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Richmond City Councilwoman pushing to make busy road safer

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Some would say most drivers on Semmes Avenue have a need for speed, and 5th District Representative Stephanie Lynch is hoping to curb that.

She previously helped introduced some deterrents on the street, like a speed wagon, but she’s set to put more speed-regulating devices like pedestrian beacons and more traffic lights by Spring and Summer 2022.

“People traveling to and from the city are treating our neighborhoods like a raceway,” Councilwoman Lynch said.

Even with 30 miles per hour signage posted along Semmes Avenue, she said the average speed clocked in by the newly-installed speed wagon is about 40 miles per hour.

Lynch said speed played a factor last month when a man was hit by 27th street.

“He was simply helping another neighbor with some yard work, and unfortunately was the victim of another car screaming through the neighborhood.”

She added the man, who is a veteran, has gone through multiple surgeries but is recovering.

To avoid similar incidents, she’s trying to add more measures - not just for pedestrians, but also for school children further down the road.

“Photo speed-ticketing wagon that can actually travel around the city. Not one but three pedestrian beacons along Semmes. And we’re in receipt of a grant from the Department of Transportation to get a traffic light in front of Patrick Henry Elementary School so we can protect our kids.,” Lynch said.

Previously, she was instrumental in lowering the speed limit on Semmes from 35 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour, along with installing bike lanes, and the new speed wagon.

“All of these measure won’t be enough, and we really need to do two things. One, raise awareness and get people to really care when they’re driving through these roads, to realize that ‘You’re in a neighborhood’. Two, when you have a big wide road, people are going to speed down it, and one of the tools is to narrow it, and I think it’s high time we start thinking about that,” Lynch said.

Lynch has two rallies set for Thursday to bring awareness to drivers. They will be on Semmes Ave and 27th Street at 8 a.m. and later in day at 5 p.m. for the evening commuters.

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