CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As the city of Charlottesville prepares to replace the crumbling Belmont Bridge, city staff are looking at ways to change the traffic patterns on the streets around it.

On Saturday morning, the city is going to test out a plan they hope will better connect Belmont after the bridge project is complete. Traffic on Monticello Road will temporarily be reversed from 9-10 a.m., and safety personnel will be on site to direct traffic while observations are done regarding turning radius.

On Thursday, members of the Charlottesville Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee got a look at the plans. Bike safety advocate with the Piedmont Environmental Council Peter Krebs says it's time the city re-evaluate the Belmont neighborhood to make it safer for everyone.

"If we're going to have safe places to walk and bike in Charlottesville given the restrained geometry that we have, we need to try using roadways in new ways," Krebs said.

Parking will be restricted on Monticello Road between Graves Street and Levy Avenue starting at midnight on Saturday until noon that day.

The city says if all goes well on Saturday, they will hold a longer trial program. If that goes well, the road reversal could become permanent.

 

Traffic pattern reversal for Monticello Road.

09-25-2019 Press Release from the city of Charlottesville:

#3 - Monticello Rd flow reversal pilot Oct. 5
 
On Saturday, October 5, 2019, the City will conduct an approximately one hour trial reversing the flow of traffic on Monticello Rd near the Belmont Bridge. The flow reversal will occur between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Safety personnel will be on site and flagging operations will direct traffic while observations are conducted regarding turning radius and large vehicle maneuverability. Parking will be restricted on Monticello Road between Graves Street and Levy Avenue starting at midnight on October 5th until noon that same day. 
 
If successful, a longer trial will be conducted to observe traffic operations under normal conditions. Signage will be erected under a longer trial notifying drivers of the one-way traffic flow and parking on Monticello Road between Graves Street and Levy Avenue will be moved to the other side of the road. Public notice will be given if a longer trial is planned.
 
WHAT TO EXPECT
 
  • Flagging Operations will control the flow of travel.
  • Traffic on Monticello Road between Hinton Avenue and Levy Avenue traveling north will be directed to the Garrett Street/Levy Avenue/Avon/9th Street signal.
  • Traffic on Monticello Road between Graves Street and Levy Avenue traveling south will be directed to the Garrett Street/Levy Avenue/Avon/9th Street signal.
  • No parking will be allowed on Monticello Road between Graves Street and Levy Avenue between 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. on October 5th.
  • Access to homes will be maintained.
  • No impacts to pedestrian travel. As always, please look both ways before crossing the street.
 
PROJECT BACKGROUND
 
The Belmont Bridge Replacement project is proposing to alter the Graves Avenue and Avon/9th Street intersection to restrict the left out movements onto Avon/9th Street. This will improve safety for all modes of travel by removing a low demand turning movement while improving overall traffic operations. Under the current street network configuration, travel demand and connectivity would be met though vehicles turning left at this intersection would now need to use old Avon Street to South Street to 6th Street to gain access to the signal at Garrett Street/Levy Avenue/Avon/9th Street.
 
Comment received from the public process requested the City consider reversing the flow of one-way traffic on Monticello Road between Graves Street and Levy Avenue. This would allow those formerly turning left onto Avon/9th Street to access the signal at Garrett Street/Levy Avenue/Avon/9th Street. 
 
On August 20, 2019, the design for the new Belmont Bridge was approved by the Board of Architectural Review. The City has begun the right-of-way acquisition process and plans to begin construction in the Summer of 2020.