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VDOT recommends stop signs, reduced speeds at 205 and 628 intersection

Engineers for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have recommended stop signs, rumble strips and reduced speeds for the Westmoreland County intersection of Rts. 205 and 628 near Hall’s Grocery on the road between Colonial Beach and Oak Grove.


The Westmoreland Board of Supervisors had asked VDOT to study the intersection and consider installing a new stop light as a result of a number of accidents at that location. The intersection currently has a yellow caution light on Rt. 205 and red flashing lights on Rt. 628.

In a report to David Brown, the VDOT Administrator for the Fredericksburg area, Peter Hedrich, VDOT Area Traffic Engineer, said engineers examined the traffic history of the intersection for the past 18 months and also monitored the intersection for several months. Their conclusion was that the intersection “did not meet the minimum volume requirements for warranting a traffic signal.”

The report said state regulations also require “at least five crashes in a 12 month period” as a condition for installation of a traffic light. “The crash data for this intersection shows three crashes in the period June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013. Therefore the crash warrant is not met and a traffic signal is not warranted at the intersection under this condition either.”

Among those who have been injured in accidents at the intersection is Jean Staples, 64, of Colonial Beach. Staples, who was injured on Dec.5, 2012 when a vehicle entering Rt. 205 broadsided her car and slammed it into a utility truck, made a tearful plea to the board of supervisors in April for the installation of a stoplight.

In their report, VDOT engineers noted the dangers of the intersection said the number of crashes there was higher than the state or Fredericksburg area averages. Even though they recommended against a stoplight, they did recommend ways to make the intersection less dangerous.

The current speed limit along Rt. 205 is 55 miles per hour. Engineers recommended a speed limit reduction to 45 miles per hour on 205 for a quarter of a mile on both sides of the intersection. The recommended speed limit change would go into effect before the end of August.

Stop signs are already in place on both sides of Rt. 628 at its intersection with 205. However, VDOT engineers said because most crashes are caused by vehicles failing to yield to 205 traffic, “STOP AHEAD” signs would be erected on both sides of the 628 intersection as well as rumble strips approaching the stop sign locations.

The flashing yellow caution light on Rt. 205 and the flashing red stop light on Rt. 628 will remain in place in lieu of a stoplight. Additionally, VDOT recommended stepped up monitoring and enforcement by the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office to enhance driver awareness at the intersection.

 

Richard Leggitt

 

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