TRANSPORTATION by 41Zz5R73

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									 1   TRANSPORTATION
 2   How to Get There From Here
 3
 4   GOAL
 5   Provide an integrated, multi-modal transportation system that is connected to land use, safe,
 6   economical, ecologically sound, aesthetically pleasing and serves a diverse population including
 7   the physically challenged.
 8
 9   BACKGROUND
10   The Blacksburg transportation system is comprised of a variety of elements including interstate
11   highways, air transportation, a local road system, and alleys plus alternative transportation
12   options including greenways, sidewalks, bike lanes, parking and mass transit. The transportation
13   system is designed to balance safety, service, cost, community character, and convenience. Each
14   element of the transportation system is complementary to the others and serves the community as
15   a network. Blacksburg’s transportation network is directly connected to land use and must
16   support development in Town.
17
18   Blacksburg’s unique characteristics and quality of life are integral to the town’s multi-faceted
19   approach to transportation planning. The town’s citizens and development patterns value and
20   promote the use of transportation alternatives to the personal automobile. Therefore
21   Blacksburg’s alternative transportation system, including Greenways and Blacksburg Transit, is
22   discussed in the next chapter. This chapter on Transportation is divided into two major sections:
23   Getting to Blacksburg, which includes Air Transportation and Blacksburg’s Road Network.
24


               Interstates in Virginia

                                                                                         66
                                                                                                      Washington DC


                                                                          81
                                                                                    64

                                                                               Richmond
                              US                                    US
                              460                                   460

                                                        Blacksburg
                                                                                                     US
                                                                                                     460


                                    81        77          Virginia
                                         0     50 mi.     100 mi.
                                                                                                                  Town of Blacksburg
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25
26                                           Figure T-1, Interstates in Virginia
27


     2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                                            Transportation 1
     Last Updated August 18, 2006
28   A. Getting to Blacksburg
29   Blacksburg is in close proximity to Interstate 81 (I-81),
30   which serves as the major north-south transportation
31   corridor along the Appalachian mountain range from
32   Tennessee to New York. This interstate serves as a
33   primary commuting corridor between Blacksburg and
34   Roanoke and currently carries an average of 55,000
35   vehicles per day. Interstate 77 (I-77) serves as another
36   major transportation corridor primarily used between
37   Pennsylvania and South Carolina. This interstate is               Figure T-2, Interstate 81
38   accessible to the south via I-81 (approximately 40 miles
39   from town) or northwest via U.S. Route 460 (approximately 60 miles from town). Interstate 77
40   carries approximately 44,000 vehicles per day and serves as a significant truck cargo route. The
41   proximity of the town to these two interstates provides for the efficient delivery of supplies to
42   local industries and makes Blacksburg more accessible.
43
44   United States Route 460
45   Route 460 connects the Town of Blacksburg to I-81 and
46   the Town of Christiansburg along a seven-mile corridor
47   through a major commercial center. This section of
48   Route 460 Bypass carries approximately 34,000 vehicles
49   per day. To the North, Route 460 serves as a connection
50   to Interstate 77 in West Virginia. To the South, Route
51   460 links together south central Virginia. Route 460
52   Business is the Town’s Main Street, running north-south
53   directly through the downtown, and carries                      Figure T-3, Route 460 Bypass
54   approximately 19,000 vehicles per day. Route 460
55   Bypass, a limited-access bypass guides through-traffic past the commercial center of Town and
56   is an integral connection for the daily commutes of residents.
57
58   Rail Access to Blacksburg
59   The Huckleberry Line provided rail access to the Town during the first half of the 20th Century.
60   Currently no passenger rail service is provided in the town with the closest terminal for
61   passenger service located in Lynchburg, VA approximately 80 miles northeast of Blacksburg.
62   Passenger rail service extensions from Bristol to Richmond and Washington, D.C. on freight
63   lines is under consideration with potential stops in Abingdon, Marion, Wytheville, Pulaski,
64   Radford, and Christiansburg, that could increase heritage tourism in the area and be helpful in
65   decreasing traffic congestion on Interstate 81. A Norfolk Southern railway hub for freight
66   service is located in Roanoke, approximately 40 miles to the northeast. In 2006, planning began
67   for a new Norfolk Southern inter-modal facility in eastern Montgomery County near Elliston,
68   VA.
69
70   Interstate Bus Service
71   No interstate bus service is available from within town. Roanoke, VA is the closest location with
72   connecting service via the Smart Way Bus. More information about the Smart Way Bus can be
73   found later within this chapter.



     2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                              Transportation 2
     Last Updated August 18, 2006
74   Interstate 73 & the Smart Road
75   In accordance with the Inter-modal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, I-73 is the
76   proposed north-south commerce route from Detroit, Michigan to Charleston, South Carolina.
77   The Virginia portion of this four-lane divided interstate is slated to follow Route 460 through
78   Giles and Montgomery Counties, the Smart Road, I-81, I-581 through Roanoke, and then south,
79   roughly following Route 220 to the state line.
80
81   A two-mile Smart Road testing facility has been constructed adjacent to the Blacksburg
82   Industrial Park, in close proximity to exit 3A of the Route 460 Bypass. Groundbreaking took
83   place July 8, 1997. Construction on the first segment, including Virginia’s tallest bridge over
84   Wilson Creek was completed in 2002 with a turn-around loop to allow non-stop test driving. As
85   funds become available, the next segment of the Smart Road, providing direct access from the
86   south end of Town to I-81, will be designed and built in a series of test beds for research into
87   emerging transportation technology.1
88



                  Proposed Interstate 73

                                                        US
                                                                                  I 81
                                                        460                                I 581
                                                                                                                     US
                                                                                                                     460

                                                      Blacksburg
                              77
            US
            460                                                    Smart Road
                                                              81
                                                                                                   US 220




                                              77




                                   0               15 mi.                30 mi.
                                                                                                                    Town of Blacksburg
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90                                       Figure T-4, Proposed Interstate 73 Corridor
91
92
93




     1
         http: www.virginiadot.org/projects


     2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                                      Transportation 3
     Last Updated August 18, 2006
 94   Community Factors
 95    I-81 & I-71 provide access near the town for movement of goods and automobile traffic
 96     along significant highway corridors serving the eastern region of the country.
 97
 98    The current connection between I-81 and Town has been improved by constructing Route
 99     460 Bypass around the commercial center located along Business Route 460, thus alleviating
100     the congestion within this major commercial area, and significantly reducing the travel time
101     between the town and interstate.
102
103    The Smart Road to I-81 road construction project will improve access to the town and
104     provide an opportunity to create a scenic entrance. However, funding has not been allocated
105     for completion of the Direct Link portion of the Smart Road to its planned interchange with
106     Interstate 81.
107
108    The Smart Road to I-81 currently provides testing of the intelligent transportation systems
109     technology associated with Virginia Tech.
110
111    VDOT is conducting I-81 Corridor Improvement Study that may affect the Town of
112     Blacksburg. Details can be found at www.I-81.org
113
114    Currently there is no direct rail service, cargo or passenger, or regional bus service available
115     to the town.
116
117    Blacksburg’s character, which is directly associated with the scenic setting along Route 460
118     Bypass, is created through the preservation of significant open space and will be negatively
119     affected by the potential interstate highway (I-73), or other high speed travel corridors,
120     passing through the town.
121
122   OBJECTIVES
123   A. Plan regionally for transportation system linkages.
124
125   B. Support the improvement of key highway corridors in the Roanoke and New River Valleys
126      with particular sensitivity to safety, quality of life, and natural beauty.
127
128   C. Make the Blacksburg area a showcase for intelligent vehicle highway systems technology.
129
130   D.   Encourage that any infrastructure be constructed in an environmentally sensitive manner
131        which does not change the character of the area it is passing through and be sensitive to
132        views of ridge lines and scenic corridors.
133
134   E. Encourage transportation alternatives to trucks as the primary freight carriers and to the
135      private automobile as the primary passenger carrier.
136
137




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                               Transportation 4
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
138   Action Strategies
139   1. Provide local bus service connections from Blacksburg to Greyhound bus stations.
140
141   2. Support and advocate the construction of the Direct Link to I-81 as a Smart Road,
142      showcasing technological development.
143
144   3. Participate in the review of transportation projects both within the town and the larger region
145      for sensitivity to safety, quality of life, and natural beauty, and forward Town Council
146      resolutions as appropriate to achieve these goals.
147
148   4. Ensure that the construction of I-73 is in accordance with regional comprehensive plans, and
149      that negative impacts, such as loss of open space, are minimized.
150
151   5. Promote the construction of a monorail, or other high-speed mass transit mode, connecting
152      Blacksburg and Virginia Tech to the Hotel Roanoke and the Roanoke Regional Airport.
153
154   6. Encourage the development of a cross continent transportation link which may be high speed
155      rail, highway, or other fast, future technological system for the movement of goods and
156      people within the region and outside the corporate limits of Blacksburg.
157
158   7. Support high-speed passenger rail service between the region, Washington, D.C. and
159      Richmond.
160
161   8. Encourage development of an intermodal hub (air, highway, and rail) and distribution
162      terminal in the New River/ Roanoke valley region.
163
164   9. Follow the development of the I-81 Corridor Impact Study and analyze any potential impacts
165      upon the Town, implementing strategies as needed.
166




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                               Transportation 5
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
167   AIR TRANSPORTATION
168
169   Virginia Tech / Montgomery Executive Airport
170   The airport, located on the Virginia Tech campus, is a public general aviation airport situated in
171   the southern portion of Town near the Route 460/Smart Road interchange. It currently has 38
172   based aircraft and generates 16,700 flights annually. The airport sits on 259 acres with a primary
173   runway length of 4,550 feet that supports corporate
174   executive jets. The Airport designation is Airport
175   Reference Code, C-II classification. The runway
176   and taxiway system is well lighted for night
177   operations and is complemented by a non-precision
178   localizer approach to runway 12. A full length
179   parallel taxiway compliments the movement
180   system as well as a newly constructed terminal
181   building, parking area, hangar space, and apron                   Figure T-5, VT Airport
182   area.
183
184   In 2001, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Montgomery County, and Virginia Tech collaborated to
185   form a regional Airport Authority to operate, under a long-term lease, the existing facilities at the
186   Virginia Tech Airport. The regional airport will provide corporate/executive/local community
187   service for the area, with the Roanoke Regional Airport continuing to provide commercial
188   passenger service, and the New River Valley Airport providing freight service. The university is
189   committed to regional participation with localities.
190
191   The Airport Authority owns the fuel concession and is the Airport’s designated Fixed Base
192   Operator (FBO). Additional services provided by the Authority include aircraft tie-down and
193   hangar rentals. An Independent Flight Instructor provides primary flight training while a light
194   maintenance facility provides for aircraft repair. At present the Airport Authority is in the
195   process of coordinating additional services that include a low cost air taxi.
196
197   Airport Safety Zones
198   The Code of Virginia, Section 15.2-2294, states that every locality with a licensed airport shall
199   provide for the regulation of the height of structures and natural growth for the purpose of
200   protecting the safety of air navigation and the public investment in air navigation facilities. The
201   ordinance may be designed and adopted by the locality as an overlay zone superimposed on any
202   preexisting base zone. Blacksburg’s airport safety zones for the Virginia Tech / Montgomery
203   Executive Airport are shown in Figure T-27.
204
205   Runway Protection Zone
206   The Runway Protection Zone (RPZ) is a defined as a trapezoidal shaped area that extends
207   beyond the end of each runway. The RPZ’s function is to enhance the protection of people and
208   property on the ground. The RPZ requirements are established by the Federal Aviation
209   Administration (FAA) and are enforceable under the jurisdiction of the Airport Authority. Land
210   uses prohibited from the RPZ are: residences and places of public assembly (churches, schools,
211   office buildings, shopping centers and other uses with similar concentrations of persons typify
212   places of public assembly.) Fuel storage facilities should not be located in the RPZ.



      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                 Transportation 6
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
213   There are four major structures located within the RPZ along South Main Street. The Airport
214   Authority is required by the FAA to clear the RPZ areas (and maintain them as clear) of
215   incompatible objects and activities. In 2004, the Airport Authority began the process of
216   acquiring these properties in order to clear the area of incompatible land use. The enforcement of
217   the RPZ results in vacant land that will be owned by the Airport Authority. The land is located
218   in a primarily commercial area of South Main Street and is part of the entrance corridor into
219   town from the Route 460-bypass. The Airport Authority should give careful consideration to the
220   future use and maintenance of the property due to its highly visible location. The Airport
221   Authority will to work with the community to find the correct balance or use of this area while
222   maintaining operational safety.
223
224   Airport Expansion
225   The Virginia Tech Airport Master Plan indicates construction of additional corporate hangars, t-
226   hangars, tie-downs, improved fueling facilities and expended apron for aircraft parking. The
227   airport will continue to be used primarily for private aircraft and may be a site for low hazard air
228   shows and fly-ins. The airport location will remain a significant amenity for corporate air
229   transportation serving the industries located in the Blacksburg Industrial Park and the Corporate
230   Research Center.
231
232   The 1995 Virginia Tech Airport Master Plan indicated extending the runway to 5,500 feet. The
233   ongoing 2006 Airport Master Plan Update indicates that this length may prove impractical due to
234   development constraints on either end of the runway. As such a practical alternative would
235   provide for a runway length of between 5,100 and 5,200 feet. This enhancement would provide
236   for increased operational efficiency while enhancing safety for airport users as well as the
237   surrounding community. This runway enhancement will require the relocation of Tech Center
238   Drive. Refer to www.vtmea.com for latest updates on the Airport Master Plan and to the
239   Blacksburg 2046 Historical and Administrative Manual for additional maps.
240
241   Community Factors
242    The Virginia Tech / Montgomery Executive Airport is a public use general aviation airport
243     open to the public 24 hours a day.
244
245      The airport’s primary mission is to support and service corporate executive markets as well
246       as other aviation markets and to assist in promoting economic development transportation in
247       order to benefit the community.
248
249      The New River Valley airport serves the material supply and delivery needs of the town's
250       industries.
251
252      Improvements and expansions to the airport and its use may alter the appearance and
253       character of the town, particularly the adjacent residential neighborhoods and commercial
254       properties along South Main Street.
255
256      Alleviate congestion along the Route 460 Bypass between Blacksburg and Christiansburg,
257       the primary route from Blacksburg to the Roanoke Regional Airport, which is often subject
258       to delays at peak hours.
259



      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                Transportation 7
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
260      No private air charter service operates between Blacksburg and Roanoke.
261
262   OBJECTIVES
263   A. Enhance the airport in partnership with Virginia Tech, Montgomery County, and
264      Christiansburg to better serve the town and region’s businesses and citizens.
265
266   B. Prevent incompatible land uses from encroaching on the airport and its safety zones in order
267      to avoid future hazards or nuisances to aircraft and the town’s citizens.
268
269   C. Promote use of the airport for special activities and as a tourist attraction for the town.
270
271   D. Enforce airport safety zone restrictions through the zoning ordinance to prevent hazards or
272      obstructions to planned air space and Town citizens.
273
274   E. Provide corporate/executive service for the New River Valley to support regional economic
275      development activities associated with business, industry, and university related research and
276      development.
277
278   F. Encourage public use of the airport terminal for meetings, informational gatherings, and
279      special events.
280
281   G. Encourage the Airport Authority to incorporate some level of public use to the vacant
282      property created by the enforcement of the Runway Protection Zone. The property may
283      serve as a trailhead to the Cedar Run Greenway system as well as a Town of Blacksburg
284      Welcome Kiosk.
285
286   ACTION STRATEGIES
287   1. Participate in the Virginia Tech / Montgomery Regional Airport Authority to operate the
288      airport facilities at the university.
289
290   2. Enhance the airport’s revenue stream by promoting hangar rentals, flight instruction, aircraft
291      and fuel sales, aircraft maintenance, and facility development.
292
293   3. Encourage low hazard airport attractions to increase tourism in Town and enable the town to
294      be a frequent stop for small plane travel.
295
296   4. Study the demand and constraints of providing increased service through the airport, such as
297      commuter, small charter, corporate flights and air taxi services.
298
299   5. Plan airport improvements, as technology is available, to ensure that the airport is safe and
300      convenient for use.
301




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                  Transportation 8
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
              Airport Safety Zones




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                                                        20:1 Zone

                                  Estimated Airport Elevation: 2,134 ft.

                                                                  0                                 .5 mi.                          1 mi.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Town of Blacksburg
        November 27, 2001                                                                                                                                                                                                                    G:\04Complan\Whole town\Transportation\Airport Zones.dwg
302
303                                                                                                       Figure T-6, Airport Safety Zones
304

      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Transportation 9
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
305   B. BLACKSBURG’S ROAD NETWORK
306
307   The Town of Blacksburg has two primary categories of road projects: state primary road projects
308   and urban road improvement projects. In order to receive funding for road projects on state
309   primary roads, such as the Route 460 Bypass, the town competes with the rest of the VDOT
310   Salem District2 for funding priority detailed in the Virginia Transportation Six-Year
311   Improvement Program. The Town can accelerate the design and construction of certain state
312   primary road projects, such as the Tom’s Creek and Route 460 Bypass interchange by
313   transferring funds allocated to Blacksburg urban road improvement projects to state primary road
314   projects in Blacksburg.
315
316   For urban road improvement projects, the Town establishes its long range transportation policies
317   and road projects in Blacksburg 2046. These policies are forwarded to the
318   Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Montgomery Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) which
319   coordinates and prioritizes the long range transportation policies of Blacksburg, Christiansburg
320   and Montgomery County into the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Montgomery Area 2030
321   Transportation Plan (the Plan). The road improvement projects on the Plan are then funded
322   through VDOT’s Six-Year Improvement Program for design, engineering and construction. The
323   Town’s policies and projects should be reviewed at a minimum of every five years in
324   conjunction with the Town’s review of Blacksburg 2046 or when the MPO’s 2030
325   Transportation Plan is reviewed, whichever occurs first.
326
327   Only those projects located on collector and arterial roads as classified by VDOT, are eligible for
328   funding through the urban road improvement program. In this program, VDOT will pay for 98
329   percent of the total cost of the project, while the town pays two percent. Each year, the town is
330   allocated approximately $2.5 million per year per a state-wide formula and the Town allocates
331   approximately $100,000 in its own Capital Improvements Program to cover its share of the cost.
332
333   The Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Montgomery Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
334   The Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Montgomery Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is
335   a transportation policy-making organization serving the Town of Blacksburg, the Town
336   Christiansburg, and areas of Montgomery County. The MPO was established based upon
337   population and population density results from the 2000 U.S. Census. The MPO provides the
338   information, tools, and public input necessary to improve the performance of the transportation
339   system of the region. Future transportation needs are addressed, giving consideration to all
340   possible strategies and the community's vision. Further details regarding the MPO and its
341   appointed Board members can be found at http://www.montva.com/departments/mpo/
342
343   The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Montgomery Area 2030 Transportation Plan (the Plan) was
344   developed to provide the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the surrounding
345   urbanized portions of Montgomery County with a comprehensive set of transportation
346   improvements that will meet current travel demands, as well as projected travel demands to the

      2
        VDOT Salem District maintains more than 9,200 miles of roads in a 12-county area of southwestern Virginia:
      Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski and Roanoke. The
      district serves more than 650,000 citizens who live in these counties or in the 14 cities and towns included in the
      district. From http://www.virginiadot.org/quick/salem_quick.asp


      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                            Transportation 10
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
347   year 2030. These improvements encompass all modes of travel, including roadway, transit, rail,
348   air, bicycle, and pedestrian. The improvements were developed through a detailed study process
349   in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Rail
350   and Public Transportation, the Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations, and in
351   accordance with current federal transportation legislation, the Transportation Equity Act for the
352   21st Century (TEA-21).
353
354   MPO Transportation Funding Considerations
355   Federal regulations that guide the development of transportation plans for metropolitan planning
356   areas require that the projects included in the plans can be implemented with reasonably
357   expected public and private funding sources. For metropolitan areas in Virginia, the Virginia
358   Department of Transportation (VDOT) has provided estimates of transportation funding levels to
359   the year 2030. Those projects that can be funded based on these estimates comprise the Year
360   2030 Financially Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan. The complete set of
361   transportation projects that was developed as part of the transportation planning process
362   exceeded the estimates of available transportation funding to the year 2030. VDOT estimates of
363   available funding are by roadway program: National Highway System (NHS) interstate
364   highways, non-interstate NHS roads, primary roads, urban roads in each of the two towns, and
365   secondary roads in Montgomery County. The current VDOT Six-Year Program covers the years
366   2006 through 2011, and the Plan assumes that these projects and this funding will remain as they
367   currently stand. Estimated funding for projects beyond the timeframe of the current plan are for
368   2012 through 2030 and are as follows:
369           • NHS interstate highways: $8.1 million
370           • Non-interstate NHS roadways: $1.6 million
371           • Primary roads: $3.8 million
372           • Urban roads in the Town of Blacksburg: $16.49 million
373           • Urban roads in the Town of Christiansburg: $3.9 million
374           • Secondary roads in Montgomery County: $2.2 million
375   Transit system funding comes from a variety of federal, state, and local sources. Blacksburg
376   Transit is in the process of developing a detailed Transit Development Plan (TDP), which will be
377   adopted as an amendment into this 2030 Transportation Plan once complete. The TDP will
378   include a detailed funding program based on realistic estimates of public transit funds, including
379   contributions from the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, and Virginia Tech. The Year
380   2030 Transportation Plan also includes proposed improvements at the Virginia
381   Tech/Montgomery Executive Airport. It is expected that these will be funded by the Federal
382   Aviation Administration.
383
384   MPO Recommended Improvements
385   Recommended improvements to the region’s transportation system were based on a
386   transportation needs assessment that included public and stakeholder input, traffic engineering,
387   travel demand forecasting, and multi-modal transportation planning. An extensive traffic count
388   program was performed as part of the development of the 2030 Transportation Plan, and the
389   region’s computerized transportation model was updated and refined. This transportation model
390   provided information on travel demands in the year 2030 based on land use projections
391   developed by the MPO in cooperation with local jurisdictions. Public input was gathered through
392   a series of public meetings specifically held for this study, as well as input gained from annual
393   regional transportation forums. Based on this input, as well as the technical analyses, the study


      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                              Transportation 11
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
394   team tabulated a comprehensive list of regional transportation needs across all modes of travel.
395   The recommended improvements included in this Transportation Plan also cover all modes of
396   travel and were developed to respond to these needs.
397
398   MPO Roadway Improvements
399   Roadway improvements include projects currently programmed for funding in the Virginia
400   Department of Transportation (VDOT) Six-Year Improvement Program (Fiscal Years 2006-
401   2011), as well as high-priority projects that could be implemented based on anticipated funding
402   between 2012 and 2030. Transportation via transit, bicycle, walking, air, intercity bus is an
403   integral part of the region’s transportation system and the Transportation Plan supports
404   substantial expansion of the role that these modes of travel serve. Many of the roadway projects
405   include provisions for bicycle and pedestrian amenities, with a goal towards developing a
406   comprehensive network of trails and sidewalks. Carefully designed roadway improvements also
407   serve transit vehicles and such needs will be taken into consideration in the design of all new and
408   reconstructed roadways.
409
410   The above information was provided by the MPO and detailed Tables, Lists and Maps for the
411   Plan can be found at http://www.montva.com/departments/mpo/
412




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                              Transportation 12
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
413   Blacksburg Road Classification and Speed Limit
414   As of June 2005, the town's internal street network
415   consists of approximately 234 lane miles of local,
416   collector, and arterial streets. All streets within the Town
417   of Blacksburg are assigned a speed limit of 25 miles per
418   hour unless otherwise posted.
419
420   Local Local streets provide direct access to adjacent
                                                                       Figure T-5, Road with Speed Limit
421   land and make up approximately 70 percent of the total
422   street mileage, while carrying a relatively small proportion
423   of the vehicle miles traveled. These streets serve primarily residential and neighborhood traffic.
424   Speed limits on these streets in the town are 25 miles per hour, and may be posted as low as 15
425   miles per hour in areas with high pedestrian activity or hazardous terrain.
426
427   Collector Collector roads connect the arterial roads to the
428   local street system, and thus carry a higher level of traffic than
429   local streets. These roads comprise approximately 8 percent of
430   the town’s total street mileage. Collector roads may provide
431   direct access to adjacent land. However, they primarily route
432   traffic from neighborhoods to major employment and
433   commercial centers. Speed limits on these roads range from 25
434   to 35 miles per hour. There are 20.29 miles of collector roads
435   in Town.
436                                                                           Figure T-6, Airport Road
437   Arterial Arterial roads are major routes for traffic movement within an urban area, serving
438   traffic movement to and from interstates. These roads make up approximately 24 percent of the
439   town’s total street mileage. Arterial roads connect the principal traffic generators within the
440   urban area, as well as major rural routes. Speed limits on these roads range from 25 to 55 miles
441   per hour in Town. There are 14.16 miles of arterial roads in Town.
442
443   Traffic Signals and Road Capacity
444   As of July 2006, there are 22 traffic signals in Town,
445   seven of which contain pedestrian crossing phases.
446   Signalization or de-signalization of intersections
447   should occur as warranted based upon traffic counts
448   and surrounding development patterns.
449
450    All arterial and collector roads within Town operate
451   within capacity and with a general non-peak level of
452   service of C or better. During the peak hours,
453   congestion occurs in few locations and generally is          Figure T-7, Pedestrian Crossing Signal
454   limited to a period of 15 minutes at which some roads
455   and intersections operate at levels of service D or E. These locations, such as Ellett Road and the
456   intersection of Tom’s Creek Road, Stanger Street, and Prices Fork Road, are scheduled to be
457   upgraded in VDOT’s six-year plan in order to alleviate this congestion.
458




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                               Transportation 13
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
459                                          VDOT Street Classifications3
460
461                                                    Arterial Streets
462
             Street                  From                 To           Miles       1993           1995        2001        2005
                                                                                  Traffic        Traffic     Traffic     Traffic
                                                                                   (vpd)          (vpd)       (vpd)       (vpd)
      Clay Street              South Main Street   Allegany Street      1.36            N/A           N/A        N/A          N/A
      Harding Avenue           East Town Limit     Owens St.            0.84           6,217         6,292      7,108        5,100
      North Main Street*       College Ave.        Rt. 460 Bypass       3.27          21,587        23,444     21,701       18,000
      Owens Street             Roanoke St.         Harding Ave.         0.10            N/A          5,119      6,143        4,500
      Patrick Henry Drive      Harding Ave.        Tom's Creek Rd.      1.46            N/A           N/A       NYA          5,900
      Prices Fork Road*        West Town Limit     North Main St.       3.03          29,689        40,516     30,543       27,000
      Roanoke Street           South Main St.      Owens St.            0.42           5,716         6,945      7,468        5,700
      South Main Street        Hightop Rd.         College Ave.         3.10          17,761        19,063     19,801       19,000
      Tom's Creek Road         Rt. 460 Bypass      Prices Fork Rd.      0.95          10,994        11,580     14,808       11,000
      University City Blvd.*   Prices Fork Rd.     Tom's Creek Rd.      1.11          11,615        12,852      9,159        7,900
463
464
465                                                   Collector Streets
466
             Street                  From                 To            Miles       1993          1995        2001        2005
                                                                                   Traffic       Traffic     Traffic     Traffic
                                                                                    (vpd)         (vpd)       (vpd)       (vpd)
      Airport Rd.              Country Club Dr.    South Main St.        0.88           1,830        2,001       2,159        2,289
                                                                                                                         (2002 Count)
      Country Club Dr.         Airport Rd.         Palmer Dr.            0.43           3,327        3,315       4,831        3,800
      Ellett Rd.               South Main St.      East Town Limit       0.84           5,128        5,726       NYA          2,100
      Glade Rd.                West Town Limit     Prices Fork Rd.       2.42           3,858        5,171       5,642        4,700
      Southgate Dr.            Rt. 460 Bypass      Spring Rd.            0.71           7,816       10,893      12,328        8,010
                                                                                                                         (2004 Count)
      Mt. Tabor Rd.            East Town Limit    North Main St.          0.97           3,704       4,097       NYA          3,100
467                                       Figure T-7, VDOT Street Classification Listing
468                                          *counts may be taken at different locations
469                                             NYA: counts are Not Yet Available
470
471
472
         3
473       The above chart of VDOT Street Classifications is established in accordance with VDOT standards
474      based upon existing road conditions and existing traffic counts. The map below of Town Street
475      Classifications is the Town’s desire of how the road network within the Town of Blacksburg will
476      operate in 2046.       Therefore, there may be some discrepancies between the table and chart.




         2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                          Transportation 14
         Last Updated August 18, 2006
            Town Street Classifications




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        Amended: April 13, 2004                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Town of Blacksburg
        November 27, 2001                                                                                                                                                                                        G:\04Complan\Whole town\Transportation\Street Class.dwg
477
478                                                  Figure T-8, Town Street Classifications-GIS UPDATING



      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Transportation 15
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
479   Road Maintenance
480   Maintenance of public roads within the Town, for example repairing of pot holes or repaving of
481   streets is completed by the Blacksburg Public Works Department. However, VDOT provides
482   funds for the maintenance of public roads utilizing a statewide formula based upon population
483   and the number of miles of road.
484
485   Traffic Committee
486   The Town Manager appoints a Traffic Committee each year to consider and make
487   recommendations on issues relating to traffic safety and parking in Town. The committee
488   consists of representatives from the Police, Public Works, Transit, and Planning and Engineering
489   Departments, and two citizen representatives. Complaints, concerns, and suggestions relating to
490   traffic, parking, or pedestrian safety are forwarded to this committee monthly for
491   recommendation to the Town Manager. Recommendations, which can include minor road
492   improvements or upgrades is funded through the Town’s Capital Improvement Plan.
493
494   Neighborhood Traffic Control Program
495   During Town-sponsored neighborhood meetings, the primary concern raised by residents is
496   speeding, cut-through traffic and red-light running within the town. The Town of Blacksburg
497   supports a Neighborhood Traffic Control Program (NTCP) to improve the character and
498   appropriate use of local streets in residential neighborhoods through the use of driver education,
499   enforcement, signage, trimming, and physical roadway changes. The NTCP is one of the
500   components of the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, and is supported by both the Police
501   and Planning and Engineering Departments.
502
503   Interested neighbors may form a task force to work with the town’s engineers to resolve
504   speeding and cut-through traffic related issues within their neighborhood. As appropriate, traffic
505   counts and speed studies are conducted to determine the nature and extent of the problem. Once
506   a perceived traffic-related problem has been substantiated, the task force will decide which
507   passive measures would be appropriate for use within the neighborhood, such as pavement
508   marking, education, or enforcement measures. The traffic analyses are supplemented with
509   additional police patrols and use of the speed trailer.
510
511   These passive measures are implemented by the town, and monitored by both the town and the
512   neighborhood task force. If the passive measures are not effective as determined by the residents
513   and by additional speed studies, physical roadway changes can be considered. These active
514   measures may include roundabouts, chicanes, speed humps, or other means. Physical roadway
515   changes are evaluated by emergency service personnel for potential response constraints and are
516   not implemented until a strong neighborhood consensus is developed.                Over fifteen
517   neighborhoods have participated in this program since its inception in 1993. In most cases,
518   concerns have been addressed without pursuing physical changes to the roadway.
519




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                              Transportation 16
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
520   Community Factors
521      Traffic congestion is minimal, concentrated in a few known areas, and extremely short in
522       duration.
523
524      Roadway conditions are very good within Town, and are supported by regular maintenance
525       and overlay schedules.
526
527      Most of the town roads are lined with trees, and, where medians are provided, flowers
528       throughout the growing season add charm and character.
529
530      There are very few collector or arterial roads in Town that provide east-west access, and
531       those that exist are generally heavily used local residential streets.
532
533      No street route exists that provides a convenient and direct parallel alternative to Main Street
534       around downtown, which would improve emergency access and facilitate the expansion of
535       festivals and events in the downtown area. Route 460 Bypass could serve this purpose to a
536       degree, provided more interchange connections and associated roads are constructed.
537
538      No primary north-south alternative to Main Street exists along the eastern side of Town.
539       Constraints include the significant disruption of existing residential neighborhoods and park
540       properties as well as severe topographical conditions along the continental divide.
541
542      Tree limbs and brush sometimes encroach into the street rights-of-way and limit visibility.
543
544      Emergency access needs to be improved in some western portions of Town (e.g., Southgate
545       West Extension, Heather Drive Extension, etc.).
546
547      Some local roads are functioning as collector roads due to growth and cut-through traffic.
548
549      Better compliance with traffic laws could be effective in keeping the streets safe for children
550       and pedestrians.
551
552      Designing and funding a comprehensive transportation system that integrates multiple modes
553       of transportation including roads, bicycle lanes, walkways and grade separated crossings at
554       the most critical intersections with arterial or collector streets.
555
556      The town has recognized that the character of neighborhoods and the broader community
557       could be compromised if road network improvements consider only facilitation of traffic
558       flow, or if roads planned as local serve collector uses. Further, there is a recognition that if
559       dead end streets proliferate at the expense of an integrated network, traffic constriction and
560       congestion will result.
561




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                               Transportation 17
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
562   OBJECTIVES
563   A. Develop the arterial and collector street system in accordance with the Town Street
564      Classifications map.
565
566   B. Provide collector and arterial roads in the town that can move large volumes of traffic from
567      within and outside of the town, while minimizing the impact on residential neighborhoods
568      and bikeways/walkways.
569
570   C. Improve accessibility to high-density residential areas and activity centers such as the
571      Virginia Tech campus, downtown, University Mall, Corporate Research Center, Blacksburg
572      Industrial Park, and other areas.
573
574   D. Create or transform collector and arterial roads into divided roadways with landscaped
575      medians that limit driveway access, thus increasing safety and facilitating traffic flow.
576
577   E. Serve residential neighborhoods with collector roads, and commercial areas with collector
578      and arterial roads into which local roads connect, in order to retain the local nature of
579      neighborhood roads.
580
581   F. Provide for the interconnection of neighborhoods and parcels with local streets and with
582      collector or arterial streets where planned or dictated by traffic volumes.
583
584   G. Plan for new roads in the central portion of Town, which are consistent with the historical
585      grid network and complete the street grid system.
586
587   H. Plan all new roads and improvements with consideration of multi-modal use and an
588      integrated networks system.
589
590   I. Maintain the public road system in a cost-effective manner to extend roadway surface life,
591      minimize traffic congestion, and allow for the safety of the public in all seasons and weather
592      conditions.
593
594   J. Provide street lighting appropriate to the use of the road and the character of the area.
595
596   K. Reduce speeding and cut-through traffic in neighborhoods through the combined efforts of
597      citizens, and the Police and Planning and Engineering Departments.
598
599   L. Support local road construction standards which incorporate traffic calming (speed reduction)
600      principles, without deterring motorists from travelling through the heart of Town.
601
602   M. Include bus, pedestrian, and bicycle provisions in all roadway projects.
603
604   N. Require local streets in new subdivisions to connect to existing or planned collector streets
605      where traffic projections exceed local street levels, and to connect to existing local streets to
606      distribute traffic.
607
608   O. Require every major subdivision and road project proposal to construct or provide right-of-
609      way for the extension of existing or planned collector roads.
610



      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                Transportation 18
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
611   P. Request all new VDOT Urban Road projects to include medians, bicycle lanes, sidewalks or
612      trails, and grade separated crossings for primary intersections with bike/road/walkways.
613
614   Q. Improve or modify existing local roads to reduce speeding, commuter or cut through traffic,
615      or other conflicts in street use and character.
616
617   R. Review new road construction and development for consistency with the Town Street
618      Classifications map.
619
620   S. Upgrade all Blacksburg interchanges on Route 460 Bypass to grade separated interchanges.
621
622   T. Traffic Signal lights should operate at Level of Service C or better.
623
624   ACTION STRATEGIES
625   1. Resurface pavements as necessary to obtain maximum pavement life and a smooth surface that
626      provides a high quality appearance and rideability.
627
628   2. Resurface streets within two years of major utility work if frequent or extensive patching reduces
629      rideability to a level below other Town streets.
630
631   3. Plan for and provide, through the development process, extension of the established grid network
632      in the central area of Town.
633
634   4. Consider alternative techniques to road construction to mitigate traffic congestion, such as
635      integrated traffic signal systems and remarking of lanes, expansion of transit service, and bike-
636      walkway enhancements.
637
638   5. Maintain storm drainage facilities associated with the street in order to assure that roadways are
639      not flooded in storm events with a statistical frequency occurring more than once per 10 years,
640      and to protect roadways from erosion and undermining.
641
642   6. Provide regular tree trimming along rights-of-way to provide for sight distance, ensure overhead
643      clearance for emergency and utility vehicles, and protect the public from falling branches or
644      trees.
645
646   7. Provide street lighting along all new or improved collector and arterial roads, and along local
647      roads where requested by petition.
648
649   8. Replace and rehabilitate bridges as necessary to maintain the safety of the road system and avoid
650      limiting normal use by school buses and utility vehicles.
651
652   9. Identify new funding sources for road project priorities that are not eligible for the Urban Road
653      Improvement Program, such as roads with a local classification.
654
655   10. Develop and implement a thorough traffic calming strategy for downtown, including high profile
656       crosswalks, pedestrian promenades and pathways, alleyways, a roundabout, and legible attractive
657       signage, to slow traffic and promote a pedestrian friendly environment in accordance with the
658       Downtown Master Plan.


      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                             Transportation 19
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
659   11. Modify the Subdivision Ordinance to require streets in new subdivisions to be constructed
660       according to projected traffic volumes.
661
662   12. Promote offset work hours, telecommuting, and ride sharing to mitigate increases in traffic
663       congestion.
664
665   13. Complete construction of a full access interchange at Tom's Creek Road and the Route 460
666       Bypass, and improve North Main Street between Giles and Mount Tabor Roads.
667
668   14. Improve intersections and synchronize traffic signals along South Main Street and Prices Fork
669       Road in order to better facilitate traffic flow, improve safety, and reduce congestion.
670
671   15. Improve the intersection of Marlington Street and South Main Street by installing a traffic signal,
672       re-engineering the slope at the end of the approach to the intersection on Marlington Street and
673       re-align Nellie’s Cave Road into Marlington Street to provide a safer, more efficient, higher
674       capacity route to Main Street.
675
676   16. Complete construction of a grade separated interchange at Southgate Drive and Route 460
677       Bypass.
678
679   17. Working with the MPO, analyze the possibility and effect of a grade separated interchange at
680       Route 460 Bypass and the Corporate Research center with connections east to Tech Center Drive
681       and west of the Route 460 Bypass to the Merrimac area, providing a second access to the
682       Hethwood subdivision and the Warm Hearth community.
683
684   18. Widen Ellett Road to four lanes in order to accommodate peak hour traffic volumes.
685
686   19. Work with Virginia Tech and large private employers to adopt flexible work hours, ridesharing,
687       and telecommuting.
688
689   20. Complete Funded and Other projects listed as in the town’s Road Project Priority listing (Figure
690       T-9 & T-11).
691
692   21. Design and construct road facilities to accommodate a variety of modes of transportation,
693       including electric cars, bicycles, and new technologies.
694
695   22. Upon publication, review and analyze the 2006 Virginia Tech Campus Master Plan
696       transportation section, updating Blacksburg 2046 as deemed appropriate.
697
698   23. Review and amend the Zoning Ordinance to create a policy requiring the interconnection of
699       roads and prohibiting the construction of new cul-de-sacs in subdivisions except where limited
700       by topography
701
702   24. Implement traffic calming measures as deemed appropriate along Airport Road and Southgate
703       Drive while the Southgate Hubbard Street Connector is analyzed.
704
705   25. As part of the streetscape improvements to College Avenue, promote the area as temporary
706       event/festival space by establishing an alternative traffic pattern that can easily be implemented


      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                              Transportation 20
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
707       by utilizing permanent fixtures, such as gates, that are incorporated into the streetscape.
708
709   26. The following transportation projects are to be analyzed by the Town to determine the
710       engineering feasibility and funding requirements including if a project should be added to the
711       Road Project Priorities listed in (Figure T-9 & T-10):
712       a. Traffic impacts of the Route 460 Bypass Interchange with South Main Street on Nellie’s
713          Cave Road, Jennelle Road and Ellett Road.
714       b. Analyze the feasibility and funding of constructing a right turn lane from Route 460 Bypass
715          northbound onto Bishop Road
716       c. Roanoke Street Extension from Orchards View to Allegan.
717       d. Second vehicular access to the Houston Harrell Neighborhood.
718       e. Working with the MPO to study and evaluate a possible future road connection from Ramble
719          Road to Main Street just north of Ellett Rd.
720       f. Determine the need for further improvements to the Grissom Lane/Ellett Road/Nellie’s Cave
721          Road network per the Grissom Lane Traffic Study.
722




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                 Transportation 21
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
723                                           Road Project Priorities
                                                    Funded Projects
       Intersection Improvements to Ellett Road at Main Street and along Prices Fork at West Campus
        Drive and Tom’s Creek Road to enhance pedestrian safety and traffic flow.
       Main Street Improvements in accordance with the Downtown Master Plan recommendations.
       North Main Street Improvements from Giles Road to Mount Tabor Road including realigning
        Mount Tabor Road with Givens Lane and widening Main Street to four lanes with landscaped
        medians, bike lanes, trails, and sidewalks.
       Progress Street Extension through Northside Park to North Main Street.
       Toms Creek Road/Route 460 Bypass Interchange with grade separation and realignment of Givens
        Lane onto Chickahominy Drive to connect with Patrick Henry.
                                              Other Priority Projects
       Collector Road Connector between Tom’s Creek Road and North Main Street/Route 460.
       Commerce Street Extension through the Industrial Park to Jennelle Road.
       Hubbard Street Extension from Airport Road to Southgate Drive (Rt. 314) with a grade-separated
        crossing for the Huckleberry Trail. Improve Southgate Drive and construct an interchange at the
        Route 460 Bypass. Extend Country Club Drive as a two-lane road with berm and bikeway from
        Airport Road to the proposed Hubbard Street extension. Include bicycle lanes and trail.
       Ellett Road Improvements to widen to four lanes with bike lanes and sidewalks.
       Farmview Drive/Mabry Lane Improvements to include bike lanes and sidewalks.
       Giles Road Extension from Main Street to Turner Street to improve access in the Barger Street area.
       Givens Lane Improvements to include bike lanes and sidewalks.
       Glade Road Improvements to include bike lanes, trail, and sidewalks.
       Harding Avenue Improvements between Progress Street and the corporate limits.
       Heather Drive Extension from Price’s Fork Road to Glade Road (collector street).
       North Main Street Improvements from Mount Tabor Road to the Route 460 Bypass including
        widening to four lanes with landscaped medians, bike lanes, trails, and sidewalks.
       North Main Street/Rt. 460 Interchange
       Progress Street Extension to Givens Lane to improve access to the Givens/Northside Park area.
       Shadow Lake Road Improvements to include bike lanes and sidewalks.
       Meadowbrook Road Improvements to include bike lanes, trail, and sidewalks, realign from Basil
        Street to Lakewood Street.
       Mount Tabor Road Improvements from Main Street to the corporate limits
       Nellie’s Cave Road Realignment with Marlington and intersection improvements at Marlington and
        South Main Street.
       Ramble Road Improvements from Industrial Park Drive to the Corporate Research Center
       Route 314 West (Southgate Drive) Extension west of the Route 460 Bypass to improve access to
        Hethwood, Merrimac, and Warm Hearth.
       Tom’s Creek Road Improvements west of Route 460 to include bike lanes and sidewalks.
       Turner Street Improvements between Prices Fork Road and Main Street to include turn lanes at the
        Creative Arts Center and a bike path.

         All road projects should include bike lanes, trails, sidewalks and other amenities as called for in this plan.
724                                           Figure T-9, Road Project Priorities---GIS UPDATING
725




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                                Transportation 22
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
            Road Project Priorities




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Town of Blacksburg
        November 27, 2001                                                                                                                                                                                                   G:\04Complan\Whole town\Transportation\Road Prior.dwg
726
727                                                  Figure T-10, Road Project Priorities---GIS UPDATING



      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Transportation 23
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
728   ALLEYS
729
730   Alleys are unique features in some residential neighborhoods in Town. They provide access to
731   many of the town’s older homes which may be “street locked” due to small lots and no
732   driveways. They also provide secondary, and in some cases, primary access to garages and
733   utilities in the rear of properties. Most alleys contain public utility lines, and several provide
734   locations for garbage pick-up. Near the campus, alleys provide an alternate path for pedestrians
735   and bicycles. Some alleys were never improved and therefore exist as an extension of a
736   backyard. On commercial lots, loading functions can take place in alleys rather than occurring
737   adjacent to the main thoroughfares, reducing the risk of traffic accidents. However, due to the
738   steep slopes in some alleys, retaining walls can obstruct the view of oncoming traffic.
739
740   Typical Construction
741   Alleys in Town generally have very narrow widths,
742   which range from 7.5 to 15 feet and constrain two-
743   way access. Some alleys are paved while others
744   remain unimproved. Maintenance for alleys takes a
745   lower priority than that on primary streets, and is not
746   eligible for funding from the state. Also, many alleys
747   have no provisions for a vehicle to turn around at dead
748   ends.
749                                                                    Figure T-11, Alley behind Bogen’s
750   Unbuilt Streets
751   Before Blacksburg had a subdivision ordinance, a number of subdivisions were developed in
752   which streets were platted but not built. These streets belong to the town in that the right-of-way
753   was dedicated to the town through the recordation of the plat. Most of these streets have never
754   been constructed and appear as extensions of yards or overgrown areas. These "paper streets"
755   vary in right-of-way width. Some of them meet the VDOT requirement of 50-foot right-of-way
756   width for local streets, while others have much smaller rights-of-way. Future road or bike-
757   walkway construction could take place on some of these rights-of-way in order to improve the
758   overall transportation function of the town. In other cases they may contribute to the town’s
759   bikeway/greenway network.
760
761   Community Factors
762      The alley and unbuilt street network provides opportunities a base for development of a
763       townwide bikeway/greenway network for the expansion of multi-modal use.
764
765      Alleys in residential areas contribute to historic and neo-traditional character.
766
767      Alleys and unbuilt streets provide opportunities for placing utility services underground at
768       the rear of properties.
769
770      Alleys provide locations for loading/unloading shipments to downtown businesses,
771       maintaining a safe traffic flow on the town’s streets.
772
773      The Town receives no maintenance funding for alleys from the state; thus they are inevitably
774       maintained to a lesser level than streets.


      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                                   Transportation 24
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
775      Commercial use of alleys in residential areas may degrade the character of the neighborhood.
776
777      Alley policies need to be standardized and enforced for example the 15-mile per hour speed
778       limit.
779
780      Alleys are prone to cut-through traffic during peak traffic hours.
781
782      Vacation requests have historically only served individual property owner’s interests. These
783       vacations have removed rights-of-way from the town’s system which can no longer be
784       accessed by the public or used for any future project. In certain cases public access or utility
785       easements are retained to preserve some future possibility of use.
786
787      The Comprehensive Plan sets forth general policies and master plans for transportation and
788       bikeway/greenway networks that propose the use of certain unbuilt alleys and rights-of- way.
789       If rights-of-way that are not specifically identified for future use are vacated, this may limit
790       future neighborhood plans for the implementation or extension of multi-modal means of
791       transportation and use of this unbuilt network.
792
793      In most towns and cities in Virginia, the trend has been to vacate and dispose of alleys and
794       their maintenance responsibilities. Blacksburg has taken a different perspective on alleys and
795       recognizes the benefits of alleys for preserving neighborhoods, providing service entrances in
796       commercial areas, and utilizing existing rights-of-way for ingress and egress, rather than
797       increasing paved areas. Moreover, retaining and using existing and new alleys is encouraged
798       throughout Town.
799
800   OBJECTIVES
801   A. Support the retention and utilization of existing alleys and unbuilt rights-of-way.
802
803   B. Encourage the provision of new alleys into development projects.
804
805   C. Work with property owners to address challenges of alley use.
806
807   D. Maintain and improve alleys when and where necessary, as funding allows.
808
809   E. Retain built and unbuilt alleys and rights-of-way for future public use.
810
811   F. Vacate an alley and unbuilt right-of-way only after an evaluation of its current and future
812      function, a determination that it serves no useful purpose in a neighborhood or in the
813      transportation network, in accordance with the town’s alleyway vacation process, and a
814      determination of the benefits the vacation will provide to the public.
815
816   G. Evaluate and establish an accurate property value for any property to be vacated to ensure the
817      full value is compensated for the vacation.
818
819   H. Maintain alleys with asphalt or gravel according to their surface needs.
820
821   I. Encourage use of alleys in downtown commercial areas to access rear yard parking areas.


      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                               Transportation 25
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
822   J. Encourage single-unit residences to make use of alleys for secondary access through
823      provisions in the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance.
824
825   K. Where residents abutting an alley desire upgrading of the alley sooner than the improvement
826      schedule, allow the residents to participate in the cost of the improvements through a cost-
827      share program where the adjoining property owners pay the cost of materials and the town
828      provides the labor and equipment, not to exceed 50 percent of the overall cost.
829
830   ACTION STRATEGIES
831   1. Encourage land developers to consider the utilization of alleys in a development to enhance
832      its character and the flow of traffic in the town.
833
834   2. Restrict joint use of an alley by single-family residential uses and more intensive uses (see
835      the Special Exception process defined in the Blacksburg Zoning Ordinance) to avoid
836      conflicts in the alley due to differences in traffic volumes, types, and speeds.
837
838   3. Develop controls defining the allowed use of existing alleys and unbuilt rights-of-way for
839      access to properties.
840
841   4. Establish a standard, timely review process to evaluate making improvements to alleys if the
842      town or adjacent residents see a critical need for improvement.
843
844   5. Where residents abutting an alley desire upgrading of the alley sooner than the improvement
845      schedule, allow the residents to participate in the cost of the improvements through a Special
846      Property Tax Assessment whereby abutting property owners to alleys would be assessed the
847      cost to upgrade an alley.
848
849   6. Provide streetscape improvements along all alleys.
850
851   Note: Refer to the Blacksburg 2046 Historical & Administrative Manual for a recommended
852   list of Alley and Unbuilt Rights-of-Way Retention Recommendations
853




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                             Transportation 26
      Last Updated August 18, 2006
854

                            Alley and Unbuilt Right-of-Way Vacation Process
          1) When requests for a vacation of an alley or unbuilt right-of-way are received by the
             town,
              make an assessment of the monetary value of the alley or unbuilt rights-of-way
                according to the general guidelines:
                    o residential property value may be estimated according to current assessed
                        values of adjacent property and square footage to be vacated; or
                    o when the vacation allows for an additional buildable lot or when the
                        property is non-residential, property value may be established by a formal
                        appraisal; or
                    o a formal appraisal may be required by Town Council; and
              the applicant shall provide a statement of title concerning the alley or right-of-way
                satisfactory to the Town Attorney; and
              provide notification to all neighborhood representatives about the vacation request
                and associated public meetings; and
              provide all adjacent property owners an opportunity to apply for an equal right-of-
                way; and
              The cost of any formal appraisal or title research, as may be required, shall be the
                burden of the applicant.

          2) Vacate alleys and unbuilt rights-of-way only when the following three conditions are
             met:
              The alley or unbuilt right-of-way is judged as not important to the town's
                neighborhoods in terms of providing rear access for residents, space for utilities,
                and a means to provide Town services; and
              The alley or unbuilt right-of-way is not important to the town's present or future
                transportation network in terms of automobile, bicycle, or pedestrian traffic; and
              The alley or unbuilt right-of-way does not serve as the primary access to parcels.

          3) Assess whether or not the alley or unbuilt right-of-way could be used for another public
             function such as park land or public open space.

          4) If there is no other public function to which the property could be used, and the town is
             able to claim an interest in the alley or unbuilt rights-of-way, and the applicant is
             willing to remit to the town the value of the alley as computed in 1) above, consider
             disposition of the alley or unbuilt right-of way.

          5) The disposition of an alley or unbuilt right-of-way shall not be acted upon without
             public hearings before the Planning Commission and the Town Council, duly
             advertised, in accordance with the Virginia Code.




      2006 3rd Working Draft—Transportation                                             Transportation 27
      Last Updated August 18, 2006

								
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