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Traffic study underway at RPS bus accident intersection

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — A South Richmond intersection is back under the microscope after a recent school bus accident.

People who work and drive that stretch near East Belt Boulevard and Midlothian Turnpike think there have been too many accidents and close calls at the site.

Nikki Young works in the area and said the East Belt Boulevard ramp, which merges onto Midlothian Turnpike, is a tricky spot for some drivers.

Young said she’s just about seen it all when it comes to this intersection near her family’s South Richmond tire business. It’s a stretch that sees more than 27,000 vehicles a day.

Young said blaring horns and screeching tires are the norm — and it’s no surprise when drivers end up on their lot.

“A couple of years ago we had a vehicle come through the fence and knock down the street light on the property after one of those accidents,” Young said.

And after this week’s school bus accident at that same location, CBS 6 News asked the city if more needs to be done to make the road a little safer.

A Richmond Police Department spokesperson said three accidents have been logged at that spot in the past year. That doesn’t include this week’s accident involving a Richmond school bus.

The cameras at Young’s business captured images of that bus driver on East Belt Boulevard rear ending a car merging onto Midlothian Turnpike.

“It doesn’t surprise me because over the past several years we’ve requested and told the city that there have been numerous accidents at this intersection,” Young said. “We’ve seen 10 to 12 since we’ve been here.”

Young and husband, Emerald, and other nearby businesses told CBS 6 News that they would welcome a flashing redlight at the top of the ramp with signs alerting drivers to the light, instead of the lone yield sign that’s in place now.

Richmond Public Works Spokesperson Sharon North said a traffic study is currently  underway at the interchange.

It’s a study that would consider crash reports from the police department, other safety data like sight distance and roadway design features. She said all that data along with citizen input will then be reviewed and analyzed.

North said the study will be completed by the end of the year and then officials will then determine if additional safety measures are needed.

Depend on CBS 6 News to follow this story and bring you the latest updates.

 

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