Editorial: Studies shouldn’t replace common sense at times
As I sit in most meetings, a lot of actions that take place usually require boards to talk and have a study conducted on the issue. While this is done usually to save money, there are times when I think to myself some things shouldn’t even be up for discussion.
I will give you an example. Virginia’s Department of Transportation (VDOT) does a good job when it comes to responding to citizens’ concerns. But one thing that puzzles me is when the issue of placing traffic lights at certain intersections. An example of this is the intersection of Kentland Trail and Courthouse Road in New Kent (the entrance to Colonial Downs). At this location, there is a hill at the top of the intersection making the vision of sight difficult for both approaching traffic and vehicles when they attempt to turn off of Courthouse Road. It is even more difficult when vehicles turning from Kentland Trail or the Chesapeake Square area attempting to return to the main highway, especially if heading towards the interstate.
Last year, a traffic study was conducted at this intersection after a deadly accident took place. Still, there was no warrant for a traffic light here, but a reduction of speed by five miles per hour. As a person who travels this road at least twice a week, it puzzles me why common sense hasn’t kicked in yet. The volume of traffic is there, and as New Kent continues to grow, that area is expected to garner more traffic. Now, imagine if Colonial Downs never closed or reopens. That road use to consist of two turning lanes without a traffic light and it still didn’t warrant a light by a VDOT study.
It’s just not a VDOT issue when it comes to studies; there are a lot of items that have studies that may seem unwarranted. But the issue comes down to the usual; saving money and still getting the most out of the money you spend. I just wish that sometimes that issues where common sense can be used instead of waiting for the completion of a study that can take three to six months. Just my opinion.