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Charlottesville, VA

Walk Friendly Communities - Silver Level

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Community Highlights

Charlottesville is designated as a Silver-level community due to high rates of walking, innovative planning practices, and a centralized, successful Downtown Pedestrian Mall. Highlights of Charlottesville's application include:

  • The desire to reduce single-occupant vehicle travel is represented in the 2010 adoption of a model Complete Streets policy. This policy states that "all street projects…shall be designed and executed in a balanced, responsible, and equitable way to accommodate and encourage travel by bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and their passengers, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities." It also states that the City "recognizes bicycle, pedestrian, and transit modes as integral elements of the transportation system."
  • Charlottesville has excellent transit services, provided by Charlottesville Area Transit and University Transit Services. Transit is available within one-quarter-mile of 95 percent of the population seven days a week has 95 percent on-time performance. This ensures that residents of Charlottesville have ample opportunity to access high quality transit that serves a variety of destinations.
  • With little remaining vacant land, the City has established excellent zoning policies that have resulted in infill accounting for 100 percent of development over the last five years. These policies include providing density bonuses for the inclusion of affordable housing, requiring ground floor commercial uses in mixed use districts, and allowing accessory dwelling units in almost all residential districts.
  • Charlottesville is taking steps to continue implementing high-quality engineering treatments throughout the City. An impressive 100 percent of signalized intersections have been converted to push-button signals with countdown timers. Additionally, the City has installed in-ground LED crosswalks at 17 locations and uses rapid flash beacons at crosswalks.
  • In 1975, Charlottesville closed eight blocks of the downtown permanently and created the highly successful Downtown Pedestrian Mall. The mixed use mall on the historic Main Street is home to over 150 businesses situated in rehabilitated historic buildings. A recent construction and redevelopment project ensures that the mall will remain an active pedestrian destination in the heart of the City for years to come.