Changes coming to 5th Street in Charlottesville

Changes coming to 5th Street in Charlottesville

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - 5th Street in Charlottesville will soon be getting some changes, all aimed at keeping people safe.

“We’ve looked at this quite extensively over the last several months, trying to figure out what we can do,” Charlottesville Traffic Engineer Brennen Duncan said. “You know it is a very vehicularly-centric corridor.”

Incidents occur on 5th St. over three times more the statewide average, but Duncan says speed isn’t necessarily to blame.

“Some of its driver distraction,” he said. “You know, it is a one of the most heavily-used corridors in the city for commuters, you know, shy of [Route] 29.”

To help make the road safer, a few changes are coming in the immediate future: “We will have to go back to City Council to have adopted into our zoning ordinance that we are going to reduce the speed limit from 45 miles an hour to 40 miles an hour,” Duncan said.

In addition, warning signs and and flashing lights will be implemented. Down the line, there’s discussion of pedestrian lighting and a roundabout to help slow down traffic.

“Right now we can put up signage, we can do a lot of stuff, but it’s still a long straight stretch of roadway. So, including a roundabout there at roughly the midpoint, would cut the mile-long corridor down into the half-mile straightaway,” Duncan said.

The street has seen an uptick in fatal accidents, but Charlottesville says investigations show those have been one-off incidents.

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