The Virginia Department of Transportation is looking for public input for the Route 460 Operational Improvements Study. A study examining a five-mile stretch of the roadway will consider potential safety and operational improvements.
“The traffic’s bad. I mean it’s really, really bad,” says commuter Marlena Hunt.
Congestion from backed-up traffic is also a problem for some.
“Every time you hit a stop light and people slow down, then it backs up, and any kind of construction,” says Roanoke resident Ronald Bailey.
Many commuters have also been involved in car accidents or have had close calls.
“Actually I’ve come into several close collisions because of the traffic,” says Clifton Harper.
Some say it’s a common occurrence along Route 460.The five-mile stretch from Orange Avenue and Williamson to Challenger Avenue and Cloverdale sees an average of more than 40,000 cars per day.
A five-year study shows that stretch of the road had 865 crashes between 2014 and 2018.
“Most of the crashes are at intersections,” says VDOT district planning manager Michael Gray. “And that’s what creates most of our congestion–stoplights. And the movements of traffic coming in from the side streets. So we’re looking at ways to make operational improvements, to reduce the time you’re sitting at a light, as well as try to make those safer at the same time,” says Gray.
More than half the crashes take place between 2pm and 7pm, and about two-thirds take place at intersections with traffic signals.
“I almost got rear-ended by a tractor trailer because I don’t think they know how fast they’re going and the light turns red and they have to make that stop. It gets very hairy,” says Hunt.
The plan is to gather input from the public and use that feedback to make recommendations for improvement, which could include widening the roadway, installing pedestrian and bicyclist safety measures, and constructing new intersections.
If you would like to contribute input, you can complete the online survey.