Richmond council shares plans for ‘dangerous’ intersection where AP Hill statue stood

Posted at 7:34 AM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 14:58:20-05

RICHMOND, Va. — The CBS 6 Problem Solvers are learning more about the plans Richmond city leaders have for the Northside intersection where the A.P. Hill statue once stood.

Earlier this month, we shared concerns from drivers and community members about the Hermitage Road and West Laburnum Avenue intersection following the removal of the city’s last Confederate statue.

The city has since paved over the statue’s place and painted pedestrian crossing lines. However, some drivers described the traffic as “a different kind of bad” with or without the statue.

“There's still the idea of sort of a traffic circle happening. You still have the speed because of the big, unmarked pavement area in the middle,” said Tara Fitzpatrick, Richmond Public Schools Safe Routes to Schools coordinator. “Just a lot of confusion happening out there.”

Holton Elementary School borders the intersection where students and families walk to class.

On Friday, CBS 6 caught up with Richmond Councilmembers Katherine Jordan and Ann-Frances Lambert at the Northside intersection where their districts meet.

“We talked to DPW [Richmond Department of Public Works]. There was so much uncertainty about when the statue was actually going to be able to be removed, that — you can't tie up planning money when you don't know if you're about to be pushed off several years,” said Jordan, who represents the city’s 2nd voter district.

Family members of A.P. Hill fought the city for more than a year in court to prevent the statue’s removal, but were unsuccessful.

DPW said a roundabout is the safest change for this intersection, however a 2009 ordinance prohibits a roundabout at this location.

Third voter district representative Lambert said she is introducing legislation to repeal the prohibition.

DPW said an intersection study is planned for summer or fall of this year. City council must also wait for the new fiscal year to begin, and it will take six months to a year for construction to actually start, according to Lambert.

“We're excited that this has actually, finally happened and that we've removed the statues in the most dangerous intersection here in the city. So now it's all about analysis, making sure that the data lets us know that we need to possibly look at other options here,” she explained.

DPW crews were also spotted repainting lanes near the intersection on Friday. A DPW spokesperson said they’re considering prohibiting turns beyond the peak periods.

Jordan and Lambert also highlighted the two projects that are associated with this intersection that they said requires their own funding sources.

The potential roundabout project is also tied to a separate lane widening project.

“Commuters are getting used to the new intersection. Part of its education and part of its further analysis, but the city is not done here. The work continues,” Jordan stated.

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