VDOT presented their safety assessment of the Forest Lakes intersection with 29N last night, and 160 people showed up to see how the intersection could be improved. Sixteen year old Sydney Aichs was killed there in May when the driver of a semi ran the red and hit her car at full speed. VDOT says that the intersection isn’t up to spec, since there’s not enough “stopping sight distance.” Folks want to see the speed limit there lowered to 45 MPH from 55 MPH, and they were frustrated by VDOT saying that it would take at least a few months to accomplish, despite their agreement that it should happen. (How hard is this? Just replace a few signs. You’re done.) Sean Tubbs mentioned in a comment that VDOT told the BoS this afternoon that they may have it done by the end of the week, which is more like it.
That’s a whole section of 29N that, for years, was 55 MPH clear up to Gainesville, without a stoplight to be seen (other than the one at Pete’s Park-n-Eat. Towns, counties, and VDOT have all been slow to realize that the whole road is changing to a continuous suburban corridor. In thirty years, driving to D.C. is going to be a five hour process.
Incidentally, this story is written by the newest Daily Progress reporter, Brandon Shulleeta. He comes to the paper from the The Caroline Progress, interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch last year, and attended VCU, where he studied broadcast journalism.