2-year Forest Hill Avenue project begins after years of debate

2-year Forest Hill Avenue project begins after years of debate

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Have you ever wondered where the sidewalk ends?

In some places it never even begins - such as several long stretches of Forest Hill Avenue in Richmond.

That already busy stretch of road is about to get a little more congested, and will be that way for the next two years.

The Forest Hill improvement project started this week after 10 years of debate.

The few inches between cars and runners steers some away, like Craig Miller.

Miller keeps his timed, daily walks on the side streets as opposed to the main one.

"Most people don't go down Forest Hill," he said.

Occasionally a runner or bicyclist take the risk down the busy street.

Right now there are few sidewalks, and Miller says exercising along the main street would have the cars too close for his comfort.

The pedestrian and road changes have been in the works for nearly 10 years. At one point, residents posted SOS - or "save our street" signs - in protest.

The project is already in the works as of this week.

Miller says some construction is welcome, but the medians are met with mixed reviews.

"(That's) mostly because all these streets come out to Forest Hill. No light. Just a stop sign, and you can't turn left because cars are constantly coming down the street," he explained.

Other neighbors say they feel they never had a choice. The road is expanding, and some yards will be cut short to make room for curbs with gutters, traffic signals and landscaping.

The city says construction crews will suspend work during morning and evening rush hour, but with a projected 2020 completion date, Miller doesn't plan on taking his timed walks out of bounds anytime soon.

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