Albemarle Co. Looking at Ways to Make Pantops Area Safer for Pedestrians
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Dozens of new developments are underway on Pantops Mountain in Albemarle County, and planners are working to make the area safer for pedestrians.
But one of the biggest problems for pedestrians is trying to cross Route 250.
Albemarle County is looking at potential solutions to make that crossing safer, but don't expect any fix that will be quick or inexpensive.
“It’s not safe at all to cross the street,” Ann Clark, who lives in Albemarle County, said.
As dozens of new developments show up on Pantops Mountain, people who live there are calling on the county to make it safer for pedestrians.
"The builders need to think about when they're putting in all this new housing and apartments and things, they need to do something about the roads,” Clark said.
Albemarle County Planner Kevin McDermott says part of a recent update to the Pantops Master Plan includes $75,000 to conduct a study on how to improve pedestrian crossings along Route 250.
"We're not sure if we want a pedestrian bridge or a pedestrian underpass, which one would be most appropriate, so what we'd do is we'd hire a consultant to do a study to look at the potential for each of those,” McDermott said.
Early estimates of an overpass bridge put the cost just over $1 million.
"I don't think it's the best crossing,” McDermott said. “I think that’s why we want to continue to look at the potential for other areas, but this is a start and I think it’s something that will begin to address the pedestrian connectivity issues we see out there."
People who live in Pantops say they hope the county can find a way to make the busy road safer for people who live there.
"I think sometimes we as county citizens get a little concerned that we build buildings, and maybe we don't have all the roads that give us the opportunity to get around,” Myron Ripley, who lives in Albemarle County, said.
The county expects the study to take from one to eight years before any construction would get underway, and planners say the study could wrap up in a couple of years and a solution might come sooner.