Price tag for Monument Avenue safety changes raises eyebrows - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Price tag for Monument Avenue safety changes raises eyebrows

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

How safe is Monument Avenue? Some say the Lee Circle is not safe for drivers or pedestrians. We got our hands on a plan that calls for at least $800,000 in safety improvements, but there are mixed feelings about the proposal.  

"It's pretty treacherous," said John Wilkinson about biking along the Lee Circle on Monument Avenue. "You have to look every direction."

John says he has had far too many close calls. 

"Actually it's one of the reasons I don't ride my bike as much as I used to," said John.

The city is responding with a proposal that would tackle the Lee Circle safety concerns. It would reduce crossing distances for pedestrians, lower vehicle speeds, enhance pavement markings, and reduce the potential for vehicle collisions in wet weather.

Click here to read the proposal [PDF]:  http://bit.ly/1nmj7hv

"Common sense has got to filter into people's driving habits on Monument Avenue," said resident Charlie Diradour. "Slippery when wet signs maybe because it is slippery. These pavers are different than regular roads." 

Diradour can't helping being concerned about how this might impact the historic area. He's also concerned about the possible price tag. 

"They are talking about spending $800,000 to $1 million on something that could be fixed with some signage and some epoxy. I think if you ask any number of the people up and down Monument Avenue, and yes they are not poor people that live up and down the street...they will probably say the same thing...don't waste the money on us."

City officials note in the proposal the project goals are to preserve the history of the roundabout, improve safety, minimize driver confusion, and improve pavement surface friction.

There have been 33 crashes along the stretch in 3 years. 

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