion," said Kaine.