Letter – Illogical traffic design

Published 6:59 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

The Smithfield Times article of Aug. 31 (“IW supervisors defer action on Channell Way intersection”) addresses the traffic issues at the Channel Way intersection that, unfortunately, should have been included in conjunction with the traffic changes done for the Benn’s Grant development.

This shows a lack of vision and concern on the part of the county’s traffic staff and the Virginia Department of Transportation in avoiding traffic fatalities and injuries. How many material and life losses are required for the implementation of such traffic controls?

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This policy is repeated at the intersection of Sugar Hill Road and Route 17 when not long ago a van crashed across the divider into a utility pole when attempting to cross the road, resulting in the loss of life. Most recently a Jeep ended up upside down in the parking lot directly across the intersection on July 3 around 9:30 a.m. Also at this intersection, during afternoon rush traffic, the left turn lane going south is not long enough, causing the traffic in the left lane going south to be blocked, delaying traffic and creating possible accidents by drivers trying to merge into the right lane to avoid the traffic jam.

Yet at the intersection of Cedar Grove Road and Route 17 a traffic light has been in place for several years and, looking at aerial views of the communities to which these roads provide access, appear to have similar population densities.

At Benn’s Grant intersection at Route 17, with two left lanes turning into Brewer’s Neck Road during heavy traffic, there is rush among drivers trying to get into the two left lanes, causing vehicles in the inner left lane to be pushed into the short curb. At this point Route 17 lanes going south are about 4 feet lower than the ones making a left turn, and eventually vehicles may be pushed over the low curb flying into the incoming traffic.

Easy fix: Install a taller and more substantial barrier at this location. It makes sense, therefore it will not be done.


Jose Hernandez