Posted by: project151 | December 2, 2007

Media Watch : News & Advance Newspaper : Va. 151 speed limit dropped

From News & Advance : Lynchburg
Va. 151 speed limit dropped
By Dave Thompson
dthompson@newsadvance.com
Friday, November 30, 2007

A stretch of road in Nelson County that has been the site of numerous fatalities this year is lowering its speed limit, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
A portion of Virginia 151 in Nelson County has been the setting for several accidents, including five fatalities this fall.
“With the fatalities, that certainly changes things,” said Paula Jones, the Lynchburg district’s VDOT public affairs manager.
She said the speed zone was not in direct answer to the deadly crashes. The last time the road was studied informally, she said, the speed zone was not recommended.
The section of road affected begins on Virginia 151 south of its east intersection with Virginia 6, and continues on Virginia 151/6 up to Virginia 784.
The speed limit before the change was 55 mph. The new speed limit is 45 mph.
“That’s the critical area. That’s certainly the area that it’s needed,” said Nelson County’s East District Supervisor Allen Hale.
“It’s been a rural community for many, many years, and things have increased,” Jones said.
“It’s a faster pace than I think a lot of people may have expected in their neighborhood.”
Nelson County supervisors have been pushing for more safety along the road, though some said they hope the improvement doesn’t end with the speed-limit change.
“The discussion initially centered on removing (tractor-trailer thru traffic) on the road,” Hale said.
Project 151, comprised of citizens who have expressed concerns about the safety of Virginia 151 and Virginia 6, specifically aims to eliminate that traffic.
On their Web site, www.project151.org
press.com, the group lists improvements its members think should be implemented, such as turning lanes and roundabouts.
In its stated purpose, the site does not mention speed zones, but Nelson County supervisors were on board with the idea.
“It was certainly mentioned and has been discussed as one possibility,” Hale said.
“That’s music to my ears,” said Central District Supervisor Connie Brennan, who has been involved with project 151.
“That road is so dangerous just because of the increased traffic and there’s so many distractions,” she said.
“Lowering the speed limit is a very good idea.”
In addition to Virginia 151, other area roads are also undergoing a speed-limit change.
The other roads include a stretch of Virginia 624 in Amherst County and a stretch of Virginia 24 in Campbell County. Both were reduced to 45 mph from their previous limits of 55 mph for cars and 45 mph for trucks.
Project 151’s Web site states the speed changes will take place within the next few days, once the signs go up.

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