Charlottesville City Council’s endorsement of the grade-separated interchange for the Hydraulic-U.S. 29 intersection is an important milestone for the project. By next month, the transportation study of this intersection is due to be completed, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Route 29 Solutions website. Three of the four corners lie within the city, so council’s approval is critical. That endorsement is a practical step in moving the redesign forward, part of a round of necessary government actions.
There also may be a subtle psychological benefit in council’s formal assurance to the community that this is the best choice for dealing with increasingly burdensome traffic congestion at the intersection.
Dealing with traffic is also morally incumbent upon council, since the city has designated the area for major urban development. The most obvious site for redevelopment is of course the now vacant Kmart shopping center.