Charlottesville Neighbors Upset Over Sidewalk Closure Along Rt. 250
People living in a Charlottesville neighborhood are upset because they can't use a sidewalk along Route 250 to get to school and work.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - People living in a Charlottesville neighborhood are upset because they can't use a sidewalk along Route 250 to get to school and work.
The city recently closed the eastbound sidewalk near Birdwood Road citing an annual bridge inspection. Officials won't say what's wrong with it, how long it will be closed, or what neighbors are supposed to do in the meantime.
Some neighbors want to know why they didn't get a heads-up about the closure, because for many who walk to work and school, right now, there is no alternate route.
"They've cut off access to anything west of our neighborhood, which is just awful," Donna Shaunesey said.
"There are people who live in the neighborhood who don't have cars. Actually, they use it to get to businesses and to get to other places to the west and to the north," said Jen Trompetter.
The closure spans from Birdwood Road all the way past the Rugby Avenue Bridge, but the city manager told neighbors the only portion of the sidewalk needing improvements is on the bridge. Meanwhile, the bridge itself is still open to cars.
"Fixing a sidewalk shouldn't be that complicated," Trompetter said. "It's just frustrating that they would just do that without letting us know and just cut off all of us from places we go to daily."
With no alternative route, neighbors say children who walk to school run across Route 250 to avoid an extra half-mile walk.
"I've tried to cross that road and you take your life in your hands doing that, and you think you can make it and then it gets really scary fast," said Shaunesey.
Charlottesville says it's working on a repair plan, but officials have not said what actually needs to be fixed. Due to the sudden nature of the problem, no timeline for repairs is set.