‘No left turn’ entrance to proposed Food Lion approved by VDOT upsets New Kent supervisors
The relationship between New Kent District 1 supervisor Thomas Evelyn and the roundabout at the intersection of Route 249 (New Kent Highway) and Route 612 (Airport/Tunstall Road) consists of a dislike, strong dislike type of connection. And at Wednesday’s morning work session, that relationship doesn’t look like it will be mending anytime soon.
Evelyn voiced his displeasure about Virginia’s Department of Transportation (VDOT) approving the proposed design for no left turn lane into a proposed Food Lion at the intersection.
In August 2018, New Kent leaders denied a conditional use permit for the proposed construction of a 35,000 square foot facility. However, new plans call for the building to be less than 30,000 square feet, thus meeting zoning requirements and not having to go back to county leaders for approval.
But Evelyn viewed the proposed plans of entry into the facility, immediately criticizing and questioning VDOT’s approval on what he renders as a safety concern.
“I honestly don’t know how VDOT signed off on this,” he said. “That is a dangerous intersection and a high-traffic area.
“We need to do something for our constituents,” Evelyn added as he spoke on safety concerns. “It’s going to be right across the street from the Dollar General and they are going to share the same highway.”
Evelyn had a resolution prepared to send to VDOT. Among information in the resolution included a record of the number of accidents that has incurred at the roundabout in less than a two-year period.
District 3 representative Patricia Paige was also on board with Evelyn’s resolution.
“The speed is still entirely too fast for me,” she said, pointing to the 55 miles per hour that approaches the roundabout around a banking curve. “We all know that Route 249 has bumper-to-bumper traffic on weekends and that motorists have used that route as alternative because of Interstate 64.”
Evelyn added that VDOT has the authority to pass the cost of making the turning lane to the developer.
“If VDOT knows about a potential problem, they can send it to the developer and have them pay for the cost so that they can prevent it before it starts,” he said as he wrapped up his comments.
All five county leaders unanimously approved Evelyn’s resolution, sending it to VDOT to re-evaluate the site plans for the facility.