West Main Streetscape

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West Main Streetscape


Project Overview

1. Preserve and enhance urban qualities
2. Improve pedestrian and vehicular circulation
Cost $50 to 54 million (Nov 2020 est.)
Location Charlottesville
Sponsor Charlottesville, University of Virginia

Status Update

Canceled in June 2022

VDOT Dashboard http://gowestmain.com/
Contact Neighborhood Development Services, Charlottesville

The West Main Streetscape is a now-cancelled multi-year plan intended to make West Main Street more welcoming to pedestrians and safer for bicycles. Other components had been adding including a new stormwater management system. [1]

The City of Charlottesville pursued multiple revenue sources for the project, which ballooned from a cost estimate original estimate of around $30 million in 2018 to likely over $50 million as of November 2020. [2]

The project was split into phases. The second phase had received funding through Smart Scale. A third spanning from Roosevelt Brown Boulevard to 8th Street NW had been recommended for funding. The University of Virginia had pledged $5 million toward the project.

However, City Council defunded the project in September 2021 and officially canceled it in June 2022. [3]

Plan development

The city has paid nearly $3 million over multiple years to the firm Rhodeside & Harwell to create the plan. The work was intended to support additional growth on a corridor that experienced rapid transformation. Council approved a concept in March 2016 after much study. [4] They also readjusted the zoning on the street.

In October 2017, City Council agreed to split the project into phases and to pursue VDOT Revenue Sharing to help cover the $31 million cost. The city has allocated $10 million from its Capital Improvement Program for the project. [1]

History of the plan

The slip lane for right-bound turns onto Ridge Street would be removed under the plan

In November 2012, the PLACE Design Task Force was asked to weigh in on the project given that construction of the Marriott Residence Inn at 301 West Main was expected to begin in 2013, and that other student housing complexes +were planned including the Flats at West Village. [5]

At a meeting in February 2013, Council agreed to spend up to $350,000 on the study. [6]

As the study continued throughout the summer of 2014, representatives of churches such as First Baptist Church wanted their need for on-street parking to be considered. [7] The process was slightly slowed down to make sure all stakeholders were heard.

The plan did not have the support of a majority of City Council as was revealed when Mayor Satyendra Huja stated in January 2015 that he felt the plan was incoherent. [8]

Council approved the plan in March 2016. The Board of Architectural Review was briefed on progress towards the schematic drawings on October 10, 2016. [9]

The preliminary cost estimate to implement the streetscape was originally around $30 million, but has since increased to at least $49 million as of November 2020 (Phase 3 Right-of-way has not ).

Council has set aside $10 million for the project in the five-year capital improvement project and unsuccessfully applied for $18.3 million in funding through the second round of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Scale process. [10][11]


Rhodeside & Harwell hired multiple subcontractors to participate. By June 2018, the project was being managed by the Timmons Group under the supervision of Brian Copeland. Other contractors include Lincoln Surveying and Inframap Corp,


A subset of the study was to look at the zoning of the street. The recommendation was made to convert the street's two zoning into western and eastern districts as opposed to south and north districts enacted during the 2003 rezoning. [12]


Existing conditions

On-street parking

There are approximately 90 on-street parking spaces on the road between JPA and Ridge-McIntire. [7] Dena Rhodeside identified the potential for as many as 4,000 new and existing parking spaces within 600 feet of West Main.

Photo gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Web. Council breaks West Main Street plans into multiple phases, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 17, 2017, retrieved November 25, 2017.
  2. Web. Council to discuss future of $49 million West Main Streetscape
  3. Web. City officially cancels West Main Streetscape project, News Article, Town Crier Productions, June 10, 2022, retrieved August 27, 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Web. Council chooses path for West Main streetscape, partially approves rezoning, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 22, 2016, retrieved December 31, 2016.
  5. Web. PLACE task force considers West Main and Belmont Bridge, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 9, 2012, retrieved November 12, 2012.
  6. Web. City to jumpstart West Main improvements, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 24, 2013, retrieved October 27, 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Web. West Main church, businesses want their needs considered in study, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 6, 2014, retrieved October 27, 2014.
  8. Web. http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/19990-west-main-critique/, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 21, 2015, retrieved December 20, 2015.
  9. Web. Charlottesville architecture panel gets peek at West Main schematics, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 10, 2016, retrieved October 17, 2016.
  10. Web. MPO signs off on area transportation funding requests, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, September 28, 2016, retrieved October 17, 2016.
  11. Web. Albemarle projects score well in initial steps of VDOT funding process, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 17, 2017, retrieved December 15, 2017.
  12. Web. [https://cvillepedia.org/images/West_Main_Street_Add_Services_Work_Letter_-_Add_Survey_June_2018.pdf Agreement for Professional Engineering and Planning Services for the West Main Street Project], Letter, Rhodeside & Harwell, June 4, 2018, retrieved February 25, 2021.
  13. Web. West Main study begins with tour of changing corridor, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 17, 2013, retrieved September 29, 2020.
  14. Web. West Main group reviews three concepts for streetscape, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 14, 2016, retrieved December 27, 2016.
  15. Web. Charlottesville panel recommends West Main rezoning for third time, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 9, 2016, retrieved December 29, 2016.
  16. Web. Charlottesville City Council close to making West Main height change, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 8, 2016, retrieved December 31, 2016.
  17. Web. Charlottesville architecture panel gets peek at West Main schematics, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 10, 2016, retrieved January 11, 2017.
  18. Web. Council approves schematic design for West Main, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 16, 2017, retrieved December 29, 2017.
  19. Web. City Council votes to remove Lewis-Clark-Sacagawea statue, Nolan Stout, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 15, 2019, retrieved November 17, 2019. Print. November 16, 2019 page A1.

External links