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VDOT Presents Route 29 Traffic Changes

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Virginia Department of Transportation officials announced a series of changes Tuesday to the intersection where an Albemarle teen was killed in May.

16-year-old Sydney Aichs died after a truck driver ran a red traffic light and plowed into her car at the Route 29 and Ashwood Blvd. intersection.

Tuesday, dozens of concerned residents gathered at Hollymead Middle School in Albemarle County to hear the state's plans for improvements.

VDOT presented eight changes in al, including lowering the speed limit to 45 miles per hour, installing rumble strips near the light, and adding a flashing sign that will alert drivers the traffic signal is turning red.

"I think anytime you can reduce speed, increase visibility to a problem intersection it can only help the situation," said David Shifflett, a Forest Lakes resident.

It's a situation that VDOT officials say will only get worse because an increasing amount of vehicles are on the road.

Around 5,300 vehicles drive through the Ashwood intersection daily. Those who use the intersection say VDOT's changes are satisfactory, so long as they're installed sooner rather than later.

"I think it will make it safer, definitely," said Anna Freshwater, who also lives in Forrest Lakes.

VDOT officials say some of the changes will be implemented immediately, and others will be phased in through next spring.

Reported by Henry Graff
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