Thursday, February 2, 2023

Safety alternatives for local intersection still being considered

James City County is inviting the public to discuss and learn about safety concerns regarding the Route 5 and Route 612 intersection. (WYDaily/Courtesy JCC)
(WYDaily/Courtesy JCC)

Discussions about the safety at the intersection of Routes 5 and 614 have the Virginia Department of Transportation and James City County looking at alternatives.

On Thursday, James City County had its second community forum about Route 5 and 614 with presentations from VDOT about the recent Traffic Safety Improvement Analysis performed by the department.

According to the analysis, the number of crashes have increased from 18 between 2012 and 2014 to 26 from 2016 to 2018. However, the severity of the crashes have decreased with no fatal crashes or crashes resulting in an incapacitating injury or non-incapacitating injury in the past three years.

More severe crashes occurred at the location prior to 2015, but there have been no significant modifications to the roadway since then. Since the more severe crashes appear to be random, VDOT determined there is still the possibility for future serious crashes.

Those crashes mostly involve left-turning vehicles onto Route 614 at Centerville. However, the lack of left-turn lanes on Route 5 causes vehicles to stop in the travel lane as they wait for a gap in oncoming traffic. The study showed this is the primary cause of the rear-end crashes at the intersection. 

Another common form of crash at the intersection is when vehicles turn left too sharply onto Centerville Road and hit the vehicles waiting at the stop signs.

RELATED STORY: If you’re concerned about safety on intersections at Routes 5 and 614, you might want to attend this forum

Also, top of T-crashes also make up a large portion of crashes at the intersection. These happen when drivers either fail to stop at the stop sign on Route 614 and continue straight off the pavement or the vehicle runs off the roadway to the right when the driver finds they can’t navigate the left-turn.

Changes to the intersection are limited, because the Chickahominy Riverfront Park is nearby. As a result, all of the proposed alternatives do not require right-of-way acquisition or only suggest widening Route 5 to the south, which would extend it into property that is already owned by the county, according to the analysis.

The possible alternatives are: 

  • Left-turn lanes added on Route 5 between Greensprings Road and Centerville Road.
  • Coordinated traffic signals at Greensprings Road and Centerville Road.
  • Additional stop signs on Route 5.
  • Realignment of Greensprings Road to a four-leg signalized intersection.
  • Realignment of Greensprings Road to a roundabout.
  • Left-turn restriction from Route 5 onto Centerville Road.
  • Right-in-right-out restriction at Centerville Road.
  • Full closure of Centerville Road from Route 5 to Monticello Avenue.

It has not yet been determined which safety alternative will be placed at the intersection. In the meantime, VDOT will be making some signage changes as an immediate fix. Additionally, representatives from VDOT and the county will continue to identify funding options for more long-term safety alternatives. 

For more information, visit James City County online.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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