interchange at the current at-grade, signalized intersection of the Route 250 Bypass and McIntireRoad. The Route 250 Bypass is a key east-west, four-lane divided roadway that enablesmotorists to bypass Charlottesville’s downtown area and neighborhoods. AR 7, Bates # 000040.McIntire Road is a two-lane road that runs north from the downtown area and terminatesat theRoute 250 Bypass.
Although it was originally conceived by the City of Charlottesville and initiated in 2004,the Interchange Project was later added to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program,which is approvedannually by the FHWA.
AR 7, Bates # 000038. Initial funding was provided by VDOT, and in 2005, Congress earmarked a total of $27 million for the InterchangeProject in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacyfor Users (“SAFETEA-LU”),Pub.L. No. 109-59,119Stat.1144,1449, 1506.
Also in 2005, theCharlottesville City Council created a steering committee to offer input on plans for theInterchange Project.
atBates # 000040.
Based on traffic studies, the FHWA determined in 2006 that the intersection wasoperating at a level of service (“LOS”) D during the morning rush hour andaLOS C during theevening rush hour. AR 7, Bates # 000040.
In both its Final Section 4(f) Evaluation and in its Revised Environmental Assessment, the FHWA describes thesteering committee as follows:The role of the Committee has been to provide feedback and make suggestions regarding thedevelopment of interchange concepts, detailed interchange alternatives, and a PreferredAlternative, including the assessment of their effects. The Steering Committee is made up of persons appointed by the Charlottesville Mayor and City Council, including representatives fromthe Charlottesville City Council, Albemarle County Planning Commission, CharlottesvillePlanning Commission, Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Committee for City-County Cooperation, Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Transportation (CHART) Team,Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Rivanna Trails Foundation, localarchitects, and local neighborhoods.AR 7, Bates # 000040; AR 534, Bates # 004688.
While these LOS ratings were satisfactory, the
Case 3:11-cv-00015-NKM -BWC Document 43 Filed 05/29/12 Page 3 of 53 Pageid#: 335