Board gets traffic study review

Published 11:13 am Wednesday, December 26, 2018


The traffic and safety study for Route 58 was presented to the Southampton Board of Supervisors during its meeting on Dec. 17. Outlining this report was Tommy Catlett, P.E., the residential engineer for the Franklin residency of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

As noted, a person living in the area of Southampton Parkway and Shady Brook Trail asked in 2015 that the speed limit be reduced, owing to concerns about speeding vehicles and near-miss accidents. The supervisors agreed and a speed study was conducted. The percentage of drivers obeying the limit was quite low, but there is a high crash rate. The decision, though, was not to change the speed limit.

Two years later, that same person in cooperation with several business owners in the corridor also told the board about their worries of increasing speeding. Removing the stop light at the Courtland interchange would only make matters worse.

So, another speed study was done, finding that a high percentage of drivers, particularly on the west-bound side of 58, were averaging 13 mph above the posted limit. A review of crashes found that the rate had reduced to the near average for roads of this kind in Virginia.

Additionally, the VDOT staff working on this matter found that drivers were running the red light at the  intersection of 58 with Agripark Drive and Story Station Road. Not incidentally, Catlett later said he would follow up on that matter.

Traffic Engineering recommended the following:

• Build adequate shoulders and turn lanes throughout the corridor;

• As noted above, improve the signalization;

• Close the median crossover at the DMV to left-out movements

• Create a long-term plan to deal with the congestion at existing entrances, and also plan for future needs.

After Catlett’s summary, Franklin District supervisor Barry Porter said he was concerned the county would have to wait two years to apply to the SmartScale process. This is used to help the Commonwealth Transportation Board VDOT determine which projects get priority.

“We need to take care of widening shoulders,” he added.

Randolph Cook of Newsoms, another supervisor, asked if a grant could be pursued, to which county administrator Mike Johnson replied that there may be other revenue sources.

Supervisor Dr. Alan Edwards asked that VDOT tour Flaggy Run Road in his Courtland district.

Capron district supervisor Bruce Phillips asked about Old Hickory Road because tree limbs are hitting car and truck aerials. Chairman Dallas Jones of the Drewryville district asked if a sign at Adams Grove Road could be moved to the west side because it’s blocking drivers’ view.

Related to roads and traffic, three people were appointed to the county’s Transportation Advisory Committee. Vice Chairman Ronald West said that David Joyner of Ivor is willing to serve. Supervisor Bruce Phillips named Matthew Gillette of Capron, and Stephen C. Walter of Drewryville is also available. All three candidates were unanimously approved.