The following calendar is for local government meetings and downtown events that have been approved or sponsored by the town. For a comprehensive listing of special events in Blacksburg, or to post your own event to a community calendar visit stepintoblacksburg.org.
Traffic Committee Meeting
- Date: 09/03/2019 9:00 AM
- Location: Blacksburg Police Department
200 Clay St. SW
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060
For more information, call the Blacksburg Police Department at 540-443-1402.
The Town of Blacksburg Traffic Committee will meet on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the Blacksburg Motor Company, Conference Room #1, located at 400 S. Main Street 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.
Capital Project: C10412 (820-3101-852.70-99)
- Previous Available Funding:$23,634.01
- July 1, 2019 Credit (FY2019-2020 budget)$15,000.00
Current Total Available Funding: $38,634.01
(balance available to spend in this project to date)
- A concern has been received from James Bilowus regarding safety at the crosswalk on S. Main at Eheart due to drivers not observing the 35 mph to 25 mph speed transition at S. Main and Hemlock.His correspondence follows:
“In the 4.5 years that I’ve lived in Blacksburg, I’ve not felt safe crossing in the crosswalk at S. Main and Eheart (even with the new flashing lights, people are going too fast to slow down in time). And even merging on to S. Main street in my own vehicle due to traffic exceeding the posted speed limit after the northbound 35-25mph transition at Hemlock Dr. and S. Main. I don’t think the speed limit signs are very noticeable as I sometimes even see marked police cars continue at speed, without their blue or brake lights on, until they reach the Blacksburg motor company. I also constantly see cars accelerating above the posted speed limit when they are headed southbound on main street and pass the Blacksburg Motor Company. It makes crossing the street very intimidating and I’ve had several near misses from people almost hitting me in the crosswalk because they’re simply going too fast. I would like to propose that the Northbound S. Main and Hemlock speed limit sign be changed to a flashing sign with built in radar to visually alert people that there’s a speed change and they should slow down. I would also like to propose that a similar sign be posted ~100’ south of Miller & Southbound S. Main. I think at least changing the one at S. Main and Hemlock will really make my neighborhood safer.”
Committee Recommendation from July 2019 Meeting: Tabled
Due to a series of complaints, the Town recently spent $8500 to install flashing signage for the crosswalk in this location. To install a flashing radar sign would be a challenge due to the need for electricity, and while there are solar options, the area is shaded making it hard to pull enough sunlight to power a solar unit. Additionally, with the upcoming development at the old Blacksburg Middle School site, the whole intersection will come out and be re-configured. Before the first certificate of occupancy is granted for the OBMS project, a signal must be installed at the S. Main/Eheart intersection, and at this time fencing will soon begin for the start of grade work. The Committee agrees it would not be an efficient use of funds, and could increase pedestrian/vehicle conflict by providing a false sense of security. The Committee further agrees that a better approach will be increased enforcement action. Lt. Goad will speak with the Operations Division Captain of the Police Department regarding potential alternative enforcement solutions, such as standing LIDAR and motor units, since there’s not an ideal place for a police vehicle to sit for RADAR. Tabled for August 2019 Meeting
Committee Recommendation from August 2019 Meeting: Tabled
No further to report at this time. Stats collected from increased enforcement action will be presented at a future meeting. Tabled
- A request was received from Ms. Braaten, resident of York Drive, which was introduced at the August 2019 meeting and tabled for further discussion at the September 2019 meeting.Ms. Braaten provided the Committee with a letter sent on behalf of the York Drive residents requesting that pre-emptive actions be taken to protect York Drive from the residents’ anticipated increase in traffic that they feel will result from the development of the old Blacksburg High School site on Patrick Henry Drive.
Committee Recommendation from August 2019 Meeting: Tabled
The thought is that cars turn off Patrick Henry onto York Drive to avoid backups at the light at Patrick Henry and Harding Avenue. Visibility off York onto Patrick Henry is compromised due to the layout of the road, so traffic is prohibited from exiting off York onto Patrick Henry. The neighborhood has a list of requests they feel will make their street safer, however none will mitigate potential cut through traffic from Patrick Henry. There is not an engineering warrant to support “no thru traffic” because it is a public street, and the Town as a standard practice does not utilize speed bumps. The most feasible action would be the potential addition of a “no exit” sign at the entrance of York from Cork Drive. There is presently a “do not enter” sign at the end of York closest to Patrick Henry, and it was suggested that it can potentially be replaced with a new, more reflective version, and then the need for the addition of a second one, on the other side of the street, can be reassessed. The residents are also requesting a speed signaling device to be placed on Harding. The Town currently does not own a suitable model for use in this location, but Lt. Goad will look into options available for purchase that would be independent of a data collection device for temporary deployments to areas all across town. The Committee agrees to table the item until the September 2019 meeting for a site visit to assess current signage. Tabled for September 2019
- A request has been received via the Mayor’s Office from Ethan Lee regarding his concern for safety at the Prices Fork Road and Brightwood Manor Drive intersection.An excerpt of his correspondence to the Mayor follows:
“I and others feel unsafe at this intersection due to incredibly poor visibility of traffic coming from Prices Fork as we turn to leave our neighborhood in Brightwood Manor. A combination of unnecessary trees, a bend in the road, and a slight hill all compound into a dangerous situation. […] I believe trees need to be trimmed or removed to ease the blind spot, and potentially a traffic mirror as well. I would describe myself as a busy individual who wouldn't take the time to reach out if I did not think this was an important matter of safety for me and others.”
Below is an excerpt of an email that he also sent to the Town of Blacksburg Engineering Department:
“I have a concern about an intersection I and other Brightwood residents find dangerous (to the point I dread turning right onto Prices Fork during the day). It is the intersection of Brightwood and Price's Fork Road, across the street from The Reserve. Turning right requires having faith in a large blind spot where traffic coming from the left as you turn off of Brightwood onto Price's Fork is zooming by with little notice. On the Price's Fork Road there is a sign that says "hidden entrance. This is the hidden entrance that it warns of. A low-cost solution that I have seen implemented in a similarly dangerous area is a convex mirror so that people leaving Brightwood can see oncoming traffic that is around the corner on Price's Fork. Another solution--which would ideally be implemented in tandem with the mirror--is to have the trees trimmed that obstruct some of the view.”
- A request has been received from Alan Kim who resides at 700 Kentwood Drive for no parking to be implemented on the block of Eakin Street adjacent to Kentwood Drive.His correspondence follows:(images)
“This has been an ongoing issue for many years since Fiddlers Green development started constructing the densely packed units surrounding our home which we have owned and occupied since 1996. More than a few have been student rentals with questionable occupancy. Fortunately many are family occupied. The pictures show the current situation, stemming from the unit on the corner of Palmer and Eakin. Oversized pickup trucks are parking farther up on Eakin instead of alongside the unit or in the driveway. This makes it inconvenient when occasionally we need to enter/exit the lower yard with work vehicles, etc. We had to ask the (student) occupants to move farther down the street when they parked all the way up the street across from our driveway and lower yard entrance. Over the years we had issues with cars parked on Eakin when the unit on the corner of Kentwood and Eakin was student occupied. The curb in the last two pictures show it painted yellow after cars were parked on the corner, one in particular almost always nearly 5-6' off the curb. I had to make a request to have the curb painted yellow and periodically request the paint be renewed. Perhaps it is best to mark the pavement around the curb but the painted curb has helped. During heavy snow I had to ask visiting cars lining Eakin be moved so snow plow could properly clear the street. (There has been many occasions with vehicles parked right at the stop sign at the corner of Palmer and our block of Eakin.)”
- Mr. Kim has an additional concern surrounding parking on Kentwood that he plans to submit for future consideration.He hopes that eventually no parking can be extended to the southwest side of Kentwood Drive (700 Kentwood Drive side).His description follows:
“On a separate matter, for unknown reasons only the 700 block of Kentwood is lacking a concrete curb along the Fiddlers Green units. It is not uncommon to see cars parked into the grass strip bordering the street during football weekends. Also lacking is storm water drain along the Fiddlers Green units on the 700 block. (Curb is also lacking alongside Fiddlers Green units on Palmer.) A request had to be made with the town and a berm was put in place to help stem storm water runoff into our yard and front walk at 700 and will need to be addressed at 702 which sits much lower. We hope, in the future, the no parking can be extended on our property side of Kenwood as is the case on the block towards Graves Ave.”
- A request for a stop sign at the corner of Progress Street and Watson Avenue has been received from Katie Hanton, resident of 1011 Progress Street NW.Her correspondence follows:
“I live at the corner or Progress St and Watson Ave and last night there was a drunk driver that hit our telephone pole, hit our tree and flipped through our yard landing inside the home of our neighbors. We understand that this may be considered a freak drunk driving accident, however, since moving in we have noticed an excessive number of drivers speeding past our house. Also, after speaking with our neighbors, they informed us that there have been multiple cars hit, crashes and even a pedestrian that was hit near our home in recent years. We are very concerned about the safety of Progress street in front of our home and this particular incident brings to light the very real possibility that a car could strike our house or any surrounding houses. We would feel much safer with a stop sign put in to mitigate any future issues.”
- A request has been received via the Town of Blacksburg Planning Department from a citizen who lives in the area of Glade Road.She wants to know if there can be anything done about signal timing of the lights on UCB. Her request surrounds the timing through the whole UCB corridor, not just at the UCB/Prices Fork intersection. She states that she’ll see lights turn green ahead of her and never make it through to them because she’s stuck behind traffic somewhere else. She also states that the signals back up into one another.
- A concern has been received from Ken Lee who resides at 2814 Glade Road regarding traffic in town.His main concern is drivers who do not respect the 3-foot law with bicyclists, particularly on N Main St in the 4 lanes.He expressed interest in attending the Traffic Committee meeting with a bicycle group to share his concerns.
- NEXT MEETING DATE:The next Traffic Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 9:00 am in the Blacksburg Motor Company, Conference Room #1, located at 400 S. Main Street in Blacksburg, Virginia.