Tuesday, April 24, 2018

April showers



Goochland supervisors adopted a budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1; set tax and utility rates for calendar year 2018; and voted to approve the last of the deferred rezoning applications at a special meeting on April 17. The total budget is $89,779, 074. (For details see the budget tab on the homepage of the county website http://goochlandva.us )

The actions followed  the appointment of John L. Lumpkins, Jr. to serve as District 3 supervisor until a November 6 special election. Lumpkins will be sworn in at the beginning of the Tuesday, May 1 Board meeting.

Jonathan Lyle, Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District Director, reported that his agency as recently audited and received a clean fiscal bill of health. He thanked the Board for its fiscal support of  MSWCD. He noted that in March, MSWCD received 10 request for technical assistance, nine of which came from Goochland, the other from Powhatan. He said that the 2018-19 plan has been approved and its emphasis is on agriculture. He also thanked the Board for putting MSWCD on the radar for space at the Central High School Cultural Center.

There were no surprises in the approved budget or tax rates. Real estate tax rates will remain at 53 cents per $100 of valuation, Tuckahoe Creek Service District ad valorem tax will remain at 32 cents per $100, personal property tax rates remain unchanged. There will be a modest increase in water and sewer rates for those properties served by public utilities.

Board Chair Ken Peterson, District 5 said that the budget end product represents an awful lot of work by an awful lot of people and citizen input.

County Administrator John Budesky explained that the budget is an ongoing process that beings internally in October. He thanked every member of county and school division staffs as well as Constitutional Officers for their hard work collaborating with Director of Finance Barbara Horlacher.

The budget process, said Budesky, represents an alignment of priorities with goals set by the supervisors. “We take the responsibility of managing tax dollars very seriously, The citizen feedback gathered from public hearings and town Hall meetings is invaluable,” he said.

The Board then turned its attention to public hearings.

A conditional use permit for a second dwelling on Manakin Road north of Broad Street Road for elderly relatives was unanimous approved. Neighbors expressed support for the CUP.

A rezoning application for  153 acres on the east side of Hockett Road, called Readers Branch, deferred late last year pending adoption of the county’s capital impact model (CIM) was up next.

The application would combine two existing subdivisions into one community zoned residential planned unit development (RPUD) with an average density of approximately two units per acre.

As currently zoned, the two subdivisions—Readers Branch zoned in 2007 and Swanson’s Ridge, zoned in 2013—could build, by right, 306 single family homes. Combined into a more cohesive plan, the new Readers Branch will have no more than 303 lots, one fewer access point on Hockett Road, and provide at build out, a sewer stub to Hickory Haven subdivision, which lies north of the subject property.

Previous zoning for Readers Branch included duplex units. The conceptual plan, as presented, has three sections arranged around the flood plain. An amenity package includes outdoor recreational spaces, a community clubhouse, and birding stations. Cash proffers of $12,592 per home, calculated according to the CIM formula, were part of the application

Build out of Readers Branch his estimated to take eight years, or about 39 homes per year, depending on market conditions, according to Natalie Croft, of Eagle Homes. The original Readers Branch never materialized due to the economic downturn and no demand for attached housing. She contended that the final product is much better than the initial proposal, thanks to suggestion from the planning staff.


Bob Minnick, District 4, which includes Readers Branch, asked about the expected order of construction. Cole said that all Hockett Road improvements will be made with the first phase. A tree lined boulevard will be built with the second section, required when the number of homes exceeds 50. The portion  at the rear will be built last, timing determined by market demand.

Cole said that Eagle hopes to begin home construction in early 2019 with first residents taking occupancy later that year.

Readers Branch will add more traffic to the Hockett Road corridor, whose intersections with Rt. 6, Tuckahoe Creek Parkway, and Broad Street Road, are already failing rush hour chokepoints. It will also exacerbate the challenge of left turns from the Parke at Centerville, located opposite Readers Branch, onto Hockett Road.

Minnick declared that the county must be proactive about finding a way to “fix” the Hockett Broad issue and  signalize the Hockett/Tuckahoe Creek Parkway intersection to deal with significant residential growth.  “We have to look at creative ways to handle these specific traffic related issues in less costly ways than VDOT would recommend,” he said.

The more than 800 homes recently approved for the Hockett Road corridor in addition to the final phase of Kinloch, which is nearing completion, will change the face of eastern Goochland. Given the complexity of the new communities, they will not materialize overnight. Hopefully, the county can find ways to ease the traffic chokepoints before these subdivisions are built out.

Going forward, the challenge will be to balance residential development pressure to rezone even more land in the Hockett Road corridor and avoiding gridlock.

The supervisors have designated the eastern part of the county as the focus of growth, whatever than means. So far, we’ve got a hospital, hotel, and Audi dealership on the horizon. It is hoped that more commercial enterprises will follow. Stay tuned to see where we go from here.








Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Board makes interim District 3 appointment


Board names Creasey successor

On April 17, 2018, following a closed meeting, the Goochland Board of Supervisors unanimously selected John Lumpkins to an interim appointment for the seat of the late Ned Creasey as District 3 supervisor.
John Lumpkins


Lumpkins will take his oath of office soon and serve until a permanent successor is chosen by District 3 voters in a special election to be held on November 6. His first meeting as a supervisor will be May 1, 2018.

He currently represents District 3 on the Goochland School Board.

Board of Supervisors Chair Ken Peterson, District 5 said that the Board received several expressions of interest in the interim appointment from highly qualified citizens. It was difficult, he said, to separate our emotions on the passing of  Supervisor Creasey from the best interests of Goochland County.

Peterson also observed that the interim appointment is an indication of the good relationship between the supervisors and school board by welcoming a school board member onto the board of supervisors.

Lumpkins said that he will resign from his seat on the school board, which will, in turn, appoint an interim member until District 3 voters elect his replacement at the special election on November 6.





Differing gifts



News stories about holders of arcane college degrees drowning in student loan debt with dim job prospects and reports of large numbers of skilled jobs going begging for lack of qualified applicants are everywhere.

How did our educational system get so out of whack with the job market? A few generations ago, it was possible for someone with an eighth grade education—it was a lot more basic then—was able to secure gainful employment that paid enough to support a family.

Now, there seems to be a generally accepted notion that a college degree—any college degree—is necessary to get a job, that those without said degree are somehow inferior.

Not your typical school equipment

For too long, school systems geared up to channel the best and brightest to college and pretty much forgot about the rest. Not everyone takes to “book learning” or has an interest in spending a lifetime  at a desk.

Goochland’s current school board adopted a strategic plan whose goals include maximizing the potential of every learner. Given the complex and changing nature of our today’s world, the most important skill for our students to acquire is to learn how to learn and adapt to new paradigms.

To that end, a career and technical education component was added to the GHS curriculum. Last spring, schools invited local businesses to a roundtable discussion to share information and learn how Goochland schools can better prepare students to fill local jobs.

On March 28, a reception and networking session was held in the GHS learning commons as the next step in the process. Sponsored by the school division; the Goochland Chamber of Commerce; the county; and Reynolds Community College, the event included high school students.

Following an introduction by Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jeremy Raley, Director of the CTE heavy equipment program, Michael Verrastro presented a short video. https://youtu.be/1m4fWNXJJiQ

Verrastro, a veteran of the Navy's Seabee construction battalion explained, that GHS has the only heavy equipment operator program in Virginia. This offers the opportunity for certification for an OSHA temporary card, workplace readiness training and certification, all while students are still in high school.

The construction and heavy equipment courses provide a viable alternative to traditional education teaching marketable skills for entry level jobs in industry with good wages close to home.

Roundtable presentations by local business and industry leaders followed. Described as a new kind of “speed dating” by Dr. John Hendron, Director of Innovation and Strategy—the guy who makes the magic happen—entities spent a few minutes describing what they do and employee skills they are seeking to interested GHS students.

Goochland Fire-Rescue Chief Bill MacKay (left) describes jobs in life safety service.


These included: Hourigan Construction; Willbros T&D; Goochland Fire-Rescue; Carter Machinery; Howell’s Heating and Air; Luck Stone; Moseley Architects; Richmond Area Municipal Contractor’s Association; Alarms Inc.’ and Capital One. 
A representative from Carter Machinery talks with GHS students




Dr. Steve Geyer gave a progress report on the “Profile of  a Goochland graduate” project. This will provide a blueprint for a successful life after high school. So far components include: the value of the school experience; input from community stakeholders; content knowledge; workplace skills; community engagement; and civic responsibility. The challenge, said Geyer, is to prepare students for careers that have not yet been imagined and to help them understand that education is a conversation with no end.

Bruce Watson, Director of the Career and Technical Education program, who contends that he has the best job in the school division, said that since its inception in 2012, CTE has expanded into many areas.

 In addition to hands on skills, students in construction and heavy equipment operation  learn math that applies to their area of concentration and conversational Spanish.

Thousands of new medical jobs will be coming to Goochland and the health services program will help our students prepare to fill them. The boom in pet ownership will provide job openings for veterinary technician graduates. Attendees devoured the tasty breakfast that  demonstrated the proficiency of the culinary arts students.

Culinary Arts Students provided a delicious breakfastStudent thoughts

Goochland Schools give our kids the chance to investigate their differing gifts and find their unique path to success. One size does not fit all.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

OOPS!




On Wednesday, April 11, representatives of the Virginia Department of Transportation—the state agency whose motto is Oops!—held a design public hearing at the Centerville Company 3 fire-rescue station. The purpose of the session was to share information about the planned improvements to the Rt. 288/Broad Street Road interchange and gather resident feedback.

(Please note that the VDOT employees who fix potholes, cut grass, plow snow, pick up trash, and perform other routine road maintenance and repair are not part  of the “OOPS!”)

Several VDOT representatives were in attendance to discuss various components of the intersection upgrade. They were very engaging, polite, and seemed genuinely interested in sharing information. They also seemed surprised at the skepticism expressed by the people who traverse this malfunction junction on a regular basis that the proposed upgrades will make the area safer.

According to an informational brochure distributed at the event, the project will cost $4.3 million. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2020 with estimated completion in Summer of 2021. The brochure is available at:http://www.virginiadot.org/Projects/Richmond/asset_upload_file130_122853.pdf

The improvements consist of adding or extending turn and “storage” lanes and installing traffic signals  at intersection points where drivers now play chicken. To his credit, project manager Adam Brooks said that he drove to the meeting via northbound  Rt. 288 and made the dreaded left turn onto westbound Broad Street Road. He seemed unaware of the relatively steep grade of eastbound Broad Street Road under the Rt. 288 overpass, but said he would look at it on his way home.

Brooks also seemed somewhat surprised to learn that locals take Rt. 288 north to Interstate 64 to the Rockville/Manakin exit to access Broad Street Road westbound rather than risk the blind left turn.  He did say that one of the purposes of the meeting was to learn how people actually use the roads in question.
 
Project Manager Adam Brooks, center,  and VDOT engineer, left, listen to Goochlander skeptical about  proposed road improvements
The proposed improvements seem simple and straightforward. The answer to “why will it take more than three years to complete?” convoluted.  Roadway plans must be engineered. There were several sets of what looked like detailed plans floating around the room. It was unclear how much additional refinement is needed before construction can start. Brooks explained that the improvements are considered to be a single project and all components will be completed at the same time to control costs.

Then there are environmental concerns, one of which was clearing trees. Most of the trees in question are gone, removed to make way for the new Audi dealer and hotel on both sides of Broad Street Road. Remaining environmental issues, according to the VDOT rep for this area, are minimal. The brochure states that it has performed environmental reviews to coordinate with various federal, state, and local agencies an include information from various technical reviews including those related to natural resources, water quality, threatened and endangered species, air quality, noise, etc. Potential effects on properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places will be provided in the project’s environmental  documentation. This all should have been part of the original construction  information. Currently, it would seem that motorists are the species most endangered.

Rights of way need to be acquired.  This could get tricky if property owners balk at VDOT offers for their land. As most of the new lanes seem to be in the original footprint of the road, these rights of way should have been acquired when the roads were first built?  Nearly a year has been allocated for this task. Some utilities may need to be moved and that will take time also.

The meeting was all too reminiscent of other sessions held by VDOT before Broad Street Road was widened between Ashland and Manakin Roads. Those sessions were also filled with detailed diagrams, few of which resembled the road that was ultimately built.

Mr. Brooks and company were unaware of the design fiasco of the southbound Manakin Road turn lanes that were too tight to accommodate large horse trailers and moving vans because a VDOT engineer used the wrong turn template when designing that project. Brooks did, however, promise that all new lanes will be able to handle large vehicles.

Maybe this time will be different. Maybe this VDOT team will under promise and over deliver. No one will complain if the improvements are completed before the summer of 2021 and make this stretch of road safer. Keep your fingers crossed and look for alternate routes during construction.

Address comments and suggestion to Brooks at Adam.Brooks@VDOT.Virginia.gov before April 21.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Listening


Listening

The April 3 meeting of the Goochland County Board of Supervisors was short and involved lot of listening.

No citizens came forward during the afternoon session to express interest in the interim appointment to the District 3 supervisor seat, to take the place of the late Ned Creasey until a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the term is held on November 6.

During the evening session, two District 3 residents Shawn Creasey and Charles Lyda, expressed interest in the appointment.

Lyda, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, recognized that Ned Creasey’s strong sense of morality and leadership was a great asset to Goochland. Lyda said that community service has long been his passion. He is an enrolled Native American and served as president of the Native American Student Union while at UVa. He contended that he is not a stranger to working on a board and has experience interacting with local government in Charlottesville. He served on Board interacting with various bodies while at UVa. He pledged that nothing less than his greatest effort would be put forth if he were chosen to fill the vacancy.

Shawn Creasey is a son of the late supervisor. He is currently a Goochland Deputy and said that he has lived in the county for more than 40 years, and District 3 for 27. He said that he would like to see whoever is selected will support the same programs as his father and continue to move Goochland in the right direction. He said he was available if needed and expressed confidence that the supervisors will choose the right person to fill the interim vacancy.

Kudos to both of these men for  speaking up., It is believed that other applications were receive by the county before the 5 p.m. April 2 deadline.

The supervisors met in closed session at the end of their afternoon meeting to discuss the vacancy. They plan to again meet in closed session at 6 p.m. on April 17. At the following 7 p.m. open meeting, they could announce the interim appointment, but have, by law, until April 24 to fill the empty seat. The voters will select  a successor to serve for the remainder of Creasey’s term of office, which expires at the end of 2019. All board seats will be up for election in 2019.  Our supervisors, who earn $1,000 per month, a bit more for the chair, put in many more hours than those of public meetings.

Board Chair Ken Peterson, District 5, indicated that the county received several applications for the position, but declined to elaborate further.

Proclamations recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month; April 22-28 as Hunger Awareness Week; and April 8-14 as National Crime Victims’ Right Week were approved.

Although many groups are working to eradicate the societal scourge of child abuse, it remains a serious problem. Goochland’s Department of Social Services; Court Appointed Special Advocates for children(CASA);  16 District of the Juvenile and domestic relations court service unit; Goochland CARES; Goochland Council of Churches; Goochland Branch of the Pamunkey Regional Library; Goochland Chamber of Commerce; YMCA; Goochland Public Schools; and County Parks and Rec all work hard to eliminate this.
Blue and silver pinwheels in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month



Citizens are encouraged to participate in food drives around the county in coming weeks to restock the shelves of  various food pantries in the community.

Peterson remarked that all too often, the rights of crime victims are overlooked as the rights of the perpetrators of crime are protected.

The Board adopted a resolution honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

County Assessor Mary Ann Davis reported on assessment appeals. In January, 15,028 reassessment notices were sent to property owners. During the appeal period, between January 12 and February 15, 205 inquiries were received by Davis’ department. Of those, 98 were given a value decrease, 10 an increase, and 97 remain unchanged. As of the meeting, nine properties—eight residential and one commercial—had filed appeals with the Board of Equalization. As the BOE expects to meet in June, and property owners have until the end of April to file an appeal, these numbers could change.

Fire-Rescue Chief Bill MacKay said that a barn safety class is in the planning stage and a Survivor Day, to help residents learn disaster mitigation skills, will be held at Manakin Company 1 on April 21.

A public hearing on the sale of a portion of the Fairground property to the owners of Courthouse Commons Shopping Center for retail use was set for May 1. The sale price is $850,000, in line with an independent appraisal performed last year.

An update was given VDOT about the secondary six year road plan. A public hearing on this will be held on May1. There will be a Design Public Hearing for Route 288/Broad Street Road Interchange Improvements in Goochland County on Wednesday, April 11th from 5 - 6:30 p.m. at Fire-Rescue Station 3 - Centerville, 52 Broad Street Road, Manakin-Sabot, VA 23103.

Find out about the proposed improvements at the Route 288 north and south interchanges at Broad Street Road/Route 250 in Goochland County. These modifications will increase the capacity and operational safety of the interchange. The meeting will be held in an open house format from 5 – 6:30 p.m. where individuals can talk one-on-one with project staff. This flexible format allows participants to arrive whenever their schedule will allow. 

Give your written comments at the meeting or submit them by April 21, 2018 to Adam Brooks, project manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 2430 Pine Forest Drive, Colonial Heights, VA 238349002, 804-524-6324, 800-367-7623 or TDD/TTY 711. You may also email your comments to Adam.Brooks@vdot.virginia.gov. Please reference “Route 288/Route 250 intersection improvements comments” in the subject line. 

State Project: 0288-037-771, P101, R201, C501 
Federal Project: NHPP-5A27(456) 
Maybe we will finally learn why it will take more than three years to get this fixed.


The supervisors held public hearings on the proposed real estate tax rate for calendar year 2018; proposed county budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1; proposed Ad Valorem tax rate for property in the Tuckahoe Creek Service District; and capital improvement plan.

A public hearing was also held on a proposed increase in public water and sewer charges. The supervisors approved an ordinance amendment to allow the public hearing on the TCSD ad valorem tax to be held on the same day as other fiscal public hearings.

Voting to adopt the budget and set the tax and fee rates will be held on April 17.








Sunday, April 1, 2018

Road show



The latest round of Goochland’s district town hall meetings ended on March 28 with a combined session for Districts 2 and 3 at the Central High School complex on Dogtown Road.

Manuel Alvarez, Jr. District 2 began the meeting by explaining how the board of supervisors’ vacancy created by the March 10 passing of incumbent District 3 supervisor Ned Creasey will be filled. A special election will be held on November 6 to fill the seat for the remainder of the current term. In the meantime, an interim appointment will be made by the board.

The following notice about the interim appointment is posted on the county website:
All individuals seeking consideration are invited to submit their application by 5:00 p.m. Monday, April 2, 2018. Applicants must live in District 3.

In addition to the written application, candidates may express their interest by addressing the Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday, April 3, 2018 meeting, at either the 3:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. session. That meeting will be held at the County Administration Building, 1800 Sandy Hook Road, Goochland, VA in Board Meeting Room 250. Candidates are not required to address the Board in order to be eligible for consideration.

The interim appointment, explained Alvarez,  could be made on April 17, but must be made by April 24.

Moving on, Alvarez recalled that his first town hall meeting about six years ago, was held also held at Central High School, which  had been vacant since May 2007. The strong odor of mold  ended the meeting early. Alvarez explained that the renovations cost less than razing the structure.

County Administrator John Budesky gave a condensed update on the proposed count budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1. He said that although the proposed budget includes an increase in public safety funding, it was unable to address requests for additional deputies and fire-rescue employees that will be added in future years.

Budesky declared that there is no truth to the rumor that the county is trying to prevent expansion of broadband coverage. That, he said, could not be further from the truth. He reported that the county had received an unsolicited proposal to deploy broadband in underserved parts of the county late last year. He expressed hope that additional proposals will follow and expects to be able to share more information by summer.

He also said that the proposed budget contains the first money for a fire-rescue station in District 2.

Sekou Shabaka asked why county staff is not more diverse. Budesky said that the county is “agnostic” in its hiring practices and wants the widest possible pool of qualified applicants.  To that end, he said, the county is reaching out to churches and colleges.

A concern about the lack of  affordable housing was raised. Budesky said that the county is not in the housing business and that, given the high cost of land in the county, developers build more expensive homes. He characterized the issue as “push pull” because neighbors don’t want higher density options that could lower housing prices.

School Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley began his remarks with a short video highlighting the accomplishment of our school division. Education is not a burden on a county that sees it an investment in the future, he said.

He announced that the proposed school budget contains significant funding for security improvements. A strong collaboration among the schools, Sheriff’s Office, and Fire-Rescue is an important component of school safety. Arming teachers is not a part of “the conversation” about enhanced security measures, Raley said.

In 2022 Goochland Elementary School will be replaced. Its site has not yet been chosen, but it is expected to be in the same general vicinity as the existing building.

“Student voices are important to me,” said Raley who has listening sessions with students at all schools. He believes that good policy decisions can come from student input.

Raley promised to look into a comment from a parent that the schools rely too much on technology. Finding a balance is important, he said.

Goochland Sheriff James L. Agnew said that there is a lot going on in Goochland. More people moving into closer proximity tends to generate conflict, which requires the presence of a deputy to sort things out.
Goochland Sheriff Jim Agnew discusses call volume.


It is 33.4 miles from the northwest to southeast corners of the county and more cars on the road makes the trip take longer and generates more accidents. The highest number of calls come from the northeast quadrant of the county, generally the Centerville area.

The incidence of calls from people threatening suicide is also rising. All deputies ow receive  crisis intervention training to deal with these situations.

Crime is still an issue. Agnew reported that a man was arrested on a charge of attempted murder that morning at the Goochland library. The investigation into the August 31, 2017 murder of a man near Sandy Hook continues. Agnew explained that building a strong case leading to a conviction takes time.  Increasing the felony threshold from $200 to $500 could raise the incidence of car thefts. Agnew also said that emergency medical dispatch, which provides over the phone help on 911 calls until a ambulance arrives, should be in place by the end of the year. This is made possible by three new dispatch positions in the proposed budget,

A citizen thanked Agnew for the incredible job his deputies do every day.

District 2 Planning Commissioner Matt Brewer remarked that he was last in the building for a hunter safety class taught by then game warden, Jim Agnew. He also said that the nearly seven miles of mountain bike trails at Leake’s Mill Park, built entirely by volunteers, are like nothing else in the area.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The long and winding road


The long and winding road

A meeting on the update of Goochland County’s major thoroughfare plan (MTP) filled the board meeting room on March 27. Attendees included developers, land owners, and mostly  citizens concerned about burgeoning congestion, especially in the county’s northeast.

Letters circulated implying that the county would use its power of eminent domain to obtain rights of way along the south end of Hockett Road to widen it to four lanes after the approval of a rezoning application to build approximately 500 homes was granted on March 6. Improvements to Hockett Road were never part of the Mosaic rezoning application.

Some of the citizens were angry, most, at best, confused. Todd Kilduff, Deputy County Administrator for Community Development and Public Utilities explained that the purpose of the session was to present in formation about the MTP and gather citizen input on the work so far. Kilduff made it clear that the MTP contains no specifics about precise location of possible road improvement;  a timeline for construction; or any guarantee that a  conceptual road will be built. No decisions about any items in the MTP have been made.

The goal of the MTP is to ensure that roads are able to handle expected growth. It is also a “living” document that will be revised as conditions on the ground change.

Carl Tweksbury, an engineer with the consulting firm of Kimley Horn, which was retained by the county to update the MTP, discussed some of the “modeling”  used to craft the plan. Kilduff said that Kimley Horn are the “numbers” people and they need to hear about real world conditions from those who travel the roads.

Long term road improvements listed for Goochland include four laning Rt. 250 throughout the county, bicycle lanes, and better walkability in some areas.

County administrator John Budesky said that this plan is very long term and the road improvements mentioned might not happen for 20 or more years. He said that the county’s 2035 comprehensive land use plan (http://www.goochlandva.us/250/2035-Comprehensive-Plan) shows that 85 percent of the county will remain rural. The other 15 percent, however, mostly in the east end, is targeted for growth and development.

Citizens asked for a recap of the data used to craft the MTP in a form that any person can understand.

Goochland is growing. At certain times of the day, many of our roads are at capacity. Spillover from Short Pump that floods roads in the east end, especially the poorly designed Board Street Road/Rt. 288 interchange, which is the most dangerous intersection in the county, according to Sheriff James L. Agnew, makes things worse and is beyond our power to control.

Improvements to this intersection, which are fully funded, will not be built before 2021.

Immediate attention is  on the Hockett Road corridor. Its level or service, an  indication that traffic flows freely, is already in the failing range due to works in West Creek avoiding congested ramps on Rt. 288. In addition to Mosaic, Readers Branch, another large subdivision roughly opposite The Parke at Centerville, is seeking approval. This would make things even worse on Hockett Road at rush hour. Improvements to fix this include a right turn lane at  Hockett and Broad, which would consume most of the  parking lot of a successful business there.
Dan Zodun of Centerville suggests that building right turn lanes at  the north and south ends of Hockett Road would reduce rush hour congestion without  widening the entire road.


A second community meeting on the MTP will be held in the next few months, hopefully incorporating  citizen feedback. The supervisors plan a work session in early June after which the MTP will be referred to the Planning Commission and back to the supervisors for another public hearing and final adoption in August.

The widening of Rt. 250 between Ashland and Manakin Roads took a long time for a short, straight stretch of road on flat ground. The poor initial design of the turn lane onto southbound Manakin Road, which often trapped large trucks like moving vans and horse trailers trying to negotiate the corner, does little to inspire confidence that future projects, which will be built by VODT—the state agency whose motto is “Oops!”—will fare any better.

A pending roundabout and extension of Fairground Road to connect with Route 6 west of Courthouse Village is on the approved list, but will not happen before 2021. Even adding traffic signals to congested intersections is a long, complicated, and expensive process.