VDOT begins $2M project to create safer pedestrian accommodations on Broad

HENRICO, Va. – A $2 million VDOT project to create pedestrian accommodations on Broad Street begins soon.

The construction will provide enhanced pedestrian safety at five signalized intersections along the W. Broad Street corridor between the Richmond City line and Interstate 64.

The new accommodations will include sidewalks, ramps, crosswalks and pedestrian signals.

The following intersections will be under construction intermittently:

  • Forest Avenue,
  • Dickens Road,
  • the Home Depot entrance,
  • Horsepen Road,
  • Libbie Avenue

“Once complete, these new accommodations will offer enhanced safety and improved connectivity for those who travel in this busy area,” said VDOT Area Construction Engineer Brian Ramsey.

Genworth employee Ryan Or is excited about the upgrades.  He crosses Broad St. at Dickens Road and said he has nearly been caught in the middle of the intersection.

"It turned red about three-quarters of the way through, and I was just about hit by a vehicle," Or said. He thinks the upgrades can't come soon enough.

Travelers can expect intermittent lane and shoulder closures for the duration of the project. Work will include both daytime and nighttime lane closures during off-peak travel times.

The work is expected to be complete in summer 2018.

Pedestrian death in recent months

There have been multiple pedestrian deaths in the Richmond-metro over a four-month period, as well as several pedestrian or bicyclist injuries in numerous locations.

On Feb. 2, a man was killed walking in the 14600 block of Jeff Davis Highway

A woman was fatally struck along the 8000 block of West Broad St., just east of Parham Road, on Jan. 22, 2018.

A man crossing Broad St. near Byrd Avenue in the Willow Lawn area was fatally hit by a car on Dec. 29.

Police say that 50-year-old Edward F. Brown was attempting to cross Cowardin Avenue westbound toward the center median when he was struck and killed on Nov. 24, 2017.

On Nov. 09, 2017, a male was fatally struck while walking on Parham Road just east of Brook Road.

On Oct.18, at approximately 6:50 p.m. at the intersection of Forest Hill Avenue and Sheila Lane, a man was fatally struck by a vehicle.

City moves forward with pedestrian friendly projects

In the city, Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s announced the city’s participation in the Vision Zero initiative to reduce crashes that may cause serious injuries and deaths through better traffic signal timings.

Vision Zero is a global strategy first implemented in the 1990s in Sweden to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe and equitable mobility for all. The framework has gained momentum in major American cities.

A project is currently underway to retime 71 traffic signals in South Richmond, to improve the flow of traffic and increase pedestrian safety.

The City is leveraging this timing project as part of an overall $3.5 million initiative to improve pedestrian safety through funding from the FWHA and VDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). It is part of an upcoming multi-pronged initiative to deploy low cost systemic pedestrian safety improvements at signalized intersections through 2020.

These improvements include high visibility crosswalks, accessible ramps, pedestrian countdown signals and improved signal timings. The City said that these improvements will improve pedestrian safety on major arterials citywide at more than 230 intersections.