Pedestrian light nears completion

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Town of Kenbridge now has a pedestrian walk light at the intersection of Broad Street and Fifth Avenue.

The light is a small part of the original the Safe Routes to School program, one designed to help students have a safer route to school.

According to Kenbridge Town Manager Robyn Fowler, plans for the Safe Routes to School program began seven years ago.

The original plan, Fowler said, included walk lights, sidewalks and other construction projects to help make the walk to school safer for students and the walk around town safer for pedestrians.

The program is being funded through a grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

“When it was brought up, the town was going to apply to VDOT for funding for this program; from my understanding, they were trying to get more sidewalks installed under this program,” Fowler said. “It was a pretty big

project, but unfortunately, of course, due to budget cuts, it got smaller and smaller and smaller (since then).”

Fowler said construction crews and equipment have left the intersection and the light is currently working properly.

According to Teresa Gardner, regional traffic engineer for VDOT’s Culpeper and Staunton Districts, the project is in the “30-day burn.”

“If no issues arise, the project will be complete on April 20,” Gardner said.

Approximately 640 vehicles travel through the intersection at Fifth Avenue and Broad Street daily in 2015, according to VDOT’s traffic counter.

Fowler says she is not aware of any accidents or deaths involving pedestrians at the intersection, but says she is glad the light was installed and has been told by colleagues that members of the community are using the walk light.

“Anything to help with safety (is important). We want everybody to be safe in town,” Fowler said. “Every little bit helps.”