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Traffic Committee Meeting

Traffic Committee Meeting Agenda – August 7, 2018


The Town of Blacksburg Traffic Committee will meet on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. in the Training Room at Blacksburg Police Department, 200 Clay Street, S.W. in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Citizens are always provided the opportunity to voice their views/concerns regarding any item before the Committee.  It is the policy of the Traffic Committee to move the agenda item to the beginning of the meeting when citizens are in attendance to avoid detaining guests for the entire meeting.  However, citizens are always welcome to stay for the full meeting.


Financial Update:


Capital Project:  C10412 (820-3101-852.70-99)


  • Available Funding (prior to July 1, 2018):$19,668.32
  • Additional Funds (added July 1, 2018):+$15,000.00


  • Current Available Funding:$34,668.32

(balance available to spend in this project to date)



Old Business:


  1. Wayne Garst, with the Fire Department, has a concern for safety at the new development at the corner of UCB and Prices Fork (where the new hotel and Chipotle are located).


    Committee Recommendation from October 2017 Meeting:  Tabled

    Cars are still trying to make a left out of the left-hand side, despite the arrows and concrete.  A question was proposed as to whether the nose of the median coming the other direction could be extended, or perhaps reflective poles could be utilized to create a channel, physically restricting left turns.  This would channel the left turn lane in, and restrict the left turn lane out.  John Boyer with Public Works will do a site visit to make a proposal between delineators or extended median.  Perhaps the delineators could be installed now, and the median could be extended later on as part of a CIP project.  From an emergency standpoint, however, the delineators would be a better option because it is not a permanent barrier.  Mountable curbing is another option, as it would discourage cars but emergency vehicles can still drive over it.  Onsite signage may also be effective.  Kali Kasper will ensure that the specifics on their site plan were constructed correctly, and P&E will also contact the owners to see if they would add more onsite signage.  Tabled for November



    Committee Recommendation from November 2017 Meeting:  Tabled

    In the Prices Fork/UCB area, drivers are taking a left out of the new hotel onto Prices Fork.  This is a “no left turn”, and they are coming out of the wrong side of the island to make the prohibited left.  Randy Formica had talked to the previous owners and instructed them that they needed more signage, but they have now sold to new owners.  Lt. Goad will go out and take updated pictures.  He personally saw a car drive up the wrong side and turn left.  Ideas were brainstormed about how best to correct this behavior, and the Committee agrees that the thru arrow needs to be a left turn arrow, increased signage, and a sign in the median would help.  The Committee was advised that without signage it’s not enforceable.  It was also agreed that perhaps a letter from the Committee to the new owners would be effective.  Lt. Goad will draft up a letter to the new owners and include the possibility of meeting with them onsite; if they have not noticed the safety issue thus far, perhaps a meeting in person to point out the concern would be helpful.  Tabled for December


    Committee Recommendation from December 2017 Meeting:  Tabled

    Lt. Goad has drafted a letter to the new owners of the development, and will be working to obtain their contact information.  Several members of the Committee have personally witnessed this dangerous driver behavior, including that by a driver of a tractor trailer.  The median has been lengthened; however the geometry of the lane is very wide on the entrance side.  The least cost to the developer would be signage, and if that is found to be ineffective, concrete could be used to neck it down.  A “no left turn” sign in the median would make it more enforceable from a PD standpoint.  There was also some discussion about using small, reflective bollards to create an “avenue”.  The Committee agrees to table the item for February, but in the meantime Lt. Goad/PD and Norman/PW will conduct a site visit to assess installation location for a “no left turn” sign on the site side by the stop bar at the edge of the island on driver’s side.  The owners also need a “do not enter” sign on their site.  Tabled for February 2018   


    Committee Recommendation from January 2018 Meeting:  Tabled for February 2018

    While this item wasn’t on the agenda again until February, discussion ensued since Chris Lawrence was in attendance to participate.  He personally saw a driver doing this unsafe maneuver and would like to discuss measures to curb it.  Lt. Goad recommends installing 3-4 small bollards to channel traffic in the correct path and prevent them from making a left turn.  The median has already been extended out some, but people are still coming out of the wrong side of the complex.  The thought is that Kirk and Shivon still own the two hotels, so Randy Formica will email Lt. Goad their contact info so he can reach out and request some safety measures be taken on the actual property as well, such as pavement markings and signage.  In the meantime, Public Works will proceed with a “one-way” sign on the nose of the median and a “no left turn” sign on the grassy side of the complex exit.  No routing form need for the signage.  Tabled for February 2018


    Committee Recommendation from February 2018 Meeting:  Tabled

    Lt. Goad is attempting to make contact with the owners.  The initial party he spoke with was not the correct person.  We are trying to establish ownership.  Several committee members believe that the current owner is still Shivon.  Work will continue on this item.  Tabled


    Committee Recommendation from March 2018 Meeting:  Tabled

    Although originally thought that the part of the development in question had been sold, it has been confirmed that the ownership actually remains the same.  Lt. Goad has a meeting pending for an undetermined date in the upcoming weeks.  Tabled


    Committee Recommendation from April 2018 Meeting:  Tabled

    The “no left turn” sign has now been installed in the median.  The Committee agrees to await further update from Lt. Goad upon his return.  Tabled for May 2018


    Committee Recommendation from May 2018 Meeting:  Tabled

    Lt. Goad has a meeting set with the property owner to discuss signage on the property.  Tabled for June 2018


    Committee Recommendation from June 2018 Meeting:  Tabled

    Lt. Goad has now met onsite with the owners of the hotel development and discussed the safety concerns and possible improvements.  The biggest issue surrounds the island on the complex, and drivers going around the island the wrong way and making an illegal left turn onto Prices Fork.  During the onsite visit, Lt. Goad stopped six vehicles within 30 minutes doing this prohibited maneuver.  The median in the road has already been extended some, but adequate clearance must be retained for tractor trailers to service the businesses.  The owners are willing to put signage up on the property and add additional pavement markings.  There was also some discussion of bollards, and while the Town Manager does not typically support the use of bollards in the roadway, the owners are willing to install triangle bollards in their parking lot.  Public Works further recommends additional signage, and if the owners will cover the parking lot markings and bollards, the town will install the signage.  The difficulty of the alternative exit is also a concern at the rear of the development leading out onto UCB.  The stop signs are confusing and are holding up traffic.  Perhaps one could be switched to a Yield sign, although signage is not enforceable in a parking lot unless the driving is deemed reckless.  Lt. Goad and John Boyer from Public Works will revisit this area and make further recommendations for signage.  Tabled for August 2018


  2. An At-Your-Request submission has been received from Jill Schwab on behalf of her daughter Emily Schwab regarding pedestrian safety in the vicinity of the bus stop (#1300) located at Toms Creek/Winston Nbnd and Hillel at Virginia Tech.The request is to install a crosswalk in this location.In her correspondence, she specifically mentions students riding the bus to this stop and then crossing without a crosswalk on Toms Creek Road to get to Hillel (710 Toms Creek Road).    She also mentions hearing from friends that live at the Edge wanting to cross Toms Creek Road somewhere between the signalized intersection at Prices Fork Road and the median refuge island at Gilbert Linkous/Watson Avenue. 


Committee Recommendation from June 2018 Meeting:  Tabled

Essentially there are 6 lanes of traffic in this location, and to install a crosswalk across them would be a serious safety concern; it’s just not feasible with all of these lanes.  For next budget year BT does hope to run bus service both ways year round so there will not be a need for riders to cross as often.  This area was reviewed briefly at the May 2018 meeting as well, where it was agreed that there is a need to create a common culture across town and campus, and a Communication Team at BT would be an asset to collaborate with VTPD and the town for an education and awareness campaign.  There are potential options for pavement markings and paint to be used to clarify the bus stop, but as for a crosswalk, safety wise it is not a good idea and would be creating a false sense of security because as the bus starts slowing in the right lane to stop, drivers jump around the bus to go out left and around.  BT will pull ridership numbers to be reviewed at the August meeting.  Tabled for August 2018


New Business:


  1. A request has been received from Rhonda McDaniel via the Police Department Fusion Center for a “no turn on red” sign for vehicles turning right off of Hubbard Street onto S. Main Street. McDaniel advised that coming out of 1813 S. Main vehicles making a U turn on a green light have near collisions with the vehicles making a right on red coming off Hubbard.



  2. A request has been received from Lynn Smith regarding his concern for safety at the intersection of Broce Drive and Scott Alan Circle.  He feels that cars coming off the hill on Broce Drive heading towards Scott Alan Circle need a flashing caution light to alert them to traffic coming in and out of Scott Alan Circle.  He describes vehicles traveling quickly off the hill and where Scott Alan is at the bottom of the hill, it makes it dangerous for cars entering and exiting Scott Alan. (Looking left from Scott Alan up the hill on Broce.)He further describes that from Scott Alan looking left up Broce Drive the trees have grown out over the road and they are obstructing the view.He’s requesting that the trees be trimmed ASAP to improve visibility. 


  3. A request has been received from Planning and Engineering for the Traffic Committee to review a variance request that has been submitted by Balzer and Associates to the town for a new public road to be constructed in the Kinloch Subdivision to a smaller width than town standards, yet still have on-street parking.The request will go before Planning Commission, but the Traffic Committee is being asked to provide input to aid in their decision. (attachment)



NEXT MEETING DATE:  The next Traffic Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 9:00 am in the Training Room of the Blacksburg Police Department, located at 200 Clay Street, SW. 





Chief Anthony Wilson, Blacksburg Police Dept.

Chris Lawrence, Deputy Town Manager

Captain Nathan O’Dell, Blacksburg Police Dept.

Wayne Garst, Blacksburg Fire Department

Lieutenant John Goad, Blacksburg Police Dept.

John O’Shea, Public Works Department

John Boyer, Field Operations Supervisor

David English, Blacksburg Rescue Squad

Norman Elliott, Lead Traffic Technician

Paul Farrier, Corridor Committee

Kinsey O’Shea, Development Administrator

John Holst, Traffic Signal Consultant with WRA

Kafi Howard, Town Engineer

John Kuykendall, Citizen Representative

Erik Olsen, Transportation Planner, BT

Michael Dunn, Citizen Representative

Ron Parker, Safety and Training Coordinator, BT

(Kristel Dickerson, Committee Administrative Liaison)



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