Smart Scale

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Smart Scale refers to a transportation funding mechanism that scores projects submitted to the Virginia Department of Transportation based on how they would address congestion, provide acccess to jobs, increase safety and other benefits. The project was created as a result of House Bill 2 in the 2014 General Assembly. [1] [2]

FY2017

This was the first year that VDOT has ranked submissions. The Commonwealth Transportation Board made their final decisions in June.

Three projects submitted by the City of Charlottesville were approved ended funding after the first stage.

Scores were first released in January 2016. A project to rebuild Exit 118 on Interstate 64 ranked 282 out of the 287 projects submitted and the application was not funded. [3] Chip Boyles of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission said that did not mean the project was not needed, but that officials would have to streamline their application to fund it. The $146 million cost of the project had no other source of funding except VDOT funding, causing the score to be much lower. [1]

In February, assistant secretary of transportation Nick Donahue reviewed the projects with the CTB. He told them that the prioritization rankings are just a guide and are not the final say. [citation needed] However, the three Charlottesville projects were all approved with no changes from the CTB. [4]

The PACC discussed the issue at their August 2016 meeting. [5]

On October 20, 2016, NDS director Alexander Ikefuna told the PACC-Tech Committee that there was no schedule for the projects to be implemented. The University of Virginia has expressed interest in participating in the Emmet Street project. [6] In an email to Charlottesville Tomorrow, Ikefuna said there would be a request for additional resources to help implement the projects.

FY2018

In the second cycle, Albemarle county fared much better. The city of Charlottesville, however, failed to secure $18.6 million in funding for the West Main Streetscape. [7] Charlottesville was successful in obtaining more than $8 million for improvements at the intersection of Barracks Road and Emmet Street. [8]

FY2019

Changes were made for the third cycle, including a provision that smaller localities could only submit up to four applications.

Charlottesville is once again seeking to apply for the West Main streetscape project, as well as three other initiatives. One is for improvements at the intersection of Cherry Avenue and Ridge Street that would be informed by the 2018 study of the corridor from Harris Street to Harris Road. Another is for improvements at Preston Avenue and Grady Avenue and the other is for improvements around the intersection of Hydraulic Road and U.S. 29. [9]

Albemarle County will also submit four applications. The are improvements at the intersection of Route 20 and U.S. 250 on Pantops, Berkmar Drive to Airport Road, improvements to intersection of Route 20 and Route 53 and a roundabout at Rio Road East and Pen Park Road. [9]




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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Transportation officials discuss low ranking for Exit 118, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 27, 2016, retrieved February 22, 2016.
  2. Web. State transportation official explains new prioritization rules, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, September 25, 2014, retrieved February 22, 2016.
  3. Web. I-64-U.S. 29 interchange overhaul ranked near bottom of state priorities, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 22, 2016, retrieved February 22, 2016.
  4. Web. State transportation panel to vote on Charlottesville streetscape projects, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 13, 2016, retrieved October 24, 2016.
  5. Web. Regional and university leaders discuss streetscape projects, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, August 18, 2016, retrieved January 11, 2017.
  6. Web. Regional and university leaders discuss streetscape projects, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, August 18, 2016, retrieved October 24, 2016.
  7. Web. MPO gearing up for next long-range transportation plan, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 25, 2017, retrieved December 26, 2017.
  8. Web. City Council Approves Grant Funding for Barracks Road Area, Victoria Wresilo, News Article, WVIR NBC29, April 2, 2018, retrieved April 9, 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Web. Resolution Endorsing the Submission of Smart Scale (HB2) Applications Requesting Transportation Funding By Localities, MPO Staff, Resolution, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, retrieved July 30, 2018.

External Links

Official site