Residents want 4-way stop in Museum District - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Residents want 4-way stop in Museum District

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Some changes to traffic flow could be coming to one Richmond neighborhood. City council is considering an ordinance to install a four-way stop sign and four-way blinking red lights at the intersection of North Nansemond Street and Kensington Avenue in the Museum District.

If you've ever come off Patterson Avenue and driven through this intersection, you know it can be a very confusing place. Those who live here in the Museum District say this new proposal will shine a light on safety.

Right now, the lights that shine on this intersection are both red and yellow.

"There's a lot going on here," says Museum District President Karen Headley.

The red flashing lights tell drivers on Nansemond to stop. The yellow flashing caution lights alert drivers going east and west on Kensington, but that's not always how it works.

"You'll either have people coming through at 35 plus miles per hour or they come to a complete stop and the car behind them is like 'why are you stopping' and there are some fender benders, as well," Headley explained.

Richmond Police say there have been a handful of accidents here. Most of them were caused by drivers not yielding the right of way.  Headley says this is especially a problem in the mornings and afternoons, when kids from the school a block away are coming and going.

"They come down Kensington," she described. "Some would stop and wait. Others were kind of crossing in the middle of the street. I mean, they're kids. They're middle -schoolers and cars were still coming through here very quickly."

The hope is that getting rid of the flashing yellow lights and adding a second set of flashing reds with stop signs could change the dynamic.

"That will make it more clear as to what's supposed to happen at this intersection," Headley maintained. "It will slow down the traffic down Kensington and just make it an all around safer intersection for the neighborhood."

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Works says engineers are planning a traffic study of the area. If this ordinance passes though, the city wouldn't need that agency's permission to install the new signal.

The full council is scheduled to vote on the proposal next week.

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