These changes are coming to one of Richmond's most dangerous roads: 'Fearing for your life'

'A tiny bit of road is experiencing a tremendous burden'
Posted at 2:33 PM, Mar 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-16 17:01:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Changes will be coming to what experts deem as one of Richmond’s most dangerous stretches of road for pedestrians.

That news was welcomed by Richmonders who relay on being able to cross Chamberlayne Avenue daily to get to the bus stop, access stores and get to appointments

“You really fearing for your life. I’d be crossing the street and someone would turn right in front of us," one woman who spoke to CBS 6 reporter Maggi Marshall on the condition of anonymity. "There is no respect, concern, no conscience about how fast they are driving. They don’t stop and think about the fact it could be their family member... possibly getting hit.”

 Chamberlayne Avenue Richmond
Chamberlayne Avenue

Five people were killed and 21 others have been seriously injured on the road over the last five years, according to Richmond officials.

And while Chamberlayne Avenue makes up only a tenth of 1% of Richmond's miles of roads, it contributes to 3% of the city's serious injury crashes.

“A tiny bit of road is experiencing a tremendous burden,” one of Richmond's transportation engineers said.

That led the city to conduct a road safety assessment in the fall as part of their Vision Zero Plan. That initiative aims to eliminate all traffic accidents and create safe streets for all.

 Chamberlayne Avenue Richmond
Chamberlayne Avenue

“We realize the bones of this city are its streets and we need healthy bones to have a healthy body,” the transportation engineer said.

One of the cities transportation engineers presented the findings to a subcommittee of city council this month.

They found 80% of the crashes are occurring at intersections, many of the crashes are due to the road not being well lit, and all crashes are related to speed. They shared how they plan to take a short term and longterm approach in combating these issues.

 Chamberlayne Avenue Richmond
Chamberlayne Avenue

Crews are installing new traffic signal poles, vehicle detector sensors and pedestrian countdown equipment at Chamberlayne and Lombardy. They are also considering adding a safety camera program, installing "no right turn on red" signs and upgrading street lights.

“You can’t put a price tag on safety,” Richmond City Councilman Andreas Addison (1st District) said.

Officials said drivers can expect "intermittent lane and sidewalk closures during construction," which will likely be completed by August 2024.

Click here to learnmore about the safety upgrades for Chamberlayne Avenue.

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