Road improvement project proposed for Jahnke Road corridor

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Cars, bikes, people walking - the busy Jahnke Road corridor in South Richmond has them all. The City has big plans for the area, a major road project designed to improve safety where residents will learn more about the plan next week.

In just a few years, this 1.5 mile stretch of Jahnke Road could look very different, but more than changing the look, its safety that's on the mind of the city.

"A lot of students use the pathways that currently exist to get back and forth from schools, so we know the road needs to be upgraded to accommodate pedestrian traffic and car traffic," said City project manager Marvin Tart .

The city is hoping to address those concerns with a multi-million dollar road improvement project that would include improved drainage, the possibility of widening the roadway, bike lanes and sidewalks.

"You have a lot of people that walk along this path to go back and forth to the 711 and stores, you have this strip mall that doesn't have a sidewalk either," said resident Dara Sterling.

Pedestrian safety is a concern with 3 schools in the area, but it's the traffic that worries Dara Sterling the most. Her friend's 3 year old son plays outside often.

"You've got the hospital traffic, school traffic, strip mall traffic, there's a school down here, school buses," said Sterling.

But for Ethel Glover, the plans are a waste.

"I don't think it's going to help, the more you make roads you make wider, the more traffic you're going to have, so you're not eliminating anything," said resident Ethel Glover.

She's been living in this neighborhood for 40 years and Glover says the city need not waste the money on unnecessary improvements that will only be a burden on the elderly residents living here.

"What are they going to do with a sidewalk; it's all senior citizens out here, who's going to clean them if it snows? We can't do it? Is the city going to do it?" said Glover.

The city is encouraging all residents to attend next week, no matter what their opinion. That meeting will be held next Wednesday, July 15 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Lucille Brown Middle School at 6300 Jahnke Road in Richmond.

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