State Studying Fluvanna Avenue Redesign

State officials are studying the possible redesign of Fluvanna Avenue from four lanes to two, which could include the addition of bicycle and turning lanes, which would be similar to the changes made to the Third Street Bridge in the fall of 2015. P-J photos by Dennis Phillips

The reduction of lanes and addition of bicycle and turning lanes could one day change the design of Fluvanna Avenue.

On Monday, the Jamestown City Council discussed how state officials might possibly redesign Fluvanna Avenue, which is also state Route 430.

Tom Nelson, Ward 6 councilman, said the state is in the study phase of the possible redesign. He said the proposed changes could lead to the street being a two-lane highway instead of four lanes. Also, bicycle and turning lanes could be added, which will make the redesign similar to the changes that occurred along Third Street.

In the fall of 2015, the traffic pattern on the Third Street Bridge changed from a four-lane high way to two lanes, with the addition of two bike lanes and a turning lane.

For a number of years city officials have been discussing the possibility of also redesigning Washington Street. In 2017, Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, meet with state Department of Transportation officials about launching a comprehensive effort to analyze, rethink and possibly redesign the entire Washington/Fluvanna arterial corridor from West Second Street in the downtown to the city line near Clifton Avenue.

“They were very open. Within hours of announcing it (Washington Street redesign as a 2017 State of the City goal), a meeting was set up in Buffalo,” Teresi said in February 2017. “They pledged they would take a look at it as soon as they have the staff time to do so. The Region 5 office in Buffalo has a full plate of responsibilities for (four) counties in Western New York. They will look at it once they have the staff time to do so.”

Teresi said state officials have pledged they will be willing to look at longterm initiatives as well as short-term adjustments to address the concerns of city officials. As far as what would an ideal Washington Street look like, Teresi said he will not announces his vision, but will let the experts at the state do their jobs.

There are concerns about vehicles and pedestrians, given the unfortunate accidents that have occurred along the highway, Teresi said. He said there is also concern over the speed of traffic through the entire length of Washington Street. He added that a complete streets look, with pedestrian and bicycle paths, is something he would like to see added to the highway.

No matter what is done, Teresi said a redesign cannot interrupt the main purpose of the highway, which is to be the primary truck traffic route through the city.

The redesign of Washington Street/Fluvanna Avenue has also been discussed when talking about the Chadakoin River West Brownfield Opportunity Area program. In June 2017, a public meeting, led by the consultant team C&S Companies, discussed to strengthen the Chadakoin River West Brownfield Opportunity Area through the development of mixed land use and improved connectivity utilizing strategies that will encourage reinvestment and neighborhood enhancements with increased access to natural resources. One of the main components of the plan is to create safer connections along Washington Street through streetscaping and traffic calming, which includes changing Washington Street from a four-lane highway into a two-lane highway with a turning lane. Bicycle lanes could also be added to improve traffic flow along Washington Street.