City considers roundabout for Belt and Hull

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – There could soon be a circle where Belt meets Hull. City leaders are considering a roundabout for the busy intersection. It would cost $617,000 and would be paid for through federal grants.

Traffic engineers first proposed the idea last fall. At the time, they said roundabouts significantly reduce accidents.

"They reduce conflicts and they slow the traffic down," said Richmond Traffic Engineer Tom Flynn in October of 2009.

But slowing down this particular intersection worries several people who work at the nearby businesses. Terrence Rivers cuts hair at the Unique Styles Salon. He can see the intersection from his barber chair.

"It would just be in the way, it would be too much extra. As far as I see the traffic lights do their job," said Rivers.

Dewayne Callaham works two doors down at True Dreams Salon.

"Downtown there are a lot of places where they have circles in the intersections and it runs smoothly because the speed limits only 25 miles per hour. Here it's a little bit higher and there's definitely a lot more traffic flow," said Callaham.

The circle would be in Councilwoman Reva Trammell's district.

"We need our streets paved over here, we need some beautification that's what we need over here - in this area, not a roundabout," said Trammell.

Trammell says this intersection used to be a traffic circle. She says, after talking with hundreds of constituents, she's not convinced it should be switched back.

"Not with the calls that I'm getting and the doors that I went to and spoke with people, they're like 'no'," Trammell said.

The meeting will be this Thursday near the intersection of Hull and Belt Boulevard at the Saint Paul's Baptist Church from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

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