Flawed SMART29 Traffic Report Is Unpersuasive; Ignores Key Benefits of Route 29 Solutions Package
Charlottesville, VA – The Southern Environmental Law Center released the following statement today in response to a press conference and the release of a new traffic study by SMART29 on the Route 29 Solutions package:
The Southern Environmental Law Center has been working for over two decades to improve the Route 29 corridor through Charlottesville and Albemarle. We have reviewed the new traffic study released today by SMART29 and attended their press conference. To the extent we can make sense of the disorganized array of assertions the report makes, we are disappointed by how little it contributes to the public dialogue on this topic.
The written report nowhere explains or substantiates the verbal claims made at today’s press conference about time savings on Route 29, and it completely ignores the substantial benefits the Rio interchange would provide to local drivers at this intersection who would no longer have to contend with the significant volume of traffic passing underneath.
The grand conclusion from the report and today’s press conference seems to be that Route 29 is working just fine as it is. And since the report suggests that traffic on Route 29 will decrease or level out indefinitely into the future, they recommend that our community just forget about fixing the congested Rio intersection. But it is clear to anyone driving the corridor during rush hour that the Rio intersection is already a traffic knot, and we clearly need to untangle it before the new parallel roads are completed and converge there.