Difference between revisions of "4th Street Downtown Mall Crossing"

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m (Decision to create a second crossing)
(Decision to create a second crossing)
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The firm [[RK&K]] recommended that 5th street would be the appropriate choice and that north to south would be the appropriate movement. They also recommended that there be two crossings allowing vehicles to circulate. City Planning Commission [[Bill Lucy]] countered that opening a second crossing would decrease pedestrian safety, citing his counts that pedestrian traffic had not declined as the merchants had claimed.  
 
The firm [[RK&K]] recommended that 5th street would be the appropriate choice and that north to south would be the appropriate movement. They also recommended that there be two crossings allowing vehicles to circulate. City Planning Commission [[Bill Lucy]] countered that opening a second crossing would decrease pedestrian safety, citing his counts that pedestrian traffic had not declined as the merchants had claimed.  
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The Planning Commission voted 5-2 on [[January 10, 2006]] to recommend against the second crossing. City Manager Gary O'Connell suggested that better signage could solve many of the problems. However, he said if Council did choose to pursue another crossing, 5th Street would be the better choice because of the concurrent construction of the [[Holsinger Building]]. <ref name="feb21report" />  O'Connell also suggested a one-year trial. Twenty-one people spoke at the public hearing, with 11 people speaking in favor of the second crossing and ten speaking against. <ref>{{Minutes-citycouncil|newid=|when=February 21, 2006|accessdate=2019-01-19|id=308711|url=http://weblink.charlottesville.org/Public/0/doc/308711/Page1.aspx}}</ref>
 
The Planning Commission voted 5-2 on [[January 10, 2006]] to recommend against the second crossing. City Manager Gary O'Connell suggested that better signage could solve many of the problems. However, he said if Council did choose to pursue another crossing, 5th Street would be the better choice because of the concurrent construction of the [[Holsinger Building]]. <ref name="feb21report" />  O'Connell also suggested a one-year trial. Twenty-one people spoke at the public hearing, with 11 people speaking in favor of the second crossing and ten speaking against. <ref>{{Minutes-citycouncil|newid=|when=February 21, 2006|accessdate=2019-01-19|id=308711|url=http://weblink.charlottesville.org/Public/0/doc/308711/Page1.aspx}}</ref>
  
City Council voted 4-1 on April 3 to approve a second vehicular crossing, and so began a one-year trial of a north-to-south crossing at 4th Street E lasting from May 2006 to May 2007. At the time [[Jim Tolbert]], director of the City's [[Neighborhood Development Services Department|Department of Neighborhood Development Services]], said staff recommended closing the crossing during Pavilion events and to locate any permanent crossing at 5th Street East.<ref>{{Minutes-citycouncil|newid=|when=April 3, 2006|accessdate=2019-01-19|id=308723|url=http://weblink.charlottesville.org/Public/0/doc/308723/Page1.aspx}}</ref>  
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===Vote to open===
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City Council voted 4-1 on April 3 to approve a second vehicular crossing, and so began a one-year trial of a north-to-south crossing at 4th Street E lasting from May 2006 to May 2007.
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At the time [[Jim Tolbert]], director of the City's [[Neighborhood Development Services Department|Department of Neighborhood Development Services]], said staff recommended closing the crossing during Pavilion events and to locate any permanent crossing at 5th Street East.<ref>{{Minutes-citycouncil|newid=|when=April 3, 2006|accessdate=2019-01-19|id=308723|url=http://weblink.charlottesville.org/Public/0/doc/308723/Page1.aspx}}</ref>  
  
 
City Council voted 3-2 on June 18, 2007 to retain the second crossing, though staff was ordered to bring forth a proposal to switch the second crossing to 5th Street East. {{fact}}
 
City Council voted 3-2 on June 18, 2007 to retain the second crossing, though staff was ordered to bring forth a proposal to switch the second crossing to 5th Street East. {{fact}}

Revision as of 14:00, 15 August 2019


Downtown Mall Crossing
20080104-Second-Crossing.jpg

Completed

Project Overview

1. Improve business on the east end of the Mall.
2. Improve flow of traffic around Mall by replacing crossing removed by Eastern Mall Expansion project
Cost No direct costs, costs to rebrick 4th Street SE now part of $7.5 mall revitalization program
Location Charlottesville
Sponsor Charlottesville

Status Update

City Council voted 3-2 on April 7, 2008 to make the 4th Street SE crossing permanent. The street will be rebricked as part of the Downtown Mall renovation.

Contact Alex Ikefuna, Director, Neighborhood Development Services, Charlottesville

The 4th Street Downtown Mall Crossing is an intersection allowing vehicular traffic to cross the Downtown Mall at Fourth Street East from north to south. On August 12, 2017, it was the site of the murder of Heather Heyer and wounding of several dozen other peaceful protesters in the car attack by white supremacist James Alex Fields.


Ambox notice.png This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

A petition has been circulated to close the crossing permanently. [1]

Map

Project details

Ever since a section of Main Street in downtown Charlottesville was closed to vehicular traffic in the 1970s, opening up side streets for crossing of the pedestrian mall has caused a great deal of controversy. The first one was approved in the 1990s allowing drivers to cross south-to-north at 2nd Street W. [citation needed]

Until 2003, it was possible to cross the mall using 7th Street E, but that was bricked over as part of the Mall's extension.


Decision to create a second crossing

A petition to open a second crossing was brought to Council by the Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville in the summer of 2005. They claimed sales were lower at the east end of the mall due to the closure of 7th Street. They also claimed there was no easy route for motorists to get from the Market Street Parking Garage to the Water Street Parking Garage. Council opted to hire a traffic engineering firm to study potential crossings at 4th and 5th Streets. At the same time, the Downtown Transit Center was also being planned. A decision on the crossing was postponed until construction was complete. [2]

"Our history with the 2nd Street Crossing has helped us understand that there need to be physical changes to the roadway so that cars appreciated they are entering a pedestrian space and that pedestrians understand they are entering a vehicular space," wrote Gary O'Connell in the staff report for the February 21, 2006 public hearing. [2]

The firm RK&K recommended that 5th street would be the appropriate choice and that north to south would be the appropriate movement. They also recommended that there be two crossings allowing vehicles to circulate. City Planning Commission Bill Lucy countered that opening a second crossing would decrease pedestrian safety, citing his counts that pedestrian traffic had not declined as the merchants had claimed.

The Planning Commission voted 5-2 on January 10, 2006 to recommend against the second crossing. City Manager Gary O'Connell suggested that better signage could solve many of the problems. However, he said if Council did choose to pursue another crossing, 5th Street would be the better choice because of the concurrent construction of the Holsinger Building. [2] O'Connell also suggested a one-year trial. Twenty-one people spoke at the public hearing, with 11 people speaking in favor of the second crossing and ten speaking against. [3]

Vote to open

City Council voted 4-1 on April 3 to approve a second vehicular crossing, and so began a one-year trial of a north-to-south crossing at 4th Street E lasting from May 2006 to May 2007.

At the time Jim Tolbert, director of the City's Department of Neighborhood Development Services, said staff recommended closing the crossing during Pavilion events and to locate any permanent crossing at 5th Street East.[4]

City Council voted 3-2 on June 18, 2007 to retain the second crossing, though staff was ordered to bring forth a proposal to switch the second crossing to 5th Street East. [citation needed]

The City Planning Commission voted for a second time on December 11, 2007, that the second crossing was consistent with the City's comprehensive plan. The matter of where the crossing should be permanently located was not determined immediately. Either project would have carried an estimated $900,000 price-tag according to Tolbert.

Purpose

The stated purpose of the 4th Street Downtown Mall Crossing was to:

  1. Improve business on the east end of the Mall.
  2. Improve flow of traffic around Mall by replacing crossing removed by Eastern Mall Expansion project

Petition

Charlottesville resident Aileen Bartels started an online petition to close the mall for safety reasons, telling NBC29 that she thought more people would visit the mall as a result. However, the idea is opposed by the Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville. [1] The idea of closing the mall was also considered in a $100,000 safety assessment of the mall. [5]

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. C'Ville Woman Creates Petition to Close Fourth Street Crossing to Vehicular Traffic, Carly Kempler, News Article, WVIR NBC29, August 9, 2019, retrieved August 15, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Web. Additional Downtown Mall Crossing, Gary O'Connell, Staff Report, City of Charlottesville, February 21, 2006, retrieved August 15, 2019.
  3. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, February 21, 2006.
  4. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, April 3, 2006.
  5. Web. $100,000 for Downtown Mall risk and threat assessment, Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, May 22, 2018, retrieved August 15, 2019.