Traffic signals criticized at Henrico's worst intersections

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - NBC12 viewers have a few ideas to improve the safety at Henrico's most dangerous intersections. But will they work?

Drivers suggest there are too many crashes, because there is too little time. They criticize the traffic lights in the county's most congested area.

Spend just a few minutes counting cars, and there's not much difference between W. Broad Street in Short Pump, and Interstate 95.

Frustrated drivers often run red lights, a big factor in making this area the county's "worst" for crashes. Not long after NBC12 reported that story last week, the comments came flooding in.

Comments like, "The green lights are too short," and, "CHANGE THE SETTING ON THE LIGHTS!".

So we wanted to know if anything can be done. For that, we went to VDOT, which controls the signals at many of the offending intersections.

"If we were to add even just a few more seconds onto one section, we're taking away from another area," said VDOT's Dawn Eischen.

VDOT says the signals will cycle every minute and a half, to two minutes. Any shorter, and vehicles barely get going. Any longer, and it's gridlock.

"Broad Street would back up even more and also potentially block some of the entrances to some of these businesses," Eischen said, referencing the retail corridor in Short Pump.

The signals also will adjust based on time of day. But preference always will go to W. Broad Street, along with other major thoroughfares elsewhere in the county.

"If they would just obey signals, and know that we've done all we can," Eischen said.

So, while one viewer may suggest "They need cameras at all these intersections" it may be best to just, "Leave a few minutes early" as someone else surmised. After all, police say red lights don't cause accidents. People running red lights, do.

VDOT says, if anything, signal wait times will get longer for the side streets in an effort to keep cars moving on major roads. At the same time, police say they'll be watching for drivers running red lights.

For a list of Henrico's worst intersections based on number of crashes in 2009, see below:

West End:
1. W. Broad Street and Pump/Pouncey Tract Rds. 46
2. W. Broad Street and Brookriver Drive. 42
3. W. Broad Street and Glenside Drive. 41
4. Parham Road and Patterson Avenue. 32
T5. W. Broad Street and Gaskins Road. 28
T5. Parham Road and Staples Mill Road. 28
T5. Parham Road and Three Chopt Road. 28
T5. Parham Road and Quioccasin Road. 28
9. W. Broad Street and Parham Road. 27
10. W. Broad Street and Cox Road. 26

Central Henrico:
1. Parham Road and Brook Road. 40
2. Parham Road and Woodman Road. 20
3. Brook Road and JEB Stuart Parkway. 18
4. Chamberlayne Road and Wilmer Avenue. 15
5. Woodman Road and Mountain Road. 14
T6. Chamberlayne Road and I-95. 13
T6. Brook Road and Wilkinson Road. 13
T8. Chamberlayne Road and Wilkinson Road. 12
T8. Brook Road and Lakeside Avenue. 12
T8. Parham Road and Sanctuary Rd. 12

Eastern Henrico: 
1. Laburnum Avenue and Gay Avenue. 32
2. Laburnum Avenue and Nine Mile Road. 23
3. Laburnum Avenue and I-64. 21
T4. Laburnum Avenue and Williamsburg Road. 20
T4. Laburnum Avenue and Darbytown Road. 20
6. Laburnum Avenue and Mechanicsville Turnpike. 19
7. Mechanicsville Turnpike and Crump Street. 17
8. Nine Mile Road and South Airport Drive. 15
9. Laburnum Avenue and Creighton Road. 14
10. Laburnum Avenue and Harris Avenue. 13

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